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Is your canola stand on target?

 Canola success starts with a uniform stand of five to eight plants per square foot. Canola counts at the two- to four-leaf stage provide a check up on the seeding operation and if your canola is on track to achieve its full yield potential.

How to count

Take a few counts across the field to come up with an average plant density for that field. Two counting options are:

Hula hoop. The hoop toss adds randomness to the count. A hoop with an inside diameter of 19″ covers two square feet. Count the number of plants inside the hoop and divide by two to get plants per square foot.

Metre stick. Count the seedlings per metre of row. Multiply the count by 100 then divide by the row spacing in cm to get plants per square metre. Divide by 10 for an approximate conversion to plants per square foot.

Citizen science – Canola Counts

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is running its Canola Counts citizen science project again in 2022. We would like farm families, agronomists and crop scouts to count canola plants at the two to four-leaf stage and enter results at People can enter as many fields as they want. The program provides a summary email for each entry, and participants can review Canola Counts maps at the end of the season to compare their fields to regional averages. The CCC uses the data to compare typical canola populations by region. If the farm uses drone or satellite imagery, the plant count process is a great opportunity to ground-truth different areas of the field that might be indicating different levels of biomass or range in the vegetation index.

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