Derek's Notes

Cleaver Management in Canola


~Today’s blog brought to you by Dwight Willoughby


Cleaver is an inseparable seed in canola,  so beyond weed completion cleavers can be devastating to canola production.  Cleavers can produce 3,500 seeds and a canola seed sample with > 2% cleavers will be graded sample, meaning a huge economic hit to canola producers.

To manage cleavers operations need a crop rotation approach to maximize control to reduce cleavers spreading.  Awareness and catching infestations early is very important to prevent seed multiplying especially since cleavers can persist in the soil for up to 3 years.

Keys to Cleaver Management

  •  Don’t use farm saved seed from cleaver infested fields, plant certified seed for your rotation
  • Cleavers is a winter and spring annual so scout in the fall, control cleavers in the fall in winter wheat
  • Burnoff winter annuals before cleavers get too big for incrop control in the spring
  • Time weed control based on the herbicide window recommended, do not stretch rates
  • Use Clearfield canola for the best herbicide production system
  • As  you rotate crops take advantage to rotate herbicide groups over the field’s history to prevent resistance
  • Consider preharvest glyphosate  where appropriate

Inoculants Choices

Cell-Tech_tag_7472TagTeam4CJumpStart4C  Optimize_tag_354


~ Today’s blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby P Ag, CCSC



??? CHOICES ??? 

Choosing soybean inoculants will depend on field history of soybeans and your seeding tool.  There are lots of choices; from liquids, to peat and to granular.  This blog is written as a guide for your farm.  Derek Erb Seeds supplies BASF and Novozyme products.

Every legume plant has a specific bacterium to nodulation, soybeans use Bradyrhizobium japonicum bacteria to fix nitrogen. Bradyrhizobium japonicum is not native to our soils therefore we must inoculate the seed and soil with this bacteria in order for nodules to form on roots which produce nitrogen for the plant Properly nodulated soybeans will fix up to 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre.  Native rhizobial populations tend to be poor or inefficient nitrogen fixers.  Soybeans benefit from effective inoculation that leads to more uniform & stronger plant growth.  Visible nodules can be seen on the roots as early as first trifoliate V1 stage (soybean). Nodules will become fully functional around the third trifoliate (V3) stage.

bulkseedhandling-gentleDerek Erb is certified by CFIA as a Bulk Storage Facility Operator, we operate an USC seed treater that accurately meters.







Liquid Inoculants

The vast majority of soybeans farmers use liquid inoculants applied directly to the seed. Extenders are recommended to keep the rhizobia viable longer if seeding is delayed. Seed applied liquid inoculants tend to form nodules closer to where the primary root is located where as in-furrow applied granular or peat inoculants tend to form nodules on the secondary or lateral roots. Combing the two formulations allows for wider distribution along the whole root system

  • Optimize liquid inoculant combines rhizobia and LCO Promoter Technology that enhances soybean root and shoot development helping nodulation to get off to a faster start. Optimize has a 120 day planting window This is independent of the variety, soil and environmental conditions enabling your soybean crop to achieve its full genetic potential.  The result? Enhanced nutritional capabilities that produce earlier, better nodulation, and ultimately increased yields with higher ROI.

Peat Inoculants

The peat based products are single-action nitrogen fixing rhizoba, and considered the best valued price point. Stickers are formulated into these products by manufactures. Once the bag is opened the inoculant has a 48 hour on-seed survivability. Derek Erb Seeds offers Cell -Tech and Nodulator N/T plus Tag Team Peat is another version of Cell-Tech combined with JumpStart.

Cell Tech peat delivers effective single-action (nitrogen only) performance. 

Nodulator N/T Self-adhering peat is a sterile peat-based carrier for nitrogen-fixing rhizobia.  It is BioStacked for delivery of multiple beneficial bioactives.

Novozymes’ TagTeam has two active ingredients: a superior rhizobia strain + the phosphate solubilizing fungus Penicillium bilaii  (the active ingredient in JumpStart®) TagTeam is the only MultiAction® soybean fertility tool that delivers the synergy of more fixed nitrogen and better access to soil and fertilizer phosphate.

Granular Inoculants

The granular inoculants are manufactured as clay or peat based. Granulars are a rugged carrier for rhizobia enabling the bacterium to survive up to 120 days.  In the spring wet, cool conditions are not an ideal habitat for inoculants.   Granuales are the best way to minimize the risk of rhizobia dying off in.  Granulars are applied directly with the seed in the seed row and the market trend shows farmers prefer granular versus peat.  Farmers like a uniform product for better flowablity and granular are less likely to bridge. Do not leave granular in the tank overnight as condensation can cause lumps to form.

  • Cell Tech granular is a peat granular that should be applied directly with the seed in the seed row.  Application rates vary according to row spacing, do not mix Cell-Tech in the same tank with seed or fertilizer Cell-Tech is available in bags or totes.
  • Nodulator Solid Core is a free-flowing clay granular inoculant ideal for use with air seeders, this technology is an advanced carrier for new rhizobia strain. Solid Core has a uniform range of granule size leading to better handling, placement and performance.  It is more resistant to crumbling and virtually dust free.

Common Inoculate double applications

Air Seeder/drill Option

  • Liquid on seed granular in furrow
  • Liquid and Peat on seed

Planter Options

  • 2x liquid on seed
  • Liquid and peat on seed

Commonly Asked questions about Inoculants 

Q.  Storage recommendations.  

A. Keep inoculated seed as cool as possible, and out of direct sunlight/drying winds as much as possible.


Q. Do I need to add a sticker to peat?
A. Each manufacture has formulated a sticking agent eliminating the need to spend money on it.


Q. How long will peat survive? 

A. The rhizobia will survive 48 hours once bags are opened allowing more time than the liquid to get product in the ground versus just liquid inoculant -SA Peat is more compatible with seed treatments, and in fact some seed treatments don’t decrease the life span of the rhizobia at all.  Again take a look at the charts.


Q. Why is storage of Inoculants important?

A. Rhizobia are living organism.  Each formulation or carrier requires specific storage.  Please read all labels.


Q. How do I calibrate my seeding tool for granular?

A. No different than canola really.  Each manufacturer has specific settings to use.  Check with your seed cart Manufacture guide to determine what roller to use.  Some Manufactures have created after market rollers for canola and granular inoculants that can be purchased.


Q. Can I put the granulars in mid row?

A. Optimal placement is just below seed bed or in seed bed.  We don’t recommend placement in mid row.


Q. We are seeding on virgin ground.  What should I use?  

A. Double Inoculation on ‘virgin ground’

In furrow (granular or liquid) in combination with on seed formulation (liquid or peat)

Double on seed application (liquid and peat)

Why inoculate if I have soybeans in my rotation

  •  Why do we get a reduction of ‘native’ Rhizobia for effective inoculation
  •  Anaerobic Conditions
  •  Approximately 10 days of flooding or saturated soil (standing water)
  • No soybeans in last three years
  • Length of time between soybean crops
  • pH below 6.0 – acidic soils
  • High sand content (low organic matter)
  • Cold Temperature generally does not affect rhizobia survival


Benefits of Soybean Seed Treatments


Now that soybeans have become a big part of our crop rotations, management of this crop must change going forward. We have talked about how we need better nutrient management in an earlier blog, disease is another area we need to manage better.

Disease management starts with protecting the seed from seedling diseases such as Phytophthora,  Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Pythium.  Given our soil type and planting weather, we are at a greater risk than other areas for favorable development of many of these diseases.  Soybeans are usually dealing with stress at emergence and as you know the quicker we can get those beans out of the ground our chances of a good crop increase. Seed treatments can help manage that stress.

Potential Benefits of Seed Treatment

  • Improved plant stands
  • Improved seedling vigor
  • Wider planting window
  • Quicker and uniform emergence
  • Earlier canopy closure

EverGol Energy (Bayer CropScience) is the newest seed treatment at a very attractive price point which makes the return on investment decision much easier to make. It is our opinion that going forward seed treatment is an important tool to minimize risk and increase yield potential.

Please help us to plan ahead for your seed treatment choice this spring.  Contact us so we can secure your product in advance.




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