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Welcome to Episode 3 of the Canola PODcast, sponsored by InVigor® hybrid canola from BASF.

This podcast series features a number of different guests and experts discussing what tools InVigor hybrid canola and BASF can offer growers to have a successful season.

In this episode, host Shaun Haney tackles the top steps to seasonal success with Sean McKnight, a tech service specialist based in southern Saskatchewan, and Wade Stocker, seeds and traits operations manager with BASF. (write up continues below the player).

So, what are some of those things steps to establishing success with a canola crop?

McKnight says step one is finding hybrids that fit your farm.

“We know every farm has different needs, and there really is a lot of information available. So I think the first steps are really taking a look at what’s most important to you and what your practices are, and that really could influence what hybrids you choose.”

At the top of that list are growing season length, specific disease concerns, nutrient availability, or if you have land under irrigation, so you can make the best choice for standability and pod shatter resistance.

To help make that decision easier, Stocker says to head to InVigorResults.ca, where there’s lots of local yield trials to dig through.

The second step is to choose the traits that are right for the farm. For example, what herbicide tolerance is important? What’s your harvest plan? Are you looking for flexibility? Do you want to straight cut or swath it or delay swath it? And maybe pod shatter reduction is important. Of course, blackleg is a growing concern, as is clubroot, and you need to consider whether clubroot is popping up in your area.

When it comes to clubroot, growers are encouraged to use the clubroot decision matrix available online to help decide on the need for first or second generation resistance.

Stocker says that when it comes to blackleg, remember that all InVigor hybrids are rated ‘R’ for resistance to blackleg.

“But like so many diseases, it’s important that we utilize good integration pest management plan or practices. Specifically for blackleg, these include one, utilizing the newest ‘R’ rated hybrids, scouting regularly, managing susceptible weeds such as the other brassicas or volunteers that might be present, utilizing a registered fungicide at the proper timing. And, of course, now we’re seeing more that there’s some seed treatments becoming available that help to protect against airborne blackleg, and really these seed treatments can compliment the hybrid resistance quite nicely,” he says.

Also, following a robust or extended rotation is idea for disease management; but is that a fair request?

“There are a lot of things a grower needs to consider, and of course the financial implications often become first and foremost. I think what’s important is that everybody understands that genetics are not the be-all and end-all for solving problems. When financial decisions are made to shorten rotations, it comes with some risk. And there’s certain things that growers can do to mitigate that risk,” Stocker says.

Another key to success is targeting live plant populations. Research supports a target of five to seven plants per square foot to ensure the best performance and yield potential. A strong plant population increase plant competitiveness and standability and may lower the incidence or severity of sclerotinia, for example, because you’re not trapping all the moisture in the crop.

The last step? A little luck! Mother Nature needs to cooperate to boost those numbers up on the ’22 crop, Stocker says.