Maybe it’s after work hours, or the long weekend. Or maybe you need to make a quick decision. It’s probably not going to replace your favourite local agrologist anytime soon, but the Canola Council of Canada’s website can be very useful when you need a little help.
All you need to do is gather as much information as you can about your field, its history, your seeding practices and what you’re seeing in the field that’s causing you concerns.
Then, get to the Internet and go to www.canoladiagnostictool.ca.
The website walks you through questions about your problem, step by step. There are questions about everything from stage of plant growth, to the part of the plant where you see a problem. Some of the questions are fairly detailed; you’ll need to be observant.
Once it’s taken a stab at identifying your problem, the website gives you advice about what to do, or a list of labs you could use to verify the diagnosis.
The “good old days” must have involved a lot of stumbling around in the dark, waiting for the Internet to be invented. When my great grandfather moved here from Newcastle with no farming experience, he had to rely on neighbours’ advice and wild guesses. I don’t know what he would have paid for access to an online tool line this, but for us, it’s free (thanks to funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).