Canola

Canola, also known as field mustard, was bred naturally from Rapeseed in the 1970's in Manitoba, Canada. A canola plant's life cycle is broken down into nine distinct growth stages from germination to senescence, each of which have specific nutrient requirements.

 

A healthy field of canola growing in Northern Ontario imageUnique Challenges

Growing canola brings unique challenges to a farmer in that the seed is very fine (like a radish) and needs to be sown in a shallow, moist bed of soil to promote even, complete germination. This means that soil structure is very important when growing canola. The soil must have good moisture control and retention. Another challenge with canola is that it is known to be especially disease susceptible. Canola has some unique fertilizer requirements that, when not met, weaken the plant making it more susceptible to disease.

 

Building Soil Structure

So, how does a farmer build good soil structure and stop diseases from ruining his crop? Soil that can retain water has high organic matter. Soil that is high in beneficial microbes is low in disease-causing pathogens. Biologically-friendly fertilizer programs from Agriculture Solutions promote beneficial microbes that greatly reduce the threat of overwhelming disease pressure. These microbes also build organic matter so you can successfully germinate and grow a strong and prolific canola crop year-on-year, in the same field, as opposed to every fourth year like conventional methods would suggest.

 

The Right Fertilizer

Agriculture Solutions offers both conventional and organic fertilizer blends and full-season programs to make your canola the best it can be. Contact us to get more information about creating a customized program for your canola.

 

Sample Canola Program

 

  • If the previous year's rotation allows, consider planting a late season cover crop. This is an efficient and economical way of building soil. In the spring, when the soil has warmed to around 14 degrees C, spray TrueBlend™ Soil Rejuvenator on the soil at a rate of 8 litres per acre. TrueBlend™ Soil Rejuvenator may be mixed with water or mixed in with liquid nitrogen.

    Note: If you are planning to spray glyphosate for a burn-down, also plan on adding Agri-Gro® Ignite S2 to the tank at a rate of ½ litre per acre to stimulate microbial activity and buffer the harmful effects this material can have on your soil's microbial life.

     

  • Treat your seed with a biological seed treatment that contains nutrients, a microbial inoculum, and biological stimulants just before planting.

    A seed treatment such as Seed Start™ will speed germination and fill the soil around your seeds with soluble, plant-available nutrients that will feed your tender, new seedlings. Inoculating with beneficial microbes such as Nutri-Life 4/20™ will heighten microbial activity around the roots of your plants. Microbes will begin digesting soil minerals, releasing them as food to your plants. Over the weeks that follow, nutrient release levels will increase exponentially as microbial populations increase until they reach levels that can build plant health and sustain your canola through even its most demanding stages of growth.


  • Plant with Blend 39 at a rate of 16-20 litres per acre, along with 1/2 liter per acre of Ignite S2. Please note that your application rate will vary depending on results of a soil analysis.


    Canola is much more sensitive to seed-placed fertilizer than corn or cereals. Corn, wheat and spring cereals are monocotyledons, meaning that the seed sends out the shoot and root from opposite ends of the seed, the seed remains basically intact, and the seed coat remains to protect the plant as it emerges. In contrast, canola and soybeans are dicotyledons. So,when they emerge, the two halves of the seed split apart. Some types of fertilizer can burn the tender heart of the seed that is no longer protected by the seed coat. Agriculture Solutions offers friendly solutions for direct application on the seed.

  • Apply Blend 39 at a rate of 8 litres per acre with 1/2 litre per acre of Agri-Gro® FoliarBlend and micronutrients as needed. Use enough water to spray 80-100 litres of total solution per acre.


    Four to eight days after emergence, the seedling develops its first true leaves. The first true leaf to develop and fully expand is frilly in appearance. The plant quickly establishes a rosette with older leaves at the base increasing in size, and smaller, younger leaves developing in the centre. There is no definite number of leaves produced by a canola plant but, under good growing conditions, it will normally produce 9 to 30 leaves on the main stem, depending on variety and growing conditions. During this rosette growth stage, the stem length remains essentially unchanged although its thickness increases.

    The growth rate of the crop is closely related to the amount of solar radiation captured by the leaves. Research has shown that canola leaves influence seed yield at early growth stages by influencing the development of the plant's overall sink capacity, pod set, and early seed development. Rapid leaf development also encourages root growth, reduces soil moisture evaporation, and shades weeds. There is a positive correlation between seed yield and maximum leaf area index (LAI).

  • Apply Blend 39 at a rate of 8 litres per acre with 1/2 litre per acre of Agri-Gro® FoliarBlend and micronutrients as needed. Use enough water to spray 80 - 100 litres of solution per acre.


    Once pods start forming, the stem and pod walls are both major sources of food for seed growth since the pod photosynthetic surface area has greatly increased.

    During the first couple of weeks of seed development, the seed coat expands until the seed is almost full size. The seed is somewhat translucent and resembles a water filled balloon. The seed's embryo now begins to develop and grows rapidly within the seed coat to fill the space previously occupied by fluid. This is when seed weight increases and you have a golden opportunity to affect your yield.

    Any stress leading to a change in the supply of food can cause pods to abort or can cause a reduction in the number of seeds contained in each pod. The stress can be caused by a nutrient deficiency, lack of water or other external source. This is the time to foliar feed to ensure adequate nutrients for great pod fill.

  • Crops grown on our program typically have higher test weight, better nutrient content, higher sugar levels and better flavour. In addition, you'll experience true dry down, not "die down".


    If you follow our program, we expect that your crop will be more resistant to soil and airborne diseases. However, if you feel you must spray a fungicide, consider the advantages of tank-mixing a shot of Agri-Gro® FoliarBlend to your fungicide at a rate of 1/2 litre per acre. We think it will give you better results.