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THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2011 VOL. 89 | NO. 28 | $3.75 MIDGE WARNING | SERVING WESTERN CANADIAN FARM FAMILIES SINCE 1923 | BE ON THE LOOKOUT P5 WWW.PRODUCER.COM SCARY SKIES BRING VIOLENT STORMS A storm system pushed its way from Sundre, Alta., to Red Deer on July 7, dumping up to 200 millimetres of rain and hail and spinning off three tornadoes. For more on the storm, see page 3. | PAT BOOMER PHOTO TRADE | CROSS-BORDER TRAFFIC Canadian wheat unlikely to get warm reception at U.S. elevators Canola roots struggle in wet, compacted soil BY ED WHITE Waterlogged soil | Lack of nutrients causes many fields to bolt early BY ROBERT ARNASON BRANDON BUREAU It has a reputation as a resilient crop, but canola is struggling to rebound from June’s wet growing conditions in southwestern Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta. Many canola fields south of Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park are bolting prematurely because the crop was sitting in soaked soil this spring, said Elmer Kaskiw, a crop production adviser with Manitoba Agriculture. “Canola is the one crop that hasn’t recovered, as of yet, from the excess moisture,” Kaskiw said. Much of the canola in southwestern Manitoba went in the ground before spring rain waterlogged the region’s already wet soil. The rain compacted and pushed the remaining air pockets out of the soil, making it difficult for canola plants to establish healthy roots. “The soil couldn’t breathe… so you’ve got poor root development and (the plants) couldn’t find the nutrients in the soil,” Kaskiw said. The stress impelled the plants to reproduce, which is why many canola fields in southwestern Manitoba were bolting in early July, even though they were only 15 to 20 centimetres high. “It didn’t canopy … so there is poor ground cover,” Kaskiw said. Without a canopy, the canola crop in southwestern Manitoba could actually use a rain because hot WINNIPEG BUREAU weather is drying out soil and plants. However, Kaskiw hasn’t given up on the crop. “Canola has that amazing ability to compensate and recover,” he said. “I think the potential is there to recover, as long as we don’t go into an extended period of time where we get hot temperatures … and no rain.” Murray Hartman, oilseed specialist with Alberta Agriculture, isn’t as confident that canola in southern Alberta will recover from the wet spring. In an article he wrote for the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Hartman said experiments and data on waterlogged canola are limited, but he estimated that yields could be cut in half in some regions. Hauling grain to U.S. elevators once the Canadian Wheat Board loses its monopoly might not be as easy as many prairie farmers hope, says a North Dakota farm leader. “I can’t imagine that there won’t be an almost-insurrection if guys at harvest time are waiting in line behind Canadian trucks,” said Eric Aasmundstad, president of the North Dakota Farmers Bureau. “I wouldn’t doubt that we’re going to see border protests, border blockades.” Cross-border traffic of prairie wheat, barley and durum is now limited by the wheat board system, which makes its own large sales that are generally moved through the rail system. access=subscriber section=news,none,none access=subscriber section=news,crops,none CANOLA ROOTS STRUGGLE, PAGE 2 » CANADIAN WHEAT, PAGE 2 » u|xhHEEJBy00001pzYv#:) JULY 14, 2011 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Box 2500, Saskatoon, SK. S7K 2C4 The Western Producer is published in Saskatoon by Western Producer Publications, which is owned by GVIC Communications Inc. Publisher, Larry Hertz Publications Mail Agreement No. 40069240; Registration No. 10676 AGRONOMY | CANOLA ISSUES

July 14, 2011 - The Western Producer

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