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.
- 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 Seeding Date
- 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.
Planting Equipment Problems
Seed Grinding Problems
How to do a Canola Plant Count (see .pdf below)