Evaluating the Season and Choosing Canola Hybrids for Next Year
Oct 15, 2018
Another season is in your rear-view mirror, which means it’s time to consider your accomplishments, current practices and start planning for next year. These reflections will help you make better decisions about your canola program, further optimizing your strategy and increasing your chances of success next season.
If you want to see an improved canola crop this time next year, there are a number of best practices to keep in mind. For example, compare the data you’ve collected throughout the season when choosing your canola hybrids. That could include your own on-farm trials, third-party trials or retailer trials. Having this data on hand can help you select the hybrids that will perform best in your region and with your unique growing conditions.
From there, you should plan to grow a selection of hybrids that contain different maturity levels. This will help spread out your harvest workload and minimize your risk. Finally, you should look ahead at the new canola hybrids and trait technologies anticipated for next season.
Rhett Duke, a Bayer Technology Development Representative, also stresses the importance of scouting your fields as harvest season begins.
“At this time of year, you really want to determine how effective your in-crop herbicide program was,” says Duke. “In particular, is there a certain species of weed that created issues for you? Are you having a tough time controlling it with the canola hybrids that are currently on the market?”
If weeds are still getting in the way between you and a successful season, Duke recommends TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology – a new canola product that is not yet commercially available, but is expected to be commercialized for the 2019 growing season*. This new canola trait system will help give you improved control of harder-to-kill weeds like cleavers, foxtail barley and wild buckwheat, and can also help you achieve season-long dandelion control compared to our current technology.
Sometimes it’s tough to control weeds when you don’t have enough time to spray. TruFlex™ canola will give you 10 to 14 more application days than our current technology. That way, when equipment breaks down or Mother Nature brews up some bad weather, you won’t give it a second thought. This wider application window will give you more time to spray your crops, putting your mind at ease.
“Think of how many quarter sections you could cover if you have 10 to 14 more spray days than our current canola system,” says Duke. “This wider application window will help make things less stressful and protect your yield potential. We want farmers to have control over their weeds and help minimize a yield hit at the end of the year.”
If you didn’t get the yield you wanted this season, now is a good time to reflect on how you can fix that when spring arrives.
What sort of stresses did you notice this season and which hybrids performed best on your farm? Which surprised you? What are some emerging weather, pest, nutrition or logistical challenges you think you should prepare for? What new hybrids do you want to try in 2019?
But more importantly, was disease an issue for you this year? If so, which hybrids struggled to fight it?
“If you’re experiencing these issues, I encourage you to look at the TruFlex™ canola hybrids when they come to market,” says Duke. “Many of them contain a very strong multi-genic blackleg resistance package. While that isn’t a silver-bullet solution, they’re a great management tactic that can help preserve your yield potential.”
Plus, your yield potential is further protected by the new genetics packed inside each canola seed that has the TruFlex™ canola trait. From 2009 to 2012, a series of field research trials on Roundup Ready® canola were conducted across Western Canada. They showed that spraying canola above the recommended rates or outside the application window could cost farmers three bushels per acre or more in yield1, yet another reason why it is vital that farmers always follow recommended labeled rates. With TruFlex™ canola, you will be able to spray up to first flower when applying sequential rates of 0.67 L/ac of Roundup WeatherMAX® herbicide.
With these benefits in mind, Duke believes TruFlex™ canola will help Canadian farmers who are looking for a new canola hybrid.
“We’re really confident with what we’re expecting to bring to market,” he says. “I really think it’s going to be a nice fit for a lot of farmers.”
* TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology is not yet commercially available. Current plans are to commercialize for the 2019 growing season. The information presented herein shall not be construed as an offer to sell.
1 Source: Monsanto Technology Development Trials 2009-2012.