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Be ready for canola harvest

Agronomy tips... from the field

When planning your canola harvest this season, remember that it’s never a bad idea to seed hybrids with a mix of maturity timings. This will allow you to space out your harvest timing as fields are coming ready.

From a risk management standpoint, those different-maturity varieties will not be at the same susceptible growth stages when high disease pressure or severe weather comes through. For example, if your hybrids are flowering at different periods, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to miss at least some of the heat blasting that can kill off flowers.

As you get closer to harvest, look carefully at your canola fields to decide whether you’re going to swath or straight cut. The Canola Council of Canada has several great agronomic recommendations for either method that can improve your chances at success.

Make sure you’re cracking pods to check the seed maturity, as that will determine when you swath, straight cut or desiccate your crop. Getting the maturity timing right can help deliver improved yield and quality through bigger seed sizes and higher oil content.

Crop maturity is also the best time to scout for diseases — like blackleg or sclerotinia — so you know what’s affecting your crop, and the potential risk for next season.

This agronomy tip was brought to you by Michael Hutton, canola product evaluation scientist with Syngenta Canada.

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