When evaluating frost damage in canola, patience is key

Something we never want to hear in late August or early September is the F word. No not that one. Frost. Unfortunately, it usually happens somewhere, and this year is no different.

Topography, duration and other factors determine how bad the damage is, particuraly in a frost-sensitive crop like canola.

Evaluating frost damage takes a bit of patience, explain Allison McLellan and Leighton Blashko, both with BASF, in the conversation below.

“I think the most important thing is to exercise is a little bit of patience, maybe some restraint,” says Blashko.

It’s all fine and dandy to get an idea of what’s happening with temperatures in different places through social media or the coffee shop, but getting up early and running out there in a panic when the frost has just hit plants won’t give you the most valuable information. McLelland and Blashko recommend waiting 24 to 48 hours before going out to the field. At that point, things to look for include mushy or discoloured seeds in greener pods, and pods that have fallen right off the plant.

It’s important to have the information from your own fields, don’t follow up on any assumption, or the hearsay. “It’s similar to getting frost in the spring, you need to wait and see” says McLellan. “The same goes for frost in the fall. You need to wait, and everything’s going to be specific to your area. Be patient and make sure you’re doing a thorough assessment for your fields.

 

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