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Canola Watch Alert: Canola crops missing flowers and pods likely due to early season environmental stress

Canola growers across Alberta and BC are seeing canola in their fields with racemes (stems) which should be producing flowers and pods, but this normal sequence of pod formation has not happened. Consensus upon field inspection and consultation with experts is that early season environmental stress resulted in a hormonal imbalance. This causes the growing point(s) in the canola plants to stop growing, producing these abnormal racemes and sterile pods. However, favourable environmental conditions over the past 30 days should alleviate these symptoms.

We are confident these symptoms, in the fields and samples inspected, are not the result of recent insect feeding. Growers are encouraged to continue to actively manage their crop using economic thresholds and expected return on investment to guide crop inputs. We are not aware of any crop protection or fertilizer application that can alleviate these symptoms.

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Common Smut in Corn: How to Identify and Manage

Video: Common Smut in Corn: How to Identify and Manage

In this video, Pioneer Field Agronomist Rex Brandon shows how to identify common smut in your corn fields, what smut is, and how it can be managed. Common smut is a fungus that can be found anywhere corn is grown. It can survive in the soil over winter and occurs more in fields with high nitrogen and high organic matter. Sand blasting from wind, or anything that can break down the leaf cells can allow smut to thrive. Good plant health and managing the amount of nitrogen applied to the corn can help manage and prevent common smut from propagating. Keeping corn healthy, injury free, and preventing stress can also help. Insect feeding is another entry point for common smut, so keeping insects off your corn can also help prevent it. Hybrid selection also plays a role, if you have high historical common smut pressure, consider selecting a hybrid that has higher tolerance for common smut.