As we put the final touches on this long season, we are getting ready for next year already and canola seems to be near the top of most lists. So when looking for a canola variety what should be your main reason for growing a variety? Is it yield, harvest ability, disease resistance or maturity? Well of course everyone says it is yield because that is what pays the bills, but one of the things I always recommend, which is top on the list, is the weed control from the system you are choosing. The three main herbicide systems for canola have their strengths and weaknesses but if we understand how to use them we can be very successful in growing a good crop. Understanding your weed spectrum does make your choice very easy so always keep this in mind.
Something else to consider when looking at canola varieties is don’t be afraid to try a new variety on your farm. Every year, we at DynAgra have a very large canola plot that we plant and this year we will have 13 varieties showcased to our growers. What this plot does is help our growers see what the potential of the varieties are in a larger scale (1.5 acre plots) in their area. This makes the decision a little bit easier on what variety to choose. So if you don’t have this type of plot in your area, then take a variety that looks promising for your area and try it out. It is all about keeping the best genetics on your farm. Maybe at the end of the year you will say that it is no better than your old faithful you are growing but what if it is better? I know growers don’t like to have to change their seeding equipment but again it is a good way to understand what is up and coming and how it fits for your own situation.
Data is your best friend at the end of the day when choosing a canola variety so use the resources that are out there like the Canola Council or the seed companies to get that information. These websites are very useful and help to make a decision at the end of the day. And if those don’t help you, ask your retailer. They have a lot invested in their reputation so they will give you a good recommendation for a variety for your area.
I would like to wish everyone season’s greetings and have a very merry Christmas!
Those are my thoughts,
Garth Donald C.C.A.