Variable seed size, seed costs, and unique seeding equipment can make recommending a canola seeding rate nearly impossible except on a farm-by-farm basis. What agronomists can do is help farmers work backwards from the desired plant stand count to get where they need to be, but what if that number proves very expensive?
The Canola Council of Canada recently updated its seeding rate calculator with a nod to economics, says Shawn Senko, agronomy specialist for the council based at Saskatoon. But while the tool will definitely fine-tune the suggested seeding rate based on seed and crop prices, there’s still quite a bit that goes in to making the call on what seeding rate is best.
As Senko outlines in the Canola School video below, seed and seedling mortality is dependent on so many factors, including what seeding implement you use, its settings, seeding conditions, fertilizer rates and placement and more. Cutting back seeding rates is an option when cash is tight, but you can’t ever add back what you start with. Focusing on depth control, seed placement, and seedling viability is a key complement to careful seeding rate selection.