Canola School: Late frost? Avoid immediate spraying

Canola five days after frost.

For many in Western Canada, making it through the Victoria Day long weekend often means we are in the clear from Jack Frost. We also know with every anecdotal rule comes an exception.

Part of the central Prairies did see low to freezing temps late this season and that’s prompted several questions about if there’s anything to do to help a frost-damaged crop or if there are any risks to avoid.

To help identify frost damage and to answer the question of whether or not canola can grow through it, Leighton Blashko of BASF joins Kara Oosterhuis for this Canola School.

Blashko says for a bit of a later season frost, there’s not much that needs to be done. The parts of the plant that are impacted will turn a white/yellow colour before dying off.

“You can see this plant is already sending new leaves,” he explains in the video below. Even though not a lot can be done, Blashko says it is important to diagnose it. “It’s good to know what risk causing that yellowing or white colour on the plant that would be of interest.”

If it is frost damaged, the key thing to avoid, says Blashko, is spraying while the crop is recovering. Because crops need to metabolize herbicides, avoiding immediate spraying ensures crop safety from the herbicide.

“Also, from weed standpoint, you want it to be actively growing so that it can take in and translocate a herbicide to the target site, to get really good weed control. If you have damage to leaf tissue on either weeds or the crop, there’s definitely going to be increased crop response, or much poorer wee control,” he explains.

Check out the full conversation, below:

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