By Matthew Bernard, AAg, MSc, Provincial Specialists, Oilseeds, Regina
With harvest just around the corner, it is worthwhile taking a look at information that will help make life a bit easier during this busy time. Whether this is your first year farming or if you are hanging up your hat for good this fall, it seems there is always something new to learn.
Fortunately, there are many very knowledgeable people and useful resources available. Here are some documents worth printing, bookmarking, or signing up for. The cherry on top is that these are all free.
The Canola Council of Canada maintains an online encyclopedia that provides information on everything from fertility, to field prep, to storage and references decades of peer-reviewed publications. Click the "managing harvest" section for information on swath timing, desiccating, combining and more.
The Canola Council of Canada also publishes a weekly newsletter called CanolaWatch. This time of year, it is sent out each week with information on timely topics. The information in each newsletter arises from Prairie-wide discussions between Canola Council agronomy specialists in collaboration with provincial specialists, entomologists, pathologists, researchers, and the provincial commodity groups such as SaskCanola.
The Flax Council of Canada is operating on a reduced-service basis, but still hosts the website which includes a very detailed grower manual. Their former agronomist, in collaboration with provincial specialists across the Prairies, also published a timely mail-out called Flax TIPs in response to timely issues; these are still accessible as well. Look for the harvest-specific articles there. SaskFlax has since assumed this role and the new but similar iteration is called Flax on the Farm and is posted each month on their home page.
In recent years, SaskMustard has assembled a great production manual available to read online or for printing. Harvest information can be found there, as well as information on a broad range of topics from the uses of mustard to field selection to grading. This is also updated as the industry evolves.
A general production manual exists with the National Sunflower Association of Canada, but if you are looking for Saskatchewan-specific information check out the no-till production guide published this year by the Saskatchewan Sunflower Committee.
The ministry has a very handy guide for camelina production. Check the last couple pages for harvest tips of this niche crop.