Trouble in your canola crop? There’s an app for that

Canola growers and agronomists have a new online tool for diagnosing problems in their crops.

“Often symptoms will look similar for a number of different problems,” said Jay Whetter, communications manager for the Canadian Canola Council.

“You’ll go into a field and it will look like something you’ve seen before. You’ll go, ‘I know what that is.’”

But jumping to the wrong conclusion can be costly.

The new website, www.canoladiagnostictool.ca, offers a “sober second thought” for diagnosing problems such as disease, pests, nutrient deficiencies, or herbicide injury, said Whetter. The website, which can be accessed from the field with a 3G-enabled smartphone or tablet, employs a question-and-answer format. Users select from a list of multiple-choice questions as they progress through the diagnostic tool to eventually narrow down the list of possibilities.

“This tool gives a more analytical and objective look based on what you’re seeing in the field,” said Whetter. “You may end up with 10 or 15 different causes, 12 of which you may not have even thought of before.”

Using the tool may give growers and agronomists more “peace of mind” in making diagnostic decisions by helping them to go beyond their own potentially narrow range of experience, he added.

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