The new packaging will be based on target plant population
By Diego Flammini
Bayer is changing how it packages its canola seed.
Beginning in 2022, every bag of DEKALB canola will be packaged based on target plant population.
Current packaging practices don’t take the seed size into consideration, which can lead to agronomic issues, said Jamie Mills, grower and channel marketing manager for canola with Bayer Crop Science.
“A 50-pound bag was being treated as a 10-acre bag,” he told Farms.com. “And if growers are seeding at five pounds per acre, they’re not necessarily getting that optimal plant population.”
The new bags will be packaged as 10-acre bags. They may weigh different based on seed size but will contain a minimum 4.25 million seeds.
Bayer used its own internal information and figures from the Canola Council of Canada, which show a target plant population of five to eight plants per square foot is the optimal population to set a canola crop up for success.
“We’re targeting to get 10 seeds per square foot, so we’ve already done the math for our farmers,” Mills said. “Farmers can just take the weight of the bag, divide it by 10 and that gives them their seeding rate. This allows farmers to calibrate their drills to achieve the targeted plant population.”
Under- and over-population can bring about multiple issues throughout the growing season.
With under-populated fields, farmers have bigger plants with side branching.
This spreads out the flowering window and increases the potential for pests and diseases.
Issues can also arise during harvest, Mills said.
“When it comes to harvest, there’s such a variation between the earlier maturing parts of your plants compared to the later maturing parts, which makes harvest more difficult,” he said.
And with over-populated fields, plants will compete with one another.
“Instead of growing outwards, the plants are competing for sunlight and grow upright,” Mills said. “This can lead to lodging, disease problems and issues at harvest as well.”
DEKALB will also change its bulk packaging offerings.
Totes will have 85 million seeds each, good for about 200 acres per tote.
And SeedPaks will have 170 million seeds each, which farmers can use to plant 400 acres.
“We want to get the word out now and encourage farmers to contact us with any questions so when planting season comes next year there are no surprises,” Mills said.