As summer fades into fall, farmers are taking to their fields to reap what they have sowed. 

The Alberta Canola Producers Commission held their pre-harvest tour this morning as part of CanolaPALOOZA, which has had demonstrations since the spring in their field just south of the Lacombe Research Centre. 

Clint Jurke is with the Canola Council of Canada, and he explains why checking pre-harvest conditions are important not only for harvest, but looking ahead to next year. 

“Harvest management, so making sure you are harvesting your canola crop at the precise time so that you can maximize your profitability and yield potential. Looking at any diseases that may have cost you some yield, so now is a great time to do some assessments about that, and take a look back over the season whether or not you’ve been successful at controlling those disease, insects as well.” 

Kevin Bender is a farmer from the Sylvan Lake and Bentley area, and he was invited to talk about the advantages of straight cutting canola compared to swathing it, where you cut it first, then harvest it off the ground later. 

“Instead of swathing canola, usually you have to cut it a little bit on the green side, but we let it ripped up standing, and then go in and direct harvest it essentially. We don’t cut it and lay it in rows, we go and we cut it and harvest it all in one operation. We think there’s an advantage because we get a little bit bigger seed size, you have one less operation, you don’t have to go through and cut it, and let it lie there.”   

CanolaPALOOZA was held at the same spot back on June 29th, with today's pre harvest tour being the follow up. It's the third year in a row for this event, with the crowd doubling in size every year.

Canola is Canada biggest crop, and contributes the most to the agricultural economy, which is why the Producers Commission spends so much time providing information sessions.