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Canola Planting 2021

Posted: May 21 2021

The average North Dakota canola yield for the last 13 growing seasons was 1,728 pounds per acre. The yield potential varies by year, based on environmental conditions; limited available moisture during the growing season will reduce the yield potential (Figure 1). Based on the March NASS report, North Dakota producers are planning to plant close to 1.8 million canola acres.
About 40% of the canola acres in North Dakota have been seeded as of May 16. Canola is a cool-season crop. Research indicates that canola yield potential decreases as planting is delayed. At the most northern location, Langdon, the yields stayed relatively stable from the earliest plant date though the third week of May (Figure 2). At Minot, yields tended to decrease more rapidly after the optimum seeding date, which for that location is the first part of May (Figure 3).
Canola can be planted with a variety of seeding equipment. Good depth control is important. The optimum seeding depth for canola is ½ to 1 inch, and should not exceed an inch with small-seeded hybrids. Large-seeded hybrids may be seeded deeper than 1 inch; however, planting depth should not exceed 1½ inches. Plant canola where a uniform depth can be achieved. Use seed with a high germination percentage and with good seedling vigor. Planting seed treated with an insecticide and fungicides for seedling protection is recommended. Canola is very susceptible to heat and drought stress during flowering. Hot conditions during flowering shorten the time the flower is receptive to pollen, as well as the duration of pollen release and viability. This can decrease the number of pods that develop on the plant and the number of seeds per pod, resulting in lower canola yields, therefore it is recommended to plant the remaining canola acres as soon as possible to avoid heat stress during the reproductive phase.
Hans Kandel
Extension Agronomist Broadleaf Crops

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