Plant establishment

  • Moisture situation: How much snow-melt enters the soil?

    Plant establishment

    Farmers can count on 20-50% of the moisture from snow-melt to enter the soil. This variability depends a lot on surface soil moisture conditions. A North Dakota study (Willis and Haas) concluded that 50% of snow-melt moisture runs off or evaporates when surface soils (top 30-40 cm) are dry and up to 80% runs off when surface soils are wet.

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  • Enter seed size into canola calculator

    Plant establishment

    As you pick up canola seed, look at the thousand seed weight for each lot and run that through the seed rate calculator at canolacalculator.ca. This will indicate the seeding rate required to hit your target stand.

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  • Plant stand counts: WHY and HOW

    Plant establishment

    Counting stubble density in the fall can help growers determine if their spring seeding rate was adequate to reach the crop’s yield potential. Canola generally needs a bare minimum of 4-5 plants per square foot to reach its yield potential.

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  • How many canola plants are too many?

    Plant establishment

    In one case this year, a grower seeded 2.2-gram thousand seed weight (TSW) canola seed at 5 lb./ac. With very good seed survival due to warm, moist soils, the crop now has 20 plants per square foot. Is the intense competition between these crowded plants likely to result in lower yields?

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  • Plant counts at establishment: How often? Why?

    Plant establishment

    One plant count after emergence may not be enough to tell you about seed survival and whether the seeding rate and seeding tool did the job it was supposed to do. Seedling diseases, flea beetles, frost and other factors can influence seed survival, and unless scouting and counts are done repeatedly through the first few weeks after seeding, these influences may be missed and the seeding tool or other seedbed conditions may be unfairly blamed.

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  • What to do about crusting?

    Plant establishment

    Rain after seeding can often cause top soil to crust, stopping the emergence of canola seedlings. Canola seedlings can’t penetrate the crust, and often curl back and die. No research has been conducted to show the best ways to break up crusting and free the crop. If a few plants have emerged, it may be best to leave them be.

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  • Plant stand evaluation: Frost, drill performance, disease and more

    Plant establishment

    About a week after seeding, growers and agronomists can start to evaluate stands to make sure they’re emerging as expected. Look throughout the field for issues that could be related to drill performance, frost, excess moisture, insects or disease.

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  • How late is too late to seed canola?

    Plant establishment

    Factors in this decision are maturity of the variety, average date of first fall frost, crop insurance deadlines and profit potential of alternative crops.

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  • Spring frost: Take a few days to assess the situation

    Plant establishment

    Growers have two common questions after a spring frost:

    1. Did the crop survive? (Do I need to reseed?)
    2. When can I resume weed control?

    Here are our answers….

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  • Insurance deadlines and last-frost dates

    Plant establishment

    AFSC in Alberta has extended its recommended seeding date deadlines for yield and quality coverage to June 5 for Argentine canola and June 15 for Polish canola. The original deadline was May 31. Yield-only insurance deadline is still June 20. Read more.

    For seeding deadlines in Saskatchewan contact your local SCIC office. Find office contacts and more information here.

    Seeding deadlines for Manitoba are June 15 for Argentine canola in risk area 1, June 10 for Argentine canola in risk area 2 and June 20 for Polish. Read more.

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Canola Watch