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Getting the best from your canola rotation

Agronomy tips... from the field

canola field in bloom

Canola is Western Canada’s main crop so it’s worth talking about how to get the maximum value within your rotation. Fortunately, there are some well-established facts to help you with your planning.

  • Canola on canola: If you seed canola into last year’s canola stubble, expect a yield drop of 16 per cent, according to data collected and analyzed by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development since 2000. So wile strong prices may elevate your potential profit per bushel, lower canola yields might tilt your profit calculations in other directions.
  • Canola following other crops: Canola yields the least when planted after winter wheat or soybeans (-5 per cent and -13 per cent respectively over the 12-year study period.) To get slightly higher canola yields, it’s better to seed into a field that grew spring wheat or field peas last year (four per cent and two per cent respectively).
  • Seeding into canola stubble: What’s best to grow after canola? Cereals do best on canola stubble (a yield boost of three to five per cent). Flax and field peas perform the least well (-12 and -8 per cent, respectively.)

These statistics show that not all rotations are created equally, even if they’re diversified. Factoring these numbers into your crop planning for next year could help improve your farm returns.

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