Canola School: Using a stand establishment tool to find an ideal seeding rate

Your perfect stand of canola and someone else’s idea of a perfect stand of canola could be significantly different. More than that, any two seed lots could have a significantly different seed size, and that translates to having to move away from one “rule of thumb” pounds per acre seeding rate.

Seed is expensive, too, and the type of equipment you run could be doing a really great job at gentle seed handling and uniform establishment — all factors that could mean reining in rates just a little could still achieve a decent plant stand.

Autumn Barnes, agronomist specialist with the Canola Council of Canada based at Lethbridge, says that all these factors play a role in determining that ideal, unique-to-your-farm seeding rate. In this episode of the Canola School, Barnes first runs through what makes a perfect stand count, and then walks us through an example of using the Canola Council’s seeding rate calculator, step by step.

Taking into account growing season length, frost concerns, seed lot size, and target plant densities, for example, the stand establishment tool will help you figure out how to get to that five to eight plants per square foot considering field moisture, yield expectation, and costs.