Establishing a seeding rate brings with it some rituals. One of those rituals can be observed when a farmer comes to pick up their seed out of a bin. Without fail, the first thing that farmer does is run his into the stream of seed and take a good hard look at it. Seeing is believing they say. That’s true in a sense with seed. Physical inspection of the seed is an important part of the process in considering seeding rates. You can identify things like splits, cracks, sprouting and size at a glance and combine that with your traditional bushel weight, but you’re still guessing, and potentially selling yourself very short.
Precision in seeding is important. Seeding on a bushel per acre basis just doesn’t cut it anymore. The variability in seed weight from year to year is something that could seriously affect a farmers bottom line, especially in climates that vary so much from year to year. Seeding by 1000 kernel weight is the essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to making sure you are seeding properly given time and conditions afforded to you.
In Ontario many farmers are being encouraged to seed by seeds per acre just like corn or soybeans. Thi sis very similiar to the concept of plants per square foot or meter. Either is much more accurate and will produce better results than bushels per acre.
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Ken Panchuk is a Provincial Soil Specialist with the Crops Branch of Saskatchewan Agriculture. I talked to him about the how to seed by 1000 kernel weight, and why it’s important for today’s farmer.
If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.