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Canola plant stand counts: part of next year’s plan

Seeding rates are important to achieving your target plant stands, and fall is a great time to check your fields to see how your stand fared. If you’re unhappy with your yield, assessing the plant stand can help you prepare for next season.

Plant counts are pretty easy to do after harvest, and you can take a number of counts throughout the field to see if you hit your target.

There are two reliable plant count methods, according to the Canola Council of Canada. The first involves using a 50 cm by 50 cm square or a hoop with an inside diameter of 56 cm. Count the number of plants and then multiply by four to get the number of plants per square metre.

The second method is to count plants in one metre of seed row. Take the number of plants in the row, multiply by 100 and then divide by the seed row spacing in centimetres.

Remember, your plant stands can be affected by several factors, including frost, insects, weed pressure and disease. Think back to the season. Did you take all steps needed to achieve your yield potential? Some issues, like frost, are out of your control. But insect and disease pressure can be managed more effectively with the right seed treatment and crop protection products.

This Agronomic Tip was brought to you by Christine Spasoff, agronomic service representative with Syngenta Canada.

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