Many people think that if farmers get moisture you are ensured success. Well this year is proving that moisture can also bring challenges. One of those challenges is crusting (see picture below). Canola has a hard time penetrating any crust. This year the crust in many areas seems to be worse than usual and growers are striving to fight this challenge on top of the many others in 2010.
As I prepared for this topic it became very clear to me that there is not much research on dealing with crusting and how to mitigate its affects. For those that have irrigation, a light sprinkle will do the trick but for the rest of you the options are really limited. Some people even mentioned to me that the light use of a diamond back harrow is not very effective.
Troy Profosky, Agronomy Specialist – Alberta South, Canola Council of Canada, talked to me about soil crusting and the affects on your plant stand. Troy does a great job of hitting on the what not to do’s as much as the recommended practices.
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