KEY PRACTICE: Target a population of at least seven plants per square foot to maintain yield potential for canola. This target will allow for some plant mortality due to postseeding stresses without dropping below the minimum five plants per square foot required for canola yield potential.
KEY RESEARCH: Leeson, Julia, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). “Impact of Management and Environment on Canola Establishment Based on Survey Data.” Canola Digest Science Edition (2013).
Shirtliffe, Steve, University of Saskatchewan. “Determining the Economic Plant Density in Canola.” Canola Agronomic Research Program based on summary data from 35 experiments (2009).
Canola growers are losing yield potential through reduced plant population. Crops with low stand densities are more vulnerable to losses from disease, insects, weed competition, uneven maturity and environmental stresses. Although crops with low stand densities are forced to compensate through increased pod and seed production per plant, current research shows that improving stand density targets may result in significant yield gains.
Through his 2009 meta-analysis of 35 canola studies, Steve Shirtliffe with the University of Saskatchewan studied the correlations between seeding rates, plant density and yield in both hybrid and open-pollinated canola. On average, he found that canola seeded at the recommended 5 lb./ac. yieldedOpen the PDF to read the entire research summary from the 2014 Science Issue of Canola Digest
Visit the Canola Research Hub website to search the database of grower funded research