Canola Establishment Part 1 of 2

Branding Ag Excellence
Video Transcript

If you can establish Canola, you’re eighty percent of the way there to having a reasonable crop. The biggest issues come when people have, you know, when people struggle to get good establishment in their Canola crop. First rule is make certain you pick the right paddock. If you’re gonna grow a canola crop, you really wanna pick a paddock that’s got pretty good levels of nutrition.

Picking The Right Paddock for Canola

The sort of paddock you would think you would grow a very good wheat crop in is a really good paddock to start growing your Canola crop in. Weeds aren’t a huge issue with establishment but if you’ve got a relatively weed free paddock that’s obviously a better option than if you’re really pushing Canola into weedy paddocks.

We’re growing Canola after pasture, as the first crop because it’s a really good cereal disease break crop, or we’re growing it after a legume. Now a lot of people are growing Canola after a wheat crop because they’re getting much better broad leaf weed control in their wheat crop. You really need to make certain you don’t have too much stubble there with your Canola crop, to make certain that you do help it get out of the ground as well as you can.

People now are using wider row spacings and stubble retention and they’re using offset seeding from year to year so they’re sowing in between the cereal rows and that works fine, but just make certain that you are actually getting your Canola seed in to reasonable moisture and you’re not having too much stubble there, right around the, in the seeding row.

Soil Conditions Needed for Canola

The sort of soil conditions we need for establishing a Canola crop. If you’re gonna to dry sow, you have to make certain the soil is very dry so you don’t start getting some seeds germinating. A lot of people now do dry sow their Canola and I’ve got no major problem with that, but you’re really relying on having a decent rain coming to get a germination. If you sow when there’s only partial moisture there, you’ve gonna start some seeds germinating and others not.

In the Victorian Mallee for the last two years they’ve had very patchy establishment because of some parts of the paddock having enough moisture for germination, and others being way too dry. What rate Canola runs from one year to another can vary significantly so really check what seeding rate you’re using.

Sow, if you can into good moisture at about 1 to 2 centimeters deep, and really keep a good eye on insect pests and other pests on the crop as it’s coming up because it’s very easy to lose a Canola crop from something incredibly simple. It used to be Red-legged Earth mite but, now it’s a lot of these other issues Earwigs and Millipedes and things like that, so you just have to get out and inspect your crop to make certain you’re having good control of those pests. It’s too risky, we’re losing too much for by having very poor establishment in our Canola crops.

Canola does compensate very, very well for thin crops. But thin patchy crops can cause a lot of management issues later on.

Part Two

Trent Potter, of Yeruga Crop Solutions, speaks about canola establishment in part one of two videos. See part two here:

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