Even though we are in the 4th week of May, there is still opportunity and good yield potential for seeding canola. MASC crop insurance deadline in June 15, except for Risk Area 16 which is June 10, so the final deadlines are still two weeks or more away.
Yes, our seeding date is later than what we would like, but remember seeding date is only one component of yield. After getting the seed into the ground or planning of getting the seed into the ground, weed control is key to a giving canola an early advantage. Canola is very vulnerable to the weed competition (meaning yield losses) before it reaches the rosette stage. Scouting is important and should start now to get the jump on those yield-robbing weeds!
If you haven’t seeded yet – a pre-seed burn-down, if time allows, is a great way to get weeds under control before the crop emerges. Seeding can resume soon after – for annuals and winter annuals, glyphosate needs only 24 hours to get to the growing point. For perennial weeds, 3 days should be enough in sunny and warm conditions but 5 days is recommended if weather is cloudy or cool.
If you are fortunate enough to already have your canola seeded – go look for those emerging weeds, noting the weed species, numbers and staging. Then spray as soon as recommended for you canola type, usually targeting the 2 true leaf stage, as weeds will also be small and easier to kill than when they are 4-leaf stage or later and you remove that competition from stealing the water, light and of course fertilizer you put in the ground to feed your crop!
Insects and disease can also impact yields, but those may be dependent on the weather throughout the spring/summer, weeds though seem to be a consistent concern in most fields and need to be controlled. Good Luck with finishing seeding.
MAFRD Guide to Field Crop Protection: http://gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/guide-to-crop-protection.html
MAFRD Weed Identification: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/
Submittted by: Anastasia Kubinec, Oilseed Crop Specialist, MAFRD