When soil moisture conditions are top of mind in late March, it probably means there’s either way too much or not nearly enough.

For 2021, huge swaths of the Prairies are dry to very dry, and that’s got plenty of farmers and agronomists working on possible strategies for a dry seeding season. From yield targets and fertilizer rates, to seeding depth and variety selection, Warren Ward with the Canola Council of Canada joins host Shaun Haney for this RealAg LIVE!

RealAg LIVE! goes weekdays at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!

SUMMARY

  • Feeling like an early spring, and maybe a dry one; there’s a lot of red on the soil moisture map
  • Canola markets are good…
  • Start clean, good crop competition matters
  • Early weeds eat yield!
  • Don’t necessarily skip it, please
  • Be cautious of pre-emerge, too
  • Is it too early to talk about chasing moisture?
  • Seeding deeper than an inch adds risk, later season seeding maybe go a little deeper, but there are plenty of considerations
  • What actually is “fit soil”?
  • OK, but what about variability?
  • Making the call to wait for moisture
  • Risk management strategy
  • Ultra early seeding for old-crop harvest is being talked about with these crazy prices
  • Plant stand numbers matter. The more plants, the less branching, the earlier maturity
  • Winter is just too harsh for winter canola in most of the winter canola out there
  • Fertilizer strategies for 2021: A fertility plan begins long before seeding
  • Caution on seed-placed fertilizer in a dry year
  • Don’t push those seed-placed limits!
  • Dryness will have implications on fert rates, too
  • Yield targets may have to be pulled back
  • But, if we start dry and it turns to more favourable conditions, you may have shorted the crop
  • Maybe think about a top-dress plan
  • What about weed control in a dry year? Fall-applied Edge (or other pre-emergent herbicides with residual), will it activate?
  • Carryover risk expectations depend on moisture from last year and in the fall
  • Wall to wall to wall canola …will it happen?
  • Rotations have been tight and have been for a while, and we have disease challenges to show for it
  • Choosing a clubroot-resistant variety is good prevention
  • Clubroot will likely show up long before you find it
  • Rotation consideration matters very much with resistant varieties, too
  • 25 million tonnes by 2025 — gains need to come from bushels per acre not more acres
  • Fertility might be the key here, to gains

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