Its been a warm winter and the rapeseed is really starting to bolt. We are probably 3 weeks earlier than we were last year. That could be concerning if we get a hard freeze in the next few weeks.
Some growers didn’t get a great stand, mostly due to the hurricane, and have had to think hard about whether to carry their crop to harvest or let it go. For those who are carrying it to harvest, now is the time for disease control. Most fungicide labels recommend timing applications at 20-30% bloom and possibly another later on. As warm as it’s been, Sclerotinia hasn’t been an issue at all, though we have seen it show up after bloom before. It can get started on the flower petals that drop to the ground and then infect the stems. An early bloom application helps with Alternaria also.
Insect pressure has been low, but if you do see the need to treat for seedpod weevils (The threshold is 2 or more weevils per plant during 50-75% bloom). Just remember that pollinators love those bright yellow flowers too. The best way to avoid pollinators while applying insecticides is to spray first thing in the morning or late in the evening.
For more information on rapeseed and canola production, take a look at this Canola Production page or contact your local Clemson Extension agent.