Ontario Field Crop Report
2007 Edible Bean and Canola Summary

Table of Contents

  1. Edible Bean Summary
  2. Challenges and Opportunities for 2008
  3. Canola Seasonal Summary
  4. Canola Challenges and Opportunities For 2008

Technical information can be obtained at the OMAFRA Field Crops Webpage and Crop Pest Ontario. Referenced OMAFRA Publications include the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops (Publication 811), the Field Crop Protection Guide (Publication 812), Guide to Weed Control (Publication 75), and Ontario Weeds (Publication 505). These can be obtained from your OMAFRA Resource Centre, or by calling 1-800-668-9938.

Edible Bean Seasonal Summary

Edible beans struggled to maintain acreage this year, competing against stronger corn and soybean prices. White bean acreage in 2007 was 80,000 - 85,000 acres, which exceeded the early-spring planting intentions of 65,000. However, acreage was down from the 93,000 acres planted in 2006. Coloured bean acreage remained close to historic average of 65,000 -70,000 acres.

Growing Season

Drier conditions allowed for timely planting into good soil conditions. The majority of beans were planted between May 25th and June 10th. Excellent, early growing conditions gave way to a summer of low rainfall that carried through the entire grain fill process. Early planted beans (last week of May) missed the few rain showers that occurred and plants ripened and senesced rapidly. Later planted beans yielded 10 - 20% higher. Yields averaged 12 - 14 cwt/ac. Areas that received more timely rains reported near record edible bean yields. White, black, and adzuki beans tended to yield better than other market classes. Quality was fair to good. The main issues were seed size and checked seed coat, due to low seed moisture. Seed size was disappointing on coloured beans, with early maturing types averaging 200 - 220 seeds per 100 grams instead of the preferred 175 - 180 seeds per 100 grams.

Edible Bean Pests

Cruiser seed treatment provided excellent control of early season leafhoppers. Bean leaf beetle, spider mites and tarnished plant bugs were prevalent during late summer with populations high enough to warrant control. Viral diseases spread by aphids and thrips were identified in several later planted edible bean fields.

Challenges and Opportunities For 2008

Managing Edible Bean Pests

The edible bean industry was quick to adopt Cruiser seed treatment for effective early-season control of leafhoppers. Other new seed treatments and foliar fungicides may soon become available. Various late-season insect pests, including bean leaf beetle, spider mites, and tarnished plant bug, do not have economic thresholds for control established in Ontario. Viral diseases which can be spread by aphids and thrips may require increased monitoring and control strategies. Select varieties with resistance to bean common mosaic virus, and anthracnose. OAC Rex is the first white bean variety with resistance to common bacterial blight.

Nitrogen Management

Ontario research does not support the use of nitrogen except where root rot is a problem. Manitoba research supports higher rates to increase plant height when edible beans are grown in narrow rows. Further investigation is required.

Canola Seasonal Summary

Canola acreage has struggled to recover to levels prior to 2005, with growers planting just 23,000 acres in 2007. Much of the spring canola experienced a very dry growing season, but finished with a respectable provincial average yield of 0.77 tonnes/acre. This is close to the long term average of 0.8 tonnes/acre. Quality concerns from brown seeds were eased, as most of the crop met Grade 1 standards.

Spring Planting

Drier conditions allowed for timely planting into excellent soil conditions. Emergence was uneven in fields with variable soil moisture. Flea beetle pressure was low in most of the canola crop.

Growing Season

Dry, cool conditions promoted excellent growth and early canopy closure. Dry conditions kept disease pressure at very low levels. Several frosts in May caused some minor injury. Dry conditions that persisted through to maturity caused significant plant wilting and flower blasting. Swede midge affected several late-May planted fields. Dry, warm weather was favourable for late-season canola insect pests. Diamond back moth populations were higher than in past years, with some fields reaching economic thresholds. Tarnished plant bug pressure was high during flowering and pod fill.

Green stems were a challenge for harvest. 'Heat damaged' seed became a concern with the extremely dry conditions. However, quality was good and the crop yielded much better than anticipated.

Winter Canola

Survival of winter canola was poor to fair on clay soils and poorly drained fields, but excellent on well drained fields. Hard frosts in late-May resulted in some 'goose necking' and flower abortion. Populations of cabbage seedpod weevil were lower than in previous years. Winter canola yields varied widely depending on rainfall, from 0.6 to 1.75 tonnes/acre.

Dry conditions in August to September allowed timely planting of winter canola this fall. Many stands went into winter with a huge canopy of top growth, raising questions about the impact this may have on winter survival.

Canola Challenges and Opportunities For 2008

Managing Pests

Swede midge is a potential pest of late-planted canola. High tarnished plant bug (TPB) populations have become a more regular occurrence the past few years. There is little Ontario data on the yield and seed quality impacts, or economic thresholds for these two pests. There is evidence that TPB and cabbage seedpod weevil contribute to increased levels of brown seed. New fungicides products for sclerotinia continue to become available.

Market Opportunities

Canola continues to have value in a crop rotation. Opportunities are being explored for growers to participate in the growing demand for healthy, specialty oil trait canola varieties. Strong interest exists in the bio-diesel and bio-products sectors.

Alternative Winter Cash Crop

Winter canola has excellent potential as an alternative winter cash crop. Hybrids with 1.5 - 2.0 tonnes/acre yield potential and improved winter survival look promising. Very little research or field trial data exists to support optimum management practices for winter canola.

Spring Canola Best Management Practices

Research and field trials in spring canola have demonstrated the opportunity for improved yields and higher returns. Additional replicated field trials will validate which management practices will provide the highest payback.

For more information:
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E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca