A variable crop needs field-specific decisions

Crop conditions across Western Canada are quite variable based on sporadic moisture. Even just field to field, the conditions can be so different that farmers and agronomists are facing some really challenging decision making situations.

When conditions like drought set in, it can be easy to make assumptions on what is or not happening in your fields. But threats, such as sclerotinia in canola, might surprise you in their severity even in a dry year. The key is to get into every field to verify your assumptions, especially as it applies to crop disease this year.

At the recent CanolaPalooza event held at Lacombe, AB, Shaun Haney had a chance to catch up with Jack Payne, with Farmers Edge, to talk about a series of issues relating to this year’s crop in Western Canada. (Summary below)

  • In the the middle of the growing season do not hesitate to take a break to relax, refresh and recharge. The growing season can be quite stressful and taking care of ourselves is key.
  • Throughout Alberta crops are looking really good but there are also ones that need moisture urgently.
  • In 2018 we do not have the soil moisture reserves that we had in 2017.
  • July 10th to 20th is the peak water usage for most crops which means that the situation is quite serious for those fields that have seen limited rainfall.
  •  Decision making on fungicides is really tough in variable years like this.  For canola, even if conditions are dry there can still be a problem if the amount of dew is high in the mornings.

Hear the entire discussion between Shaun and Jack Payne. 

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