By Bayer CropScience
By Nathan Klassen, SeedGrowth Specialist, Manitoba, and Timothy Moyes, Key Accounts Manager, Ontario
With winter finally coming to an end, growers are eager to get planting. While early planting can offer great yield benefits, it also carries inherent risks. Getting your plants off to the right start means knowing when to put that first seed in the ground.
To help Canadian growers navigate the beginning of the season, Bayer CropScience has developed a list of tips to keep in mind for early seeding:
- Know your soil temperature: A cold spring is being predicted this year, so we recommend monitoring the temperature of your soil with a thermometer. When taking soil temperatures it is best to take the average based on a reading in the morning and the afternoon. Not all seeds germinate at the same temperature; cereals need a minimum of 4-5C to germinate while soybeans need a minimum of 8-10C to germinate.
- Know your soil structure: For your own safety, it is important to ensure your fields are ready for your machinery. Soil compaction can be linked to a majority of field operations that are often performed when soils are wet, thus making them more susceptible to compaction. This in turn causes damage to the soil structure. Poor soil structure impacts the retention of water, nutrients and air necessary for crop root development.
- Know the quality of the seed you are working with: Make sure you know what the germination is on the seed you are planting to ensure the seed is in good condition. Fungal scans are the best way to test to see if there are any seed borne diseases you are putting back into the ground. In addition to this, we suggest using certified seeds. The Canadian Seed Growers' Association advises that using certified seed is one of the best management tools for your farm. It provides more certainty in our fields that are easily impacted by environmental conditions. Certified seed provides the quality growers can rely on.
- Protect your seed: We recommend using a seed treatment. While planting in a colder soil, there are risks for the young crops of developing pythium and root rot. And even when the soil warms up as spring progresses, crops will benefit from this level of protection, especially against soil borne fusarium. Using a good quality seed treatment offers a control of both seed and soil borne pathogens, which will allow your plants to come up and establish quickly to get the stands you are looking for.
- Rely on your experts: When in doubt, you can rely on Bayer CropScience SeedGrowth and seed treatment experts for the advice and support you need. Bayer CropScience representatives are here with the solutions, knowledge and services to support growers in every aspect of your business.