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Tips from an Agronomist: Early Seeding Canola, Cold Soils

DuPont Pioneer Agronomist David Vanthuyne has some advice for growers who are unsure about ideal soil temperatures and seeding rate when planting canola.  

Here are some of Vanthuyne’s pointers:

Soil temperature:

• Average soil temperature should be taken between 8:30a.m. and 4:30p.m.
• Depth should be about 1 ½ inches
• Target an average soil temperature of at least 8°C or higher

“Canola will start to absorb water and germinate at soil temperatures as low as low as 2°C,” said Vanthuyne. “The longer it takes for seedling emergence, the greater the likelihood of seedling diseases occurring and, therefore, the greater the chance for reduced plant populations.”

What growers should look for?

Two things:

1.When the average soil temperature is 5 °C
2.When the long range weather forecast looks ideal

Seed rate:

• Farmers should increase their seeding rate by ½ lb (when average soil temperatures are below 8 °C.

Vanthuyne’s last word to farmers - “straight lines”. Happy plant 2014!

You can follow Vanthuyne on Twitter at @AgbyDave.

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