For most growers, canola yield pays the bills. So it’s important to get things right and look beyond last year’s yield data to get a complete picture of a variety. Here are the top three factors I look for when reading my provincial canola guide.
First is yield stability. It’s an indication of how well a hybrid is likely to perform in good and bad years. You want a hybrid that produces good yields under high-stress growing conditions, not just under ideal conditions. So when you read provincial trial results, look at several years of yield data and see if the results swing dramatically. Look for a consistent performer.
Second is disease resistance. You can manage most blackleg and clubroot with the right varieties, especially important with today’s tight rotations. Remember that blackleg is more problematic to control now, so consider varieties with multiple blackleg-resistance genes (or a fungicide application to support the genetics if your field has a history of blackleg).
Last is standability. It can be an indication of how easy and efficient your harvest will be. Plus it can be a broad but indirect reflection of the variety’s ability to withstand yield robbing stresses, like wind, and stem and root diseases.
Michael Hutton, product evaluation scientist, oilseeds for Syngenta Canada Inc.