The forecast that had everyone excited early last week failed to verify, and we did not end up with any rain. This dry trend just does not seem to want to let up. As the low pressure system passed through, the temperatures still cooled down and we ended up with frost on Saturday night and again last night. The Saturday night frost was patchy and did not do much damage, but with high temperatures of 12C yesterday, the soil was not warmed up much, and as the overnight temperatures fell from 3C to -1C depending on area, the soil was not able to act as a buffer. Usually if the daytime temperatures are higher, they can warm the soil up, and at the soil level it can be a few degrees warmer even though the air temperature is lower.
Flea beetles still remain a problem. We are over 70% of the way through spraying for them. Most years the later seeded canola is out of the ground quicker and has faster growing rates and can outgrow the flea beetle damage. This year the seedlings are still not growing quick enough, and with lower plant stands due to dry conditions, we are not taking any chances and spraying at lower thresholds then normal. They can do a lot of irreversible damage in a matter of hours once the seed treatment efficacy wears off.
The good news is the plant stands look decent and the root systems are developing and going down into the moisture. Even though there is limited top growth, the plants are resilient and are putting most of their energy into root production.
Aside from waiting for rain….we have gone through both air drills and did a complete maintenance overhaul on both of them – they are close to ready for #plant20. We have also been busy hauling grain – a few big contracts will be coming up starting next week as well, so that will keep everyone busy.
This next week we will be making a decision to at some point start our in crop herbicide spraying. Normally we like to go in early and control any weeds before they can compete with the crops but this year there is very low weed pressure – the top layer of soil is too dry for the weed seeds to germinate. We also have been going with a 2 pass system on our Invigor canola – Liberty herbicide is not the strongest – and allows us to go early and then just prior to the plant cabbaging out so we keep the fields clean. This year we will likely just be going with the one pass.
They have been teasing us again with rain in the forecast…at some point it just has to verify, lets hope next week we have better news!