Wheat School: How Many of Your Seeds Survived to Become Viable Plants?

How many of the seeds put in the ground by your airseeder or drill will actually emerge and become viable plants?

Seedling mortality can vary greatly, but needs to be considered when determining seeding rates, assessing emergence and when planning for next year.

A 5 to 10 percent mortality rate is often assumed when calculating a seeding rate, but as Pam de Rocquigny of Manitoba Agriculture explains in this latest Wheat School discussion, cereal seedling mortality can reach 20 percent, even in decent conditions.

Soil moisture, seed quality, herbicide residues, fertilizer toxicity, planting depth, planting speed, insects, and poor seed to soil contact are just some of the factors that affect seedling mortality.

“There are a lot of things that impact your stand establishment at the end of the day, but knowing what those are can definitely help you going into the future,” she says.

Related: Wheat School: Wheat Seeding Rates for Max Yield — What’s the Ideal?

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