Canola seeding rates depend on survivability in-field

At this point in the year, plenty of growers have booked their canola varieties for the upcoming season or are trying to sort that decision out as quickly as possible.

There’s been increased focus over the past few years on reducing seeding rates, and it’s a good question to explore says Russell Trischuk, InVigor technical lead at BASF Canada in this interview from RealAg Radio with Shaun Haney.

“I think the way to approach it is: what is the target plant population that you want to achieve? Because the seeding rate is really going to be dictated based off of the survivability that you see in any field,” says Trischuk.

BASF recommends a target plant population of five to seven canola plants per square foot, which is aligned with what the Canola Council of Canada recommends, says Trischuk.

“We know many growers who have a very good idea of their survivability, and if you have a survivability of let’s say 80 per cent and you put 10 seeds per square foot down, then you’re going to achieve the top end of the five to seven plants per square foot,” he says.

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Flea beetles will certainly throw a wrench into the survivability equation and affect the target plant population for growers in all areas.

In certain parts of Manitoba, the adoption of planters has been more prevalent because of corn and soybeans grown as well, compared to the rest of Western Canada. Some growers have been able to go to a lower seeding rate with a planter, and take into account flea beetle population, and have had to increase their seeding rate to achieve the five to seven plant density.

Trischuk says that some growers even have their seeding rates adjusted on a per field basis, because they’ve evaluated the survivability in each field. It’s also an evaluation that needs to be done a few times throughout the season  — to determine the “catch,” through to harvest.