Canola School: N Sensing Tech in the Palm of Your Hand

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Would your canola crop benefit from a top-dress or rescue application of nitrogen?

A tissue test will give you an idea of whether plants are deficient, but you’ll have to wait for results.

As Jack Payne explains in this Canola School episode, there are now several versions of in-field sensors that help agronomists and growers assess chlorophyll content in the leaf, which can be correlated to nitrogen levels.

“Anything that can speed up the decision-making process is a benefit,” notes the regional agronomist with Farmers Edge.

The GreenSeeker is one of the more common chlorophyll meters. The SPAD meter, which Payne describes in this video, is similar, in that it measures the relative green-ness of the crop. The technology is designed to help growers understand whether nitrogen availability is a yield-limiting factor.

“Of course this gives me an immediate idea of where the crop is, whereas with tissue testing and soil testing there’s always that lag time between when you’ve collected the sample and when you get the results back,” he explains.

Watch more Canola School episodes here

Jack Payne discussed how the technology works, the cost and more at CanolaPalooza in Lacombe, Alberta last week:

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