Canola School: Ross McKenzie on Wet Spring Soil Concerns for Canola

It may be a bit of an understatement to say that farmers across the west are eager to get in the field and get seeding. In the south end of Alberta, we’ve been teased with one day of sun, one day of rain/snow/sleet/cold. Other parts of the west need to dry up, while Peace River could use a little rain. For the majority, an abundance of moisture is the concern. In particular, the effect moisture has on the soil prior to seeding. For anyone planting canola this year, above average moisture has the potential to mean increased yields. Another piece of the puzzle is soil condition, particularly the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur available during the growing season.

Soil testing is one of the tools farmers use to measure fertilizer levels. The accuracy of those tests is partially dependent on timing. Depending on the activity of the soil in the winter and the weather in the early spring, tests done in the fall may not be as accurate as farmers would like. We talked to Agronomy Research Scientist Ross McKenzie about some of the things farmers need to be aware of in the soil prior to seeding canola this spring.

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Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4PM est. @shaunhaney


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