Every field tells a story, and not just through the yield monitor.
From final plant stand figures, to disease pressures, to weed spectrums and control windows, harvest and post-harvest scouting can offer so much information about what to do next year or the next time a field sees this crop again.
To dive in to the post-harvest scouting routine, this episode of The Agronomists features guest-host Kara Oosterhuis with guests Michelle Durnin of Agri-Solve Inc, and Keith Gabert of the Canola Council of Canada.
This episode of The Agronomists is brought to you by ADAMA Canada, Decisive Farming, and the Canola School.
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- It’s Kara!
- So many people in the comments so early. It’s always great to see
- Beauty weather in Alberta, first frost in Ontario
- This is Michelle and Keith’s first time on The Agronomists!
- How are agronomists like doctors?
- Let’s focus on fall weed control, first
- Observe from the combine (and behind it)
- Edible bean ground without glyphosate as an option — dandelions and some other perennials are an issue, especially going in to winter wheat
- Glyphosate really does work exceptionally well in the fall
- Much of the west has not yet had a killing frost, so the window is still open
- Gabert says make sure you use the information you collect at the end of the season on next time that crop is on that land
- Diseases in canola especially: clubroot, blackleg, sclerotinia, and verticillium wilt
- You have to know if you spent enough money on seed, too
- Clip the stems! Need to see what’s at the base of those canola stalks
- What about residue spread?
- Many combines don’t spread the residue the full width of the header and leave a bit of a mess
- Residue management impacts the next spring so much
- Scouting for harvest losses (We did an episode on managing losses not long ago. Find it here)
- Last year in Ontario, there was an incredible amount of soybean and edible bean volunteers
- A frost can kick some of those weeds in to prep for winter mode, so that’s good
- But there is a limit to how late you can spray, depending on conditions
- Too early isn’t good, too
- Cooler means the herbicide choice really matters
- Choice multiple modes of effective action
- Contact herbicides aren’t the go-to in the fall
- Good point: if you can’t get the fall pass done, what is your spring plan?
- What about dust on the weeds? I.e. dust or residue
- It’s a water of weighing the odds, dust reduces efficacy of all
- Edible beans and soybeans get rots as well, but usually scouting/assessment is done in the field
- Sudden death syndrome in soybean need a closer look
- Oddly, these plants hold on to the green (branches) late in the season
- Watch the combine monitor for patches of lower yield and get a diagnoses
- White mould is always and issue, but the dry conditions kept it at bay
- Again, keep good records
- What about brown stem rot? Charcoal rot — it’s suspect, not confirmed
- Check out the base of the stem and roots. Send to a lab!
- Clip 1: Jeanette Gaulthier on canola post-harvest scouting
- Assessing plant stand counts post-harvest are not usually done in the fall for soybeans
- Usually assessed in the spring, i.e. poor planter performance, insect pressure
- But, at harvest, you can see the re-plant results and total population success
- For corn, there are more “stories to read” this time of year
- Serious goosenecking from insects in corn
- With canola, we think about two seeds to get one plant, unlike one-to-one in beans and corn
- Count the stalks, y’all
- It’s the best way to assess the end result of seeding
- Canola compensates, but there are limits
- Assess compaction, moisture levels, and sample that soil!
- Fertility assessment is so key
- Have to talk about clubroot: can we sample in the fall?
- Weedy patches can indicate clubroot
- Look for healthy roots still on the plant. Missing roots can mean the gall is decomposing
- Bag the roots if you have galls, but you should soil sample for testing
- You can lime it, but needs to be worked in — but then remember to sanitize equipment!
- Assess for aphanomyces in pulses too
- Post-harvest/harvest is a time crunch
- Storage! Less than ideal crop coming off? Monitor!
- Safe storage: temperature and moisture
- Good harvest weather isn’t usually the best storage weather
- How dirty is the crop? Grasshopper legs, yo
- Ontario is lucky to have so many great commercial sites managing storage
- Take a really good sample
- Check in with your elevator, could alert you to any issues ahead of time
- How late can you sample for soybean cyst nematode? When there are roots
- Clubroot spore count can be done later in the year, but follow up the next year
- Test the top three-inches, not typical soil depths
- Verticillium wilt building in the Prairies
- It’s easy to miss!
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