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Agricultural News

Canola Harvest A Struggle with Recent Rains

Sun, 15 Jun 2014 05:53:52 CDT

Canola Harvest A Struggle with Recent Rains

It's been a tough year for canola growers. Throughout much of the growing season there was little moisture to get the crop started and growing. As farmers got into harvest, the monsoon rains also arrived. Heath Sanders, Agronomist for the Great Plains Canola Association told Ron Hays about the challenges facing this year's crop. The full conversation with Sanders can be heard by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

"We've had as much rain in the last 10 days to two weeks than what we have had in the entire growing season," Sanders said.

Unfortunately the timing of the rain is less than ideal as farmers work to harvest their canola crop. This has made harvest extremely difficult to get this year's crop out of the field and in the bin.

"A lot of guys were wanting to get in there, get it out with it and here again its dragging on, dragging out throughout harvest," Sanders said.

Harvest is approximately 50 percent complete. Sanders says there are still quite of few acres that are still sittiing in windrows and there are also quite of few acres of standing canola that farmers will look to direct harvest when fields dry up. With the sporadic nature of rainfall, yields have been all over the board.

"I have heard some south of five bushels per acre on up to some canola fields averaging around 30 bushels to the acre," Sanders said. "I think the top what I have heard so far is around 35."   

A lot of the yields are coming in at 10 to 20 bushels per acre. The biggest variation in yields comes down to a few key rains and freeze damage. Fields that had less freeze damage this spring are fairing much better in terms of yield.

"What I have noticed is that it seems like to me to whoever caught an extra little shower or just had more rain on a field or two, that has been all the difference," Sanders said.

In finishing up the 2014 crop year with canola, Sanders reminders farmers to followup with their crop insurance paperwork and get that turned in a timely fashion especially for those counties that require written agreements.

Hays and Sanders also talked what producers need to think about going into the 2015 crop year. In looking ahead to planting canola this fall, Sanders says farmers need to start thinking about the varieties they will want to plant. He doesn't think seed availability will be an issue, but if farmers are considering certain varieties, then they will want to get their seed ordered in the next month, so they can get their seed secured for this fall.

With the recent rainfall, weeds will also be an issue this summer. As farmers look to apply herbicide for the emerging weeds, Sanders says farmers will also want to make sure their herbicide program matches is in line for planting canola this fall.


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