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Yellow flowers in February at CanoLABs

Brandon is hosting the Manitoba version of the Canola Council of Canada’s CanoLAB, which comes to Manitoba for the first time Feb. 28.

“CanoLAB is a truly unique learning experience,” says Dan Orchard, Canola Council of Canada (CCC) agronomy specialist for north-central Alberta.

“You get a full day with an extensive list of professional instructors, and you get to see numerous canola plants exposed to multiple treatments — during the off season.”

Events are being planned by the CCC in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In Manitoba, the lab will be co-hosted by the Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA) and CCC, with help from Assiniboine Community College, on February 28 and March 1 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

The Feb. 28 date that coincides with the Manitoba Canola Growers Association annual general meeting so far is only about half full, said the association’s communications manager Jay Whetter last week.

The second day, priced at $125 for agronomists, is almost full.

The one-day interactive workshop — with real plants, real insects and real diseases — gives growers and agronomists the opportunity to learn from a team of experts how to recognize, diagnose and manage canola production issues.

CanoLABs will have a number of stations, with a different theme for each. Themes include insects, diseases, and diagnostics, with slight variations in each province. Highly regarded experts lead each station.

Registrations are limited to ensure that all participants can see clearly and be fully engaged.

“Keeping the groups small will allow participants to interact directly with the researchers and industry experts at each station,” says Tiffany Martinka, CCC agronomy specialist for eastern Saskatchewan. “Every person will have a chance to get up close to touch or examine the insects and live plant materials.”

Bill Ross, MCGA executive director, said that if growers are looking for tools to help their farm operations, this educational day could bring more dollars to their bottom line than many other events they attend.

“CanoLAB will replicate symptoms that often show up in fields during the growing season, giving growers and agronomists an ideal way to sharpen their diagnostic skills during the winter.”

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