Reptrospective Year in Review – Falco™ ABMs Talk 2019
A select group of canola growers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan trialed Falco™ 68K and 79K canola for the 2019 growing season. Here’s what Falco™ Area Business Managers Paige Stewart (Southeast Saskatchewan) and Aaron Bolduc (Eastern Manitoba) had to say about their growers’ experiences.
PS: This was our first selling season in Saskatchewan. Overall, I’m really excited, and that’s in spite of very, very challenging growing conditions. Falco™ canola has seemed to pull through on most of those tough situations. I’m very happy with the resiliency of the plant.
AB: Falco™’s performance has been really consistent. And that’s in spite of a tough couple of years for canola.
On Season-Long Challenges
PS: I don’t think I can emphasize enough just how difficult it was for our growers. In my territory, we’ve gone from basically 100% drought on all farms — we had no rain for the first 45 days — to being too wet.
AB: First we had no rain, then flea beetles, then grasshoppers, and a very wet end of the season.
PS: We have a stronger history of cutworm in our territory, so our growers used a higher-end seed treatment. We had some issues with flea beetle, but the seed treatment definitely helped with that, so it’s less of an issue than in other growing areas. The big challenge for us was that drought.
PS: Some of my growers ended up seeding Falco™ on really challenging fields. We had some crops put on pasture breaking, which is drier than dry, and a few crops on organic recovery land, which is very weedy. And Falco™ did really well. I believe it did as good as any other system you could’ve put there.
That’s probably due in large part to the chemistry. It suits a lot of the challenging weeds that don’t get talked about often. I’ve found that growers usually get pigeonholed into dealing with one or two weeds, and they forget about the others. Saskatchewan has some really bad, really large broadleaf weeds that most don’t consider in their weed management plan. And because the Falco™ canola system was equipped to deal with them, my growers didn’t have to throw so much money at the pre-burn. They got the weeds later and had the flexibility to wait a little longer before spraying.
Our canola crops don’t have as much potential as those in highly productive soil zones, such as Manitoba, so our growers don’t throw as much money at it early on. They prefer to just ride it out. I heard a lot of growers say, Falco™ seemed to be riding out better than some of its competitors in the market. That was really great to hear.
AB: The consistency of Falco™ is just a real advantage.
On Grower Feedback
PS: It has great vigor. It really does stand in there, especially 79K coming out of the ground. Come August, it was very impressive. These are later season varieties, and those late rains gave it a huge advantage. Our hybrids took off with branching and set these gigantic pods.
AB: It exceeded expectations, especially in terms of yield and consistency.
PS: Especially with such a challenging season, I was surprised at how positive grower sentiment was. I’ve heard from several farmers who feel it might be the best thing they’ve grown this season. Actually, a number of growers who didn’t participate came to me or to their retailer afterwards, saying that they regretted not giving Falco™ a try.
Advice for Future Falco™ Growers
PS: There’s definitely a need for change in the canola industry. So for the grower who wants to try something new, Falco™ canola is a great fit. They can get a great ROI without having to babysit their hybrid or spend a great deal on inputs.
PS: When you’re evaluating Falco™’s performance in the field, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and giving it a fair shot. Canola growing on pasture breaking is just not going to do as well as canola planted in the ideal field, for example.
AB: Falco™ is here to stay, and we’ve got a pipeline of exciting new developments for upcoming seasons. To growers who value consistency, for those who want to try something new, for those who are looking for a canola system that offers multiple modes of action and rewards good stewardship practices, keep an eye on us. This is a canola to watch.
PS: Our core Falco™ growers are early adopters, those looking for a change in the canola industry. I always tell my growers, think of this canola as a gateway to better things. We’re at the start of our journey. We are still perfecting this product, but if you’re interested in trying something new, you can be part of the evolution of Falco™. You get to help shape what it becomes.