Plant-establishment-general-other

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

    Plant-establishment-general-other

    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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  • How many canola plants are too many?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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-general-other

    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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  • Managing around unharvested acres

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    Alberta still has close to one million unharvested acres as of this week. Saskatchewan and Manitoba also have unharvested acres. Here are some considerations for those acres….

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  • Dealing with ruts

    Plant-establishment-general-other

    There are two problems with ruts in fields:
    1. Ruts increase wear and tear on machinery, reduce operator comfort and disrupt the seed bed. They need to be filled in and levelled off before seeding in spring.
    2. Ruts can mean potential hidden soil compaction which could extend to 24 inches below the depth of the rut. Soils are most susceptible to compaction when soil moisture is near (but not at) field capacity.

    How to fix them….

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  • Tips to prevent and manage soil compaction

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    Manitoba Agriculture soil fertility specialist John Heard shows how compaction affects yield in dry and wet soils. Click image to enlarge.

    At the Soil Compaction Workshop at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s centre in Portage la Prairie, Man., attendees learned…

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  • Young canola more vulnerable to waterlogging

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    Excess water stress small

    A few days in waterlogged soil can be enough to kill young canola plants.

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  • Help for the reseeding decision

    Plant-establishment-general-other

    Thin stand small

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Canola Watch