Optimizing your canola hybrid

Monday, November 18, 2019

To optimize the performance of your chosen canola hybrid, consider the following key factors – herbicide system, field selection, crop rotation, crop fertility and harvest management.

First, consider your herbicide options – Roundup Ready®, TruFlex™, LibertyLink® or Clearfield®. Many seed companies now offer a broad choice in herbicide systems. Think about the features of each system. For example, the use of glyphosate in Roundup Ready canola provides broad spectrum control and ease of application but does not control Roundup Ready volunteers. With LibertyLink, consider pre-seed burn, be prepared for two in-crop Liberty applications if needed and be aware of weeds like cleavers. Review each field’s history and think about what product you’re rotating to or from and think about any potential problem weeds.

Next, think about your field decision and crop rotation. Review your crop history. Are you one, two or three years into your crop rotation? Are there any potential disease issues with tight crop rotations or volunteers? Ensure the variety you chose has multi-gene blackleg and/or clubroot protection in light of increased risk.

Another factor is crop fertility. What fertility is being used? Once you plant the seed, fertilizer is the key input that generates yield response. Other inputs like fungicides protect the yield potential. Take a close look at fertility, do some soil sampling, examine past success with your blends and watch your level of seed-placed fertilizer.

Finally, keep in mind harvest management. Would you like the option to straight cut? Review the rated maturity of the hybrid and consider where it fits in your harvest schedule. Maturity matters. After a challenging harvest in 2019, spreading out your maturities to help your harvest management is key.

These factors will help maximize the performance of your canola hybrids in 2020.

By Wayne Dobbie, Proven Seed representative for Nutrien Ag Solutions in northern Saskatchewan.