Heat is not canola's friend, disease concerns, and the list of yield robbers— a LIVE! Q&A with Kara Oosterhuis and Clint Jurke


Wondering what robbed your canola yield this past season? Well, in today’s RealAg LIVE we have not one, but two guests to help us pinpoint what went wrong (and what went right) when it came to the 2020 canola crop.

Clint Jurke of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), and RealAg’s own Kara Oosterhuis join us for today’s LIVE!

Check out a new LIVE! discussion every weekday at 3 pm E across our social media platforms!


  • Clint joined CCC to get on RealAg (kidding!), he’s been with them for 11 years
  • What is Canola Week? Doesn’t happen very often, and this time, partnering up with Keith Downey’s Canola Industry meeting.
  • Super-sciencey, genomics, genetics
  • Keith Downey is one of the “two fathers of canola”; one of the two major breeders who turned rapeseed into what we know as canola now
  • Onto the yield robbers and the CCC’s year in review
  • Yield goal of hitting 52 bu/ac by 2025.
  • 2020 was quite a different season: weather related factors
  • Lloydminster vs Red River Valley vs Peace River region, lots of different weather in each area
  • Heat was the number one yield robber of 2020 (Shaun got it right, he gets a prize).
  • Heat is not canola’s friend, it will affect physiology
  • Verticillium stripe in Manitoba? New, found in 2014. Widespread, found everywhere, most concentrated in Manitoba. CCC isn’t sure what the impact of Verticillium stripe on yield. Soil-borne, infects canola roots and unlike clubroot, moves up the stem. Stems going through a combine acts a dispersal system.
  • Weeds as a yield robber? Cleavers? Not a major contender for the yield robber list.
  • NW Sask, Alta. Moisture in excess was a major contender.
  • Where are we at with clubroot? Clubroot gets bigger every year. Disease surveys happen every year, largely run by provincial governments and some universities. Across Alberta it’s being found during those surveys a lot more regularly. Three counties added to the list in 2020. More fields with resistant varieties, that are showing clubroot galls.
  • It’s a fungus but it doesn’t act that way, forms a plasmodial mass when it gets into the plant, changes its hormonal plant, can exchange genetic information which is why the genetic resistance breaks down over time. Genetics is still the most effective tool.
  • Flea beetles? Not as much of a contender.
  • Blackleg is up in some parts of the provinces.
  • Wind, sandblasting damaging plants right at the outset.
  • At the tail-end of the season, pod-drop in the southern areas. Where pods just fell right off the plant. Phenomenon we don’t want to see. Not a lot of genetic control against that. Entire pod drops off the plant to the ground intact. Related to heat and really dry conditions, seemed to coincide with wind events.
  • Shaun makes a lot of hand gestures to try to explain canola “knitting” together.
  • Looking ahead now: heat usually comes in July, so the earlier the crop can be established (while still avoiding frost), get it past that susceptible heat phase; manage those diseases, crop rotation, get that soil fertility package right, watch the harvest operation keeping the seed in the combine
  • It’s dry across the prairies (and the northern great plains if you’re from the U.S.
  • Earlier seeding of course is at higher risk of flea beetles. Have to manage the risks: at establishment or at harvest time
  • The ONE thing to pay attention to next year? Adopt 4Rs! Right place, right source, right rate, right time
  • Canadian Fertilizer Institute has some great 4R resources. There are ways to certify as a 4R farm.
  • Don’t apply urea on snow, it’s not a good idea. Just don’t do it. Get the majority of your fertility package with your seed if you can.

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