In 2018, Ontario growers planted 34 per cent more acres of spring canola compared to the previous two years. The most notable increase was in Temiskaming, two hours north of North Bay and along the Ontario-Quebec border.
The OMAFRA Field Crop Team published their spring canola seasonal summary for 2018. Some highlights include:
- A cold and rainy April left fields wet through the ideal timing for planting canola. As a result, there were very few reports of canola being planted before May 5 in Ontario.
- Early planting is advised for canola to avoid swede midge damage and hot temperatures during flowering.
- Hot and dry conditions dominated the mid-summer months of June and July. The combination of high heat and moisture stress caused significant yield loss in some areas, particularly where fields were planted early on sandy soils.
- In terms of diseases and pests, flea beetle pressure was low throughout the season.
- Swede midge damage causing reduced branching was frequently observed in fields through eastern and northern Ontario. Yield loss as a result of swede midge was reported on a few fields in 2018, particularly in Temiskaming District.
- Much of the canola was harvested in August and September; however, a few fields in Temiskaming District were not yet harvested in early November.
- Where canola was under significant moisture stress during high temperatures, some fields were yielding as low as 500 lb/ac but overall many producers finished the canola season with strong yields.
Read the full OMAFRA canola seasonal summary here.