It’s too soon to broadcast canola: CCC

Mudding in or broadcasting canola seed won’t help you get the yield benefit you’d otherwise get from seeding early, the Canola Council of Canada warns.

In its CanolaWatch newsletter Wednesday, the council grants that early-seeded canola does tend to produce higher yields, “but that performance edge depends on good seed placement and stand establishment.”

The resulting poor crop establishment from rushing out onto the field with a floater would likely claw back any yield benefit, the council said, “so don’t panic.”

Yield potential is generally high until after mid-May and “does not drop significantly” until late May or early June, the Winnipeg-based council said.

Canola seed placed into the soil at a uniform depth with starter fertilizer and light on-row packing is the best method for seed survival and uniform stand establishment — and drills do that job best, the council said.

The floaters used for broadcasting may be able to travel over soft fields, but broadcast seeding will also require “double the phosphorus rate,” not to mention a higher seeding rate for effective results in the current cold, wet soil conditions seen on much of the Prairies.

“Just in case” 

“However,” the council said, “growers who think they are still a couple of weeks away from seeding with a drill may want to book a floater as a backup just in case further weather delays make drill seeding impractical.”

Growers have a number of jobs they could do to prepare for efficient seeding while they wait out the current conditions, the council said.

“Check all fields,” the council advised. “If growers have any fields dry enough to support seeding equipment, set aside the original seeding plan and seed the dry fields first.”

If stubble fields are too slick or last fall’s crop residue is too damp for effective seeding in the morning, “try them again in the afternoon,” the council said.

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