Canadian Canola Council recommends method for optimal yield

Farmers should remember this mantra for optimal crop yield, the Canola Council of Canada said: "Seven to 10 plants per square foot emerged uniformly."

“A simple straightforward approach is to stick with the common seeding rate of 5 pounds per acre. That rate often produces enough plants per square foot to maintain yield potential and is easy to remember,” Justine Cornelsen, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, said. “Trimming rates below that standard tend to miss the target plant stand -- and thin stands mean lower profits.”

The reasoning behind this formula is clear: canola stands of fewer than five plants per square foot have lower harvest potential. If the seeding rate is lower, the cost is reduced, but so is the yield. If the grower targets seven to 10 per square foot, it allows for some plant loss while still meeting a quota for harvest.

Additionally, thin stands tend to mature later in the season, throwing off the total yield and creating more of an opportunity for infestation.

To achieve a more precise seeding rate, canola farmers are encouraged to follow guidelines that align with existing soil conditions.

Factors that can increase seed survival, for example, include a consistent and shallow planting depth; optimal sowing speed; safe fertilizing practices; successful penetration of top layers of residue; preserving the seedbed’s integrity; and packing pressure calibrated to the correct amount of moisture in the ground.

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