Canola School: Hula hooping through cotyledon emergence


Many fields in Western Canada are starting to see the emergence of canola cotyledons, making it prime time to start scouting, and assessing stand establishment.

In this Canola School, Autumn Barnes, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, says her favourite trick for assessing stand establishment is to use her bright yellow hula hoop.

“Usually, I try to walk 20 to 50 steps, and then I toss the hula hoop. I really like this because when you toss it, it falls wherever it falls. So you won’t be drawn to a specific area,” says Barnes, adding she is often drawn to bad spots when she isn’t using the tool. “If we only look to the areas that are bad, we don’t really get a representation of what the whole field looks like. ”

Once Barnes’ 1/4 square metre hula hoop is tossed into a spot, she counts seedlings, multiplies by four and divides by ten to find the number of plants per square foot.

“What we would then do is plug those numbers back into the canola emergence tool and figure out what our emergence is – so what percentage of the seed we planted turned into successful plants.”

It’s also important when scouting the field, to get more than one sample.

“It’s tough when you have lots of acres to cover, but it is imperative you get more than one sample,” explains Barnes. “It’s not always realistic to hit the five samples per field that we are recommending, but we do encourage you to get as close to that as possible, to ensure you are getting an accurate representation. The more you can scout, the better.”

Barnes notes that although it is often said to wait until the two- to four-leaf stage to count plants, it’s still a really good idea at this time of the year to get out to the field and see what’s coming up.

“If it looks like we’re getting only a 20 per cent emergence, maybe we’re just really dry. Maybe we haven’t had enough rain to germinate those seedlings. However, maybe there is something else going on. Maybe there’s cutworm really aggressive in a field and they are taking out some of those seedlings. So it’s kind of a way to get an idea of any things that you need to be worried about, or even areas that you did really well in, because that’s important to acknowledge too.”

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag


Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.



Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp