Selecting a Canola Variety

bruce in field beside 1950

As we put the final touches on this long season we are getting ready for next year already and canola seems to be near the top of most lists. So when looking for a canola variety what should be your main reason for growing a variety? Is it yield, harvest ability, disease resistance or maturity?

Well of course everyone says it is yield because that is what pays the bills, but one of the things I always recommend which is top on the list is the weed control from the system you are choosing. The three main herbicide systems for canola have their strengths and weaknesses but if we understand how to use them we can be very successful in growing a good crop. Understanding your weed spectrum does make your choice very easy so always keep this in mind.

Something else to consider when looking at canola varieties is don€™t be afraid to try a new variety on your farm. Every year we at DynAgra have a very large canola plot that we plant and this year we 13 varieties showcased to our growers. What this plot does is help our growers see what the potential of the varieties are in a larger scale (1.5 acre plots) in their area. This makes the decision a little bit easier on what variety to choose. So if you don€™t have this type of plot in your area, then take a variety that looks promising for your area and try it out. It is all about keeping the best genetics on your farm. Maybe at the end of the year you will say that it is no better than your old faithful you are growing but what if it is better? I know growers don€™t like to have to change their seeding equipment but again it is a good way to understand what is up and coming and how it fits for your own situation.

Data is your best friend at the end of the day when choosing a canola variety so use the resources that are out there like the canola council or the seed companies to get that information. These websites are very useful and help to make a decision at the end of the day. And if those don€™t help you ask your retail. They have a lot invested in their reputation so they will give you a good recommendation for a variety for your area.

I would like to wish everyone season€™s greetings and have a very merry Christmas!

Those are my thoughts,

Garth Donald C.C.A.


Garth Donald

I was raised on a mixed grains and livestock farm South West of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba close to the small community called Edwin where I was heavily involved in our farm. I started farming at the age of 14 renting 160 acres from my uncle which I mainly grew sunflowers. I went to school in MacGregor, Manitoba where I receive my grade twelve diploma. After I graduated I work full time on our farm until the fall of 2004 when I got at job at McCain Foods Ltd. in Portage la Prairie where I was working in the stock room. I was in charge of receiving goods and entering them into inventory as well as assisting the maintenance, electrical staff in getting them the parts they need to keep the plant running. After working shift work for a year I realized that it wasn’t my passion in life so I enrolled in the Agri Business program at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. There I learned about agronomy, marketing and business. In between my first and second year I worked for Manitoba Pool Elevators at Petrel, Manitoba where I was in charge of many duties which included filling Anhydrous Ammonia tanks, blending fertilizer, equipment maintenance, soil sampling, field scouting, floating and mainly spraying. That year I sprayed 15,000 acres which isn’t a lot for most standards but that area is largely in the production of potatoes which is very intensive. After returning back to college for the fall I knew that I wanted to be in Ag retail so upon my completion of my course I accepted a position as a field man with an independent company called Beiseker Agri Services. After 12 years of being with this company and a name change to DynAgra Corp. along the way I have held many titles within the company from field agronomist to Corporate Sales Manager. My new title is Western Canadian Manager of Agronomy and my role is to manage and sell our Variable Rate Technology program as well as our FlexiScout scouting program.


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