Latest articles


Pulses. More than a break crop in your canola rotation

Tours and events this summer will help you check which pulse crops can diversify your farm’s rotation

Rob Stone says red lentils “drive the bus” on his farm at Davidson, Sask. Granted, he says canola does quite a bit of driving too. But the point is this: his pulse crop is so much more than just a break crop for canola. Stone seeds about one-third of his land to lentils, on average. […] Read more


New Saskatchewan study compares soybeans to peas, lentils

Jing Xie et al. at the University of Saskatchewan recently published results from a study comparing soybeans, peas and lentils for their nutrient benefit for following crops.* The small-plot study was repeated at four Saskatchewan locations: Scott (dark brown), Saskatoon (dark brown), Rosthern (black) and Yorkton (black). At each site, three cultivars each of short-season […] Read more



Giving crop roots a boost

Researchers can now identify the microscopic organisms on which roots depend, and are discovering ways to make their relationships even more effective

For as long as plants have been growing on land, their roots have shared a symbiotic relationship with microbes in the soil. Arbuscules — the microscopic nutrient-gathering hairs of mycorrihizae — have been found connected to 400-million-year-old plant root fossils from the Rhynie chert in Scotland. A paper by Winfried Remy et al, published in […] Read more


Species-specific crop protection

RNA interference provides a new method of pest control, using tools so precise they hit only the target insect or disease

“We like to call sclerotinia the bully,” says Mark Belmonte. And stopping a bully is not easy. The pathogen attacks fast, it moves quickly through the plant and it can do heavy yield damage right away. “Because it acts with brute force and involves multiple genes, sclerotinia is difficult to study and get a good […] Read more



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