While you’re in the field checking canola to see if it’s ready to be cut, or perhaps already swathing or harvesting it, it’s also a good time to assess the toll disease took on your crop.

Assessing stems for blackleg.
Assessing stems for blackleg.

Sclerotinia, blackleg and clubroot can all cause premature ripening, as disease symptoms become more obvious at the end of the season, explains Angela Brackenreed, Manitoba-based agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, in this Canola School episode.

She recommends taking a pair of clippers to the field to get a cross-section view of blackleg severity in plant stems, as she demonstrates in the video below. A trowel or shovel is also a must for digging up roots to check for signs of clubroot or root maggot without having clubroot galls slough off.

Find more canola scouting and harvest tips in the Canola School!

There have been some reports of large late-season flea beetle populations, but it’s doubtful they would be at levels where spraying could be justified, says Brackenreed, noting growers should also take pre-harvest intervals into consideration if thinking of late season insect control.

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