Spring always seems early to me. This year a new flower bore the welcome sign, a bright yellow canola bloom! It won’t be long before the whole field is bursting with blooms which will be visited by another new sight on the farm, commercial bees! They aren’t my bees, but I am hosting them for a few weeks while my crop feeds them valuable pollen in return for what I expect to be an increase in yield that could reach 15%. This type of canola, brassica napus, is known to pollinate just fine on its own, but studies show a valuable increase in yield and maturity. The bees do what the wind would otherwise do, except faster and more thoroughly. It may prove to speed maturity enough to be able to harvest a day or two sooner in June, which will also carry value because we will be able to get the double-crop soybeans in that much sooner. Soybeans need to be planted in a specific window depending on their relative maturity in order to maximize their use of long summer daylight hours.
Later this week, when the effects of 6 inches of rain are mostly gone, I plan to give this crop a does of nitrogen and sulfur as 28% UAN to last it through the critical fast growing period and reproductive stages ahead. I thank the Lord that this rain came before I applied the nitrogen rather than afterward because nitrogen leaches into the soil or runs off to a ditch about as easily as water making it wasted money and potentially harmful to fish downstream.