Canola School: Don’t Seed Too Deep

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Last week, we discussed seeding speed and the need to keep your seeder at an adequate speed to achieve desired productivity but not lose the accuracy required to get the proper plant emergence and stand.  In terms of seeding depth a rule that I was taught long ago is that the smaller the seed, the shallower it needs to be planted.  Too many times I visit fields and see that the farmer has planted his canola either inconsistently depth wise or too deep period.  In adverse conditions seeding depth becomes even more critical.

Seeding depth accuracy is one of the reasons many large farms have decided to purchase precision seeding equipment for their canola acres.  Seeding equipment like the Seed Hawk really appeal to farmers looking for seeders that provide independent movements of the openers instead of whole sections moving together.

I talked to one customer today who mentioned to me that they check their seeding depth of canola at least four times a day per seeder in the field to ensure that they are maintaining the correct depth.  He said to me, “I cannot afford to assume anything in terms of seeding depth.  I need to make sure that I am maintaining the 0.5 inch depth at all times.  If the seed does not get out of the ground as fast as possible I have already limited my opportunity to achieve my desired yield.”

With canola being one of the crops that pencils out this spring you really cannot afford to limit your emergence.  You can always re-spray your glyphosate if you have a miss but it is impossible to get the seed to move from 2.5 inches deep to 0.5 inch.

Read a great story from Top Crop Manager on Seeding Speed and depth and its affect on yield.

Go to for more great videos and articles.

I talked to Derwyn Hammond from the Canola Council about what he thinks are some of the key points in maintaing the correct seeding depth for canola.

If you cannot see the video below, Click Here


Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4:30 PM est. @shaunhaney


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