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Canola seeding considerations

New research is now underway to look at how seeding depth and seed size of canola can be affected by climate conditions.
SARDA Ag Research, Battle River Research Group (BRRG) and Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA) have started the trial Canola Seed Size this year to explore seeding depth and seed size over 3 years in 3 locations.
“With this trial, we wanted to aim for 3 locations in Alberta so that producers are able to access the information that is most relevant to their location because there a big change in climate conditions from the Peace Region to central Alberta,” explains Megan Snell, research coordinator with SARDA Ag Research.
Seeding depth is one of the easiest objects to change during the spring and although, most research shows that canola does better if seeded shallow, it is easy to set the seed drill to follow the soil moisture level.
“So, understanding how deep is too deep, and does the size of the seed affect how deep you can seed without jeopardizing the establishment of the crop,” she adds.
“We want to provide producers with the ability to improve their on-farm production. Understanding the interaction between seed size and planting depth on canola establishment with regard to yields, farmers are able to choose their preferred planting depth based on their seed size.”
Seeding this year took place in mid-May, and all of the treatments at all 3 locations – MD of Smoky River, Lac La Biche County, near Forestburg – are being grown using optimum agronomic practices. The data collected on this trial include weather stats (precipitation and temperatures), soil moisture at seeding, emergence (plant counts at 7, 14 and 21 days after seeding and at complete emergence), days to flower (50% flower), days to maturity (60% seed colour change) plant height, yield (adjusted to 8.5% moisture), 1000 seed weight, percent green seed, oil content and protein content (composite samples). All of the data will be analyzed using standard analysis of variance.
Snell says that although 2020 was a wet spring in the Peace Region, initial examination of the SARDA Ag Research plots showed a wide variance in establishment success and maturity level of the crop.
“On July 10, I examined the plots for this trial and although there were some startling differences between the plots, I was unable to pick out the different treatments based on the visual appearance of the plots. It is hoped that following the analysis of the results, we will be able to determine some significant trends.”
She adds that BRRG recorded similar observations from the initial data of plant emergence at Forestburg.
“The BRRG early plant count results are showing some differences. However, it is too early to conclude.”
Funding for this project is provided by the Governments of Canada and Alberta through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership under the Adapting Innovative Solutions in Agriculture Program. In Alberta, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership represents a federal-provincial investment of $406 million in strategic programs and initiatives for the agricultural sector.
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