Mother Nature just doesn’t want to cooperate this year. Much of the prairies have experienced some significant moisture over the past couple weeks, and in many places that moisture came as heavy wet snow. This is all after below average rainfall during the growing season. I look forward to the weather clearing up and the farmers getting back into the fields to finish out harvest activities.
As we near the end of our journey, I start reflecting on the season that passed wondering if we could have done something differently, whether it be the nutrients themselves or application timing of some nutrients. That’s the beauty of hindsight: it does give us the opportunity to reflect on plans executed. I can say that I will always look to improve upon what is happening and when I look back on this year, I am confident that we have done lots to set the crop up to be as successful as possible. Will we reach the 100 bushel goal? That is still to be determined, but with below average moisture on the season, it does appear to be a bit of a longshot.
Through some of the reflection, the one thing that sticks out is timing of the nutrient applications. I keep wondering if we were timely enough in applications and if we could have done better. Crop demand curves suggest that we need to make sure the nutrients are available to the plant when they go through periods of high demand, such as the huge amount of growth from 6 leaf canola through bolting and into flowering and then podding. Using boron as an example, I would much rather see the application of YaraVita BORTRAC happen at the second herbicide pass so that it is available for the plant through high demands than waiting for fungicide timing. Prior to fungicide application, there is huge demand for boron.
Boron is used throughout the growing season by the plant. As you can see in picture above, the boron is needed early on in root growth. It works in conjunction with zinc in establishing a solid root structure that has the capabilities to search out other nutrients and water.
After establishment, boron, along with calcium and copper play important roles in managing cell wall integrity and overall plant structure. This role allows the crop to grow effectively and efficiently, allowing it to stand capture sunlight.
Later on, boron plays an important role in pollen viability and in the development of flowers and fruit. This allows for more even flowering and more seeds per pod.
Providing that constant supply of boron throughout the growing season can be a challenge as boron is mobile in the soil and can be prone to leaching out of root zone, and is relatively immobile in the plant so it can’t be moved around where it is most needed. Because of this, it is important to look at the whole nutrition plan for opportunities to add boron to make sure we have sufficient nutrients to meet demand.
YaraVita PROCOTE B is a great start to provide boron early on, as well as season long feeding. Coming in with herbicide and using YaraVita BORTRAC can provide another boost of nutrition prior to vegetative growth and allow for the boron to be there through flowering.
We are well into September and waiting impatiently for the weather to clear so that we can harvest the crop and see the results. It will be exciting once the combine starts rolling through it just to see where we ended up and then using that information to start planning again for next season wondering what are the possibilities.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our journey to 100 canola bushels so far!
Cody Vogel - Sales Agronomist, Yara Canada