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Planting and Yield

Planting and Yield

Best Planting Equipment?

  • Older equipment - use rapeseed setting. Crushing Seed?
  • Control planting depth to 1/4 to 1".
  • Better precision will help to get the right amount of seed in the right place.
  • Row-spacing is very flexible for canola.
  • Wide row-spacing can decrease yields but up to 30% but add benefits in heavy residue scenarios.
  • Ability to plant small seed, without large furrows.
  • Make sure seed is covered but not compacted into the seed wall.
  • Minimize potential for crusting.



Canola Seedbed Preparation

  • The seedbed should be fairly level, moderately firm and moist. You should sink no deeper than the heel of your work boot.
  • If the seedbed is too fine (overworked), it can lose soil moisture and crust.
  • A moderate amount of crop residue on the soil surface is desirable.
  • To help conserve moisture, each tillage operation should be shallower than the one before.
  • Apply preplant fertilizer before final tillage operation
  • The last tillage should occur less than one week before planting. It should bring moisture close to the surface.
  • Rollers (packers) can be used to firm soil and allow moisture into the planting zone.
  • Consider using stale seed bed for planting.
  • Integrate management practices that can minimize potential for crusting.


Canola Planting

  • Grain drills and air seeders can be used to plant canola, but seedbed conditions are more critical for its establishment than for wheat.
  • Factors that hinder stand establishment
    • Lack of soil moisture at planting time.
    • Soil compaction (even by tillage and planting tools)
    • Water-logged soils
    • Crusting after planting
    • Planting equipment causing deep furrows.
  • These conditions need to be eliminated before a stand can be established.
  • No-till canola production shows promise.
  • Stale seed beds will work well.


Canola Planting

  • Canola should be planted 6 weeks before the first killing frost date for the area (less than 25 degrees F).
  • Seeding date is important to establishing a crop that has sufficient growth for good winter hardiness.
  • Planting early tends to decrease winter survival due to excessive growth.
  • Late planting does not allow for sufficient root reserves to maximize winter survival.

Optimum Canola Planting Dates

Canola Seeding Rate

  • Average seeding rates with good seedbed preparation should range from 4.5 to 6 lbs per acre.
  • A final stand of 4 to 10 plants per square foot is ideal.
  • High planting rates produce smaller, less vigorous plants hat are more prone to winterkill.
  • Seeding rates should be reduced if planted earlier than optimum and increased if planted later than optimum.
  • Carefully evaluate a damaged crop in the spring before destroying it. A spring stand of only one or two plants per square foot can compensate for wider spacing between plants by promoting branching.

Canola Seeding Depth and Row Spacing

  • Canola seeds are small, and careful placement at a relatively shallow depth is required.
  • Best germination and emergence occur at 1/2 to 1 inch under conditions of good soil moisture.
  • Canola has difficulty emerging from crusted soil.
  • The 6 to 14" row spacing found on most commercial grain drills is acceptable for canola.
  • Row spacing from 6 to 14" has little impact on yields.
  • Narrower (6 to 8:) spacing provides quicker row closure and can decrease wind shattering prior to harvest.
  • If soil crusting caused by heavy rain is a problem after planting but before emergence, consider a rotary hoe or other light tillage operation and use with caution.

Planting Equipment Problems

  • Small seed hangs is flex tube grooves, uneven flow.
  • Calibration of older equipment.
  • Depth of planting furrow.
  • Seed box leaks in old equipment.
  • Consistent depth of seed placement needed.
  • Good seed to soil contact.
  • Soil conditions at planting.
  • Crushing seed with older equipment.



Seed Grinding Problems