Canola School: Tips for seeding into dry conditions


When there wasn’t a lot of rain in the fall, and even less precipitation in the winter, dry seeding conditions are a concern. The choice between chasing moisture or waiting for a rain to seed can be daunting.

Allison McLellan, technical service specialist with BASF, joins Kara Oosterhuis for this Canola School episode about tips for seeding canola in dry conditions.

Of course, every farm has their own set of factors to contend with, but some general agronomic practices can help mitigate the effects of dry soil during seeding.

Seeding depth should be around three quarters of an inch, and in BASF’s agronomic excellence research, they’ve found that depths around one inch have also worked well, says McLellan.

“Always keep in mind the different things that you have going on at your farm — whether you have different topographies, whether you have hills that may be a little bit drier, or some low spots — that may also impact your drill type, so how accurately you can set your depth, might be one thing to consider when you’re going a bit deeper,” says McLellan.

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If you have moisture at three quarters of an inch, that’s great, but if you have to go deeper to find moisture and you’re on a lighter soil, seeding at one inch to even one and a quarter won’t hurt. However, be aware that by seeding deeper, it will take longer for that seed to germinate and for the plant to get out of the ground, prolonging its exposure to diseases.

Herbicide carryover on a dry year will also be a concern says McLellan, and what your previous crop in rotation was and what was sprayed on it will have bearing on what you use for a pre-seed burn-down.

Pushing that seed-row placed fertilizer amount could also result in root burn and should be carefully considered in a dry year.

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Canola School (view all)Season 13 (2021) Episode 29

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