Seeding rate

  • Seed survival: Are you at 60%?

    Seeding rate

    The seeding rate calculator at canolacalculator.ca defaults to 60% seed survival, which is fairly typical for canola in Western Canada. If choosing the default isn’t your style, the best way to find out the typical seed mortality in your system is to start doing your own stand counts and cross-referencing that with your actual seeding […]

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  • Seed right the first time

    Seeding rate

    Taking time to seed right can improve seed survival and produce an even stand with top yield potential.

    In early to mid May, when seeding is in full swing and conditions are good, growers can slow down and take their time. Canola growers have four good economic reasons to do so….

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  • How many canola plants do you need?

    Seeding rate

    The new target plant stand and seeding rate calculators at canolacalculator.ca will help determine the correct plant stand for an individual field.

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  • How many canola plants do you need?

    Seeding rate

    The new target plant stand and seeding rate calculators at canolacalculator.ca will help determine the correct plant stand for an individual field.

    READ MORE

  • Find your seeding rate at canolacalculator.ca

    Seeding rate

    The new Canola Calculator has two tools to help growers set seeding rates and plant stands that match seed size, risk factors and estimated seed survival.

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  • New calculator matches seeding rate to risk factors

    Seeding rate

    The new Canola Calculator has two tools to help growers set seeding rates and plant stands that match seed size, risk factors and estimated seed survival.

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  • Calculate how many plants your seeding rate provides

    Seeding rate

    Taking plant counts with quarter-metre square.

    We had a grower ask about how many seeds per square foot he would have if he seeded 5g TKW seed at 5.5 lb./ac. Here are the steps to calculate…

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  • Economics of a high canola seeding rate

    Seeding rate

    Seeding canola JONWhetter small

    Achieving 7 to 10 plants per square foot can mean some high seeding rates for seed with large thousand seed weights (TSW). Therefore, going much above 6 lb./ac. is not generally recommended — regardless of TSW. The better agronomic strategy is to put effort into increasing seed survival rather than invest in a higher seeding rate.

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  • Confused about seeding rates? Take notes, check emergence

    Seeding rate

    Growers uncertain about which canola seeding rate to use should start with 5 lb./ac., then tweak. See the full article on this topic.

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  • Seed rate: Start at 5 lb./ac. and tweak from there

    Seeding rate

    Hybrid canola stands with fewer than 5 plants per square foot cannot reach their yield potential. You want at least 5 plants and ideally 7-10 to allow for some plant loss to disease and insects.

    For growers who want to keep things simple, a standard seeding rate of 5 lb./ac. should meet the basic needs of stand establishment — as long as all other steps for a good stand are followed.

    Growers who want a seeding rate that establishes 7 to 10 plants per square foot — 4 plants is about the minimum but you should add a few extra plants for a safety cushion — will want to adjust the seeding rate based on seeding date (cool soils may require a higher seeding rate given the likelihood of higher seeding mortality) and thousand seed weight. Read how to do that.

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  • TSW just one factor in plant population

    Seeding rate

    TKW is added to the side of this blue tag.

    With an average seeding rate of 5 lb./ac., an average thousand seed weight (TSW) of 5 grams, and 50% seed survival rate, the result is only 5.2 plants per square foot. This doesn’t leave much margin for error — especially given the ideal target is 7 to 10 plants per square foot.

    Seed with a lighter TSW can improve your plant counts, but agronomy measures to improve seed survival can also make a big difference. Here are ways to increase seed survival and get more from a seed investment….

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  • Buy enough seed to meet population targets

    Seeding rate

    Canola stems

    The ideal canola stand will have 7-10 plants per square foot. Canola needs a minimum of 4-5 plants per square foot, on average, to reach its yield potential. A few extra plants improves the chance of hitting yield targets, and allows for some plant loss to insects and disease. Canola with plant populations below 4-5 per square foot can still yield fairly well under good growing conditions and with good pest management, but it will not likely reach its yield potential.

    The seeding tool used to put in the crop does not change this fact.

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  • Are you above average?

    Seeding rate

    If plant counts are lower than you expected based on your seeding rate, taking time now to figure out why will help fix the problem for next year. Use the Canola Diagnostic Tool to help. While scouting, look for the following, which will help with the diagnosis:

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  • Not a year to cut seeding rates

    Seeding rate

    Seeding at speeds too high for the drill and conditions can result in a stand like this one. Source: Blaine Metzger

    Without attention to seeding speed, drill maintenance and other factors that lead to poor seed survival, a canola stand can easily look like this one. A uniform 7 to 10 plants per square foot helps canola meet its yield potential AND mature faster.

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  • Seeding rate strategy to make the most of your genetics

    Seeding rate

    For the variety you have chosen to reach its full potential, it is important to get an adequate number of healthy plants growing. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada surveys of canola fields in Alberta in 2010 and Saskatchewan fields in 2012 found that only about half of fields achieved an average of 5 plants or more per square foot. Canola plant stands with fewer than 5 plants per square foot will almost always have yield loss compared to the same variety at 5 or more plants per square foot.

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