Can Hot, but Dry Canola Still Spoil in the Bin?

With the extreme temperatures in the past week, harvested canola is coming off hot, hot, HOT!  Reports of canola measuring in the mid to high 30s are common, as well as the canola being dry at 8% and very dry <6%.

Canola in the above situation, even though moisture is low, needs to be conditioned as soon as it is in the bin.  Conditioning the seed, by turning on aeration fans will help move cooler air through the seeds, cooling in down.  If grain if left hot and unattended at temperatures over 15C, there is a greater risk of spoilage.  Using air movement will also help dry out any green weed material in the harvested seed, which will again help reduce spoilage in the canola, from the moisture in the weeds increasing moisture in pockets in your bin.

If you do not have aeration in your bin, leave the bin hatches on the top of the bin propped open, so hot air can escape.  Close the hatches if it starts raining though.  Also consider taking a truck load of canola out of the bin from the bottom and then auger back into the bin through the top hatch.  This can ‘turn’ the grain and the act of augering will introduce cooler air into the canola and help cool it down.

In all situations, monitor the temperature and moisture of the canola in the bins closely.  Canola keeps longer term if it is cooler than 15C and less than 8% moisture.

Canola Watch has more information in their September 2, 2015 post that can be could at

Opposite situation – storing damp grain?  Here is some information on steps to take.  The article also has a good explanation on what is going on in the bin with air movement and how spoilage zones can occur:

Submitted by: Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRD Oilseed Specialist




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Historical Seeding in Progress in Manitoba – First Week of May

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.  Seeding date data information is broken down into a week:month format, i.e. 1:05 is Week 1 in the 5th Month (May).  So 2:05 is Week 2 in May, and so on.

Each week is then categorized dependent on the day of the week in which the month starts.  So if Week 1 starts on a Sunday, there will be 7 days of seeding captured in Week 1.  However, if Week 1 starts on Friday (like we have in 2015), there are 9 days captured in Week 1.  Confused yet?  Essentially, each year will have a different number of days captured in each weekly timeframe, varying from 5 days up to 12 days.  However, the data still provides good reference points to seeding progress in Manitoba.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress to the end of Week 1 in May for six crop types is provided.  The last five year (2009-2013) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded in the same timeframe in 2014.   Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

Table 1:  Seeding progress (%) in Manitoba by end of Week 1 in May (1:05).

End of Week 1 May Seeding Progress

Based on the May 11th Manitoba Crop Report, overall seeding progress is estimated at 55% complete.  There isn’t a provincial breakdown provided of seeding progress by crop type, but in looking at each region, seeding of spring cereals is ahead of the 5-year average of 2009-2013, and well ahead of 2014!

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, MAFRD 

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Effect of Spring Frost on Emerging Crops

Submitted by Anastasia Kubinec, Manitoba Agriculture, Oilseeds Crop Specialist

Originally posted May 8th and 30th, 2015… May 13, 2016.

Don’t assume because there is frost (or snow) on the ground, that your emerging crop in dead!

With the drop in temperatures in the past couple of days, there are a few things to keep in mind if the mercury dips below 0°C. The temperature is the instigator for causing frost, but whether it is -0.1°C or -4°C the damage inflicted is highly influenced on these other factors:

  1. Duration
    • Short frost = < 2 hours,  may not cause much damage if frost is light (above -1 to -2°C), crop type and staging is tolerant, conditions wet and crop has become acclimatized.
    • Short frost = < 2 hours, but hard frost (lower than -2°C), crops like canola are more sensitive to longer frost vs. cereals, damage can be variable in field and across area.
    • Long frost = > 2 hours, whether frost is light or hard the longer the negative temperatures the more time for damage to happen.  Tolerance by crop type varies.
  2. Other Environmental Conditions
    • Cloudy and wet – prior to a frost, cool temperatures slow plant growth and ‘hardens’ plants off, which will help them tolerate a frost.  Also wet soil helps buffer the cold air effects on the plants, as wet soils change temperature slower than dry soils.
    • Sunny and dry – The combination of a  dramatic drop in air temperatures when plants are actively growing then a brilliant sunny day after the frost event is where we have seen the most damage.  Scouting after the frost (24 and 48 hours) is very important though to assess extent and percentage of field injury.
    • Field trash cover – increased trash in fields was seen to increase frost damage on very susceptible crops in the 2009 June frost
  3. Crop Type
    • Spring Cereals – more tolerant than other crops types, can tolerant to temperatures as low as -6°C as growing point below ground until the 5 leaf stage.
    • Winter Wheat – can withstand very low temperatures for a short period of time (-11°C for less than 2 hours) up until the tillering stage.
    • Corn – smaller then V5, will recover from light frost as growing point below ground. Leaves probably will be killed, but plants will recover if the growing point ok.
    • Oilseeds – environmental conditions impact frost severity on susceptible canola and flax cotyledons. Resiliency increases at the 3-4 leaf stage (canola) or 2nd whorl (flax).  Sunflowers are fairly tolerant  up to the V4 stage.
    • Pulses – peas are most tolerant, then soybean, edibles bean are very susceptible even before emergence.   Field pea crops are rarely lost to frost. Soybean are more sensitive, but the smaller the soybean plant the more tolerant they are  – from emergence to cotyledon can withstand short light frosts.

Scouting After a Frost

Scouting should start 24 – 48 hours after the frost and continue for the 5 days following the frost event.  Look for leaves wilting, looking “water-soaked” or see “frost banding”.  Watch for new growth in the plant.  You do not want to see plants wilted and not perking back up or pinching off on the stem near the growing point (canola, flax, soybeans).  Also assess the area affected by frost, small areas or a few plants damaged are ok, as other plants emerged (or just emerging) will fill in those spaces.  Large dead areas may need to be re-seeded.

If in doubt of what look for, call your local agronomists, local FPE Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture or the Crop Industry Branch.

For more specific details on what actually occurs to plants with a frost and crop specific details and symptoms to look for (and how long after a frost to do assessment) see Manitoba Agriculture’s Spring Frost Damage Bulletin.


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Verticillium Wilt of canola detected in Manitoba

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) has identified Verticillium wilt (Verticillium longisporum) in canola (Brassica napus) in Manitoba. This is the first time this disease has been detected in Canada.

Symptoms of Verticillium wilt in canola as plant fully ripens (photo courtesy of MAFRD)

The disease was visually identified by the MAFRD Crop Diagnostic Centre on a canola sample submitted because patches of wilted canola were observed in a field. The pathogen culture was sent to the National Fungal Identification Service in Ottawa for molecular identification, which confirmed it as Verticillium longisporum.  MAFRD is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to implement biosecurity risk mitigation measures where this pest was detected. The CFIA will conduct further surveying in spring 2015 to determine the spread of the pathogen.
For more information on:
  • Facts about Verticillium Wilt in Canola
  • Management of Verticillium Wilt in Canola
  • Symptoms of Verticillium Wilt in Canola at Harvest

visit MAFRD’s website at:

A factsheet on Verticillium wilt in canola containing information on biology, symptoms of damage, scouting techniques, and control tips is also available on MAFRD’s website at

For more information, please contact MAFRD’s Crop Knowledge Centre at 204-745-5660
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Over the Course of Time: Manitoba Canola Diseases 2009-2014

Canola is one of the most economically important crops produced in Manitoba and yield robbers such as canola diseases need to be identified in order to apply best management practices. For many years, sclerotinia has been the most significant canola disease in Manitoba. However, in recent years the prevalence (% of fields infested) and incidence (% plants infected per field) of blackleg have been increasing.

Disease incidence and severity will change from year to year based on use of genetic resistance in varieties, environmental conditions, and agronomic practices such as crop rotation and fungicide use. Annual surveys of commercial canola crops provide valuable information on the distribution of disease, impact of farming practices on severity and incidence, help agronomists and farmer prioritize where future resources need to be directed, and can provide an early-warning system that provides information on the occurrence of disease/pesticide breakdown.

For more information on the annual Manitoba canola disease survey including methods, results from 2009 to 2014, and further discussion, please view the attached poster which was presented at the 2014 Manitoba Agronomists Conference:

Over the Course of Time Manitoba Canola Diseases 2009_2014 (Kubinec et al., 2014)

For more information on canola diseases in Manitoba, and information on various types of control methods, please visit MAFRD’s website at
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Yields Respectable in 2014 Despite a Challenging Year

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) has released an early version of the 2014 yield report with 99.8% of the Harvest Production Reports (HPRs) keyed in.  The table below summarizes the 2014 average yield by crop type based on the harvested acres, as well as comparisons to 2013 and a 5-year average (2009 to 2013).

2014 yields

In February 2015, MASC will release their annual Yield Manitoba publication and update their Manitoba Management Plus Program (MMPP) website ( where further information on yields and acres by variety will be released.  Additionally, the data will be more complete in February as all HPR’s will be keyed in.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Anastasia Kubinec & Dennis Lange, Crop Specialist with MAFRD

Special Thanks to Doug Wilcox, MASC, for providing the 2014 data!

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Are Your Canola Swaths Turning Black?

Submitted by Holly Derksen, MAFRD Field Crop Pathologist

There have been a number of reports of ripe canola looking black or, in some cases, sooty. Upon closer examination, it looks as if a black mould is growing on senescing plants.

The good news, this sooty growth is caused by saprophytic fungi that only infect tissue that is already dead or dying – these are not pathogenic fungi, although they can be closely related to them. The bad news, in the fields we have been called to, the saprophytic fungi are growing on plants that are senescing earlier than other plants in the field due to the presence of disease, most notably blackleg.

So, although the black “mould” on the plants isn’t the issue itself, it can lead you into the field where you could discover an underlying problem. Once again, we recommend jumping off the swather with a pair of clippers, pulling up plants, and clipping them at the base of the stem to look for discolouration in the cross-section. You can’t do anything about the blackleg in this year’s crop, but the knowledge of its presence can help you with future management decisions. Rotation rotation rotation!!

 sooty mould canola 2014

sooty mould canola 2014-2

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Assessing Sclerotinia Risk in Canola

Early May 2014 seeded canola is now flowering, and later May seeded crops are not too far behind. With the widespread rainfall in Manitoba over the Canada Day weekend, soils are moist to saturated and temperatures are favorable for sclerotinia infection and development.

MAFRI currently does not produce sclerotinia risk maps like we do for Fusarium Head Blight, as we do not have a proven and consistent model to forecast sclerotinia risk.   Alternatively, there is a newly posted risk assessment calculator for sclerotinia spray decisions and economic imapct available at

We have the inoculum as we grow multiple sclerotinia susceptible crop (canola, soybean, sunflower, dry bean, etc.), but risk and disease development is dependent on a combination of inoculum as well as day/night temperature, precipitation, crop canopy and soil moisture.

 Scout and monitor your fields, disease development risk increases (and need for fungicide) if you have the following conditions:

  • Ground is damp to wet and,
  • Canopy is moderately closed to closed (i.e. you cannot see the ground through the leaves), and
  • Canopy is still damp to wet when walking through the field at 10am (i.e. your pants are wet), and
  • Field is at 20 – 50% flowering 


Flowers open  = % flowering?

Find the main stem on the canola plant to assess flowering

  • 10% flowering = 10 open flowers 
  • 20% flowering = 14-16 open flowers 
  • 30% flowering = 20 open flowers, some small pods 
  • 50% flowering = >20 open flowers, small pods and a few well formed

Conditions can change throughout flowering.  If the canopy is wet now at 6 leaf stage, but your plant stand is thinner and the canopy is open and dry at 20% flower you may not feel that you need to spray, but if you are at 10% flowering now, the canopy is thick and the ground is wet, you may want spray.

The MAFRD Guide to Field Protection for Disease Control can be found at

 Prepared by:  Anastasia Kubinec – MAFRI Oilseed Crop Specialist  

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Before You Broadcast Seed Your Canola….

Broadcast seeding canola may be an option you are seriously considering.  Before you do, please make sure you can answer these questions and can implement them in your plan to make sure your crop is viable.

  • Ground-rig or aerial – who are you going to get to seed and have you made sure the equipment is calibrated? Don’t skimp on seed.
  • Can YOU get across the field –  it may be wet, but those seeds still need some soil to seed contact, leaving them on top of the soil does not work. The canola seeds at least, need a light harrowing to get the soil on them and protect them.
  • How are you going to fertilize – if your fertilizer is not on, you need to plan this as well.  Again incorporation is needed, especially for nitrogen to make it is there for you crop to use.
  • Weed control – chances are the weeds are plentiful and a good size.  It may be easier to control before seeding than after. How is this going to happen?
  • Insurance – MASC will cover broadcast seeding of canola both by ground and aerial, but minimum plant stands are needed.  At 5 plants/ft2.  Let MASC know what has been done so the field can be assessed.


Submitted by Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRD Oilseed Crop Specialist.


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June Seeded Canola – How to Reduce Maturity (but Not Sacrifice Yield)

Canola is an extremely adaptable crop that will still profit when seeded in June, but you need to work with what you have! 

Reduced Yield Potential – June seeded is lower yielding that May seeded canola, but the yields will still be there. Plan accordingly though, instead of the 45 bu/ac expectation, back it back 10% to 40 bu/ac and fertilize accordingly (if fertilizer is not already on)

 Table 1: Seeding Date and Yield Potential for Canola by Manitoba Region (MASC)

Seeding Date (week:month) %YIELD (Province) SW Central NW RRV


04:04 103 105 105 104 105 95
01:05 105 102 106 119 105 108
02:05 106 102 104 105 102 105
03:05 102 102 100 104 101 103
04:05 93 95 94 85 98 94
01:06 86 90 87 80 89 90
02:06 78 79 84 85 70 88
03:06 68 70 75 81 67 81


Faster Crop Development – Canola growth and development if based on Growing Degree Days (GDD).  Seeding in June means they add up faster, so May 5 seeded canola (with a cool May) may take 105 days to mature, but a June 5 seeded canola (with a normal June, July, August) could only take 95 days.  In 2014 we are seeing this.  Canola is emerging in 5 day, showing its first true leaf in 10 days and 2nd leaf in 14 days.  This is to our advantage!

Know When First Fall Frost Is – see  Calculate for your area when the first fall frost is expected and backtrack to days needed for canola to get to 50-60% seed color change (about 80 – 85 days).

Use Agronomy to Reduce Maturity (and maintain yield):

These tips can help reduce maturity, they may not be exactly the day indicated, but they will help shave off a few days:

  • Seed shallow: if the moisture is there, target 1/2 inch vs. 1 inch, this can save 1 to 2 days
  • Increase seeding rate: more canola plants means more crop competition between plants, less branching and faster maturity.  The extra plants will make up the yield.  Bonus is flowering and swathing timing will be more even across the crop as well.  Increase seeding rate from 3 lbs to 5 lbs and save 1 day.
  • Put phosphate with the seed: Don’t skimp on this, especially if you know your fields are typically lacking.  Phosphate is important to the early root development and establishment of the plant which helps with maturity later on.  Add you phosphate and don’t go backwards in maturity to save 1 day
  • Add only the nitrogen you need: Excess nitrogen means excessive early vegetative growth which slows down the development of the crop.  Only add what you need and don’t go backwards in maturity or potentially save 1 day.
  • Switch your variety: This may be a no-brainer, but switch to what? See, page 58 or paper guide page 58 to see what your options are.  Also talk to your retailer and seed dealers about what they have (or can get)

You can also give us a call at the Crops Knowledge Centre for more information 204-745-5663


Submitted by Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRD Oilseed Crop Specialist

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