Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: NW of Don about an hr - by car. West Central Alberta.
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Quoted: 147 Post(s)
The uniform planter stand thing does much more than just look good coming out of the ground(in fact , as mentioned above it can look too thin and bad) as could not believe last yr how nice a pretty good crop of canola was to harvest last yr - swathed most, did some straight combine, even swathed some pretty much at 100pc seed color - even with pretty good hail storm in July,
As for wind damage we typically do not get much of this, but last yr we had very strong wind(blew over bins, etc) just as seedlings coming out of ground. Of course, I had canola planted in exactly the wrong direction for this wind and could certainly see effect of this(headlands, tree lines fared a lot better), but come harvest did not seem to matter. If I were in windy country definitely would be planting in direction to account for typical winds as assume most would anyways.
On seeding timing this is where every area is going to be different. People that talk about late May as being optimal obviously not from parts of the world around here where Fall frost(as in august) can happen since we have long term avg frost date of Sept 5. I believe that some of these other areas with May 15 seeded canola(our long term avg best yields) are actually harvesting in august and that is not the way our typical season/heat units work around here. The one thing that should not be different is that timing the seeding of canola such that it gets out of the ground the quickest, makes best use of protection of lumiderm and will outgrow the pests is best. I would much rather take chances of Spring frost and flea beetles with bit earlier seeding than seeding canola into conditions that you know it will sit in the dirt doing nothing. For the people that think seeding higher rates allows them insurance against frost and/or flea beetles, I do not know of a calculation with any degree of accuracy that could account for how many plants frost/bugs going to take. Even with airseeder/nonindependent opener was seeding at 3.5-4lbs/ac. and even though it only 2nd yr would say 1.5-2lbs/a of planter seed looks better/feels better on pocketbook.
On the fertilizer side do think there options out there other than floating std stuff on all in Fall - people just need to get more creative - I have not yet tried everything that believe would work. As for tillage this is very different depending on area and in this area will even be differences from year to year. However, this yr quite dry by our stds, and heat units quite high by our stds, and I still see a quite a difference between stuff worked in Spring ahead of palnter vs stuff just worked last Fall and just planted into this Spring. I even have some combine rows in field that worked This Spring where you can identify this. For us, anything that warms up soil more in Spring is a good thing - even if it means that we likely have more flea beetles when this happens - can see big difference between black land and lighter land.