Soybean School West: The Yield Impact of Volunteer Canola

Towering yellow-flowered plants in a soybean field don’t just look a bit out of place, these volunteer canola plants are actually competing with the crop and using valuable soil nutrients. Just how much of an impact this has on final soybean yield is important to know, as, just like with any pest, it’s important to balance the cost of control against the cost of the damage.

To answer just how much of a bite volunteer canola takes out of soybean yield, Dr. Rob Gulden, with the University of Manitoba, is working at developing economic thresholds for the pest, just as you’d find for insects in the guide to crop protection. Once you’ve got that number in hand, Gulden says, the next part of the project comes in to play.

In this Soybean School West episode, Dr. Gulden discusses how competitive canola is in soybean, and why the issue of controlling volunteers must include a multi-year strategy as canola seeds spreads easily and hangs around a surprisingly long time.


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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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