Latest articles

Why China needs canola imports

China has been growing rapeseed for millennia and has seen a rapid increase in productivity over the past 50 years. Even so, production can’t meet demand

Brassica rapa plants have contributed to Chinese cuisine for millennia. “The Book of Songs”, an ancient collection of Chinese poetry, includes one 3,000-year-old poem, Gu Feng, which specifically mentions the plant. In this English translation, Brassica rapa is called “mustard plant.” Gently blows the east wind, With cloudy skies and with rain. Husband and wife […] Read more

Do you know how your aeration fan blows?

Understanding different fan types, and the difference between moving air versus moving water, will help you keep those ever-larger bins of canola in top condition

To cool a bin of canola, the aeration fan needs to move 0.1 to 0.2 cubic feet of air per bushel per minute. To remove moisture, airflow should be about 10 times that. Does your fan achieve those rates? How do you know? A five-horsepower axial fan can blow more air per minute than a […] Read more

Dealing with a flush of clubs

Clubroot specialists across the Prairies are sharing how to slow the disease’s spread, and how to keep it down when it does arrive

It turns out 200 kilometres of forest is not an impenetrable barrier for clubroot. Canola growers in the Peace River region had crossed their fingers, but knew deep down it couldn’t hold. “Most growers knew we weren’t living in a bubble up here,” says Gregory Sekulic, Canola Council of Canada agronomy specialist for the region. […] Read more

clubroot in canola

Six management steps to help prevent clubroot

The first step in managing clubroot is to minimize the chance of introducing clubroot to the farm in the first place. Make sure equipment and vehicles entering fields are clean. All people entering a field should have disinfected rubber boots or wear disposable booties over their footwear. All seed (not just canola) should be cleaned […] Read more

Turn up the heat on aeration fans when drying canola

Some growers grappling with a late harvest and high-moisture crops in 2016 added supplemental heaters to their aeration fans. This grower’s experience may inspire an upgrade to aeration setups for 2017

Things were a little off with Harvest 2016 and Chad Bown was desperate. The farmer from Ranfurly, Alta., was combining 14 per cent moisture canola in late November after a month or more of snow delays. Delivery locations were full, so on-farm storage was his only option. But aeration fans blowing cool air could not […] Read more

A giant leap for soil kind

Soil-health advocates like Jocelyn Velestuk look forward to new technology to help make better decisions to improve both soil health and whole-farm profitability

Jocelyn Velestuk did a lot of spitting the first time she met her future father-in-law. It made a lasting impression. As she describes it, Velestuk and her then fiancé and his father were touring around the farm she would soon marry into. Being a soil scientist, Velestuk scooped up handfuls of topsoil here and there, […] Read more

A nutrient-deficiency flare-up in canola

Everything goes along smoothly for decades, and the same old fertilizer combo produces the same old predicable results. Then soil levels for a particular nutrient dip below the critical threshold and plants grow funny and yields go askew. It happens

Jack Wood noticed strange patches of stunted canola in a field in 2013. By swathing time, those patches were clearly messed up. Pods were short and deformed. Stalks were skinny, and in the resulting windrows, the yield monitor dropped from 40 to just five bu./ac. One adviser said it was heat blast. Wood wasn’t so […] Read more

Comfort builds for straight combining canola

New research and grower experiences are answering important questions about straight combining canola in Western Canada. Comfort with the practice rises as more growers explore where and when it might work and how to improve results

Dale Beutler of Whitewood, Sask. did not have a good first experience straight combining canola. It was 2015. Like many canola fields in the area that year, the one he left standing for straight combining had been reseeded and was late. By the first week of October, stems were still green —even though seeds were […] Read more

Real results from public canola research

Potential benefits include genetic resistance to sclerotinia and clubroot

Publicly funded canola genetics research is producing results in Canada. I recently heard presentations from the following scientists and was impressed with the potential for each project to increase yield or lower input and management costs for Canadian canola farmers. A new way to produce pure seed Tim Sharbel, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the […] Read more

Is strip tillage a residue solution?

We don’t want to see a step backward in reduced-tillage practices. So how can canola growers improve seed survival and crop uniformity in challenging residue situations?

The fall objectives: Make sure the chopper can spread the width of the cut. Have a chaff spreader to avoid the thick harrow-immoveable mat of chaff right behind the combine. Cut higher so more of the residue is standing stubble. If necessary, harrow the crop on a hot windy day. This is the no-till approach […] Read more