26 Nov, 2014
Latest Research Trials from the Research Farm - 2014 Canola Seed Survival Study

2014 Canola Seed Survival Study

Purpose: There are numerous influences that effect canola seed survival within a given field.  The purpose of study was to gather data on what SeedMaster owners are currently achieving for canola seed survival.  This data will then be distributed to other SeedMaster owners to help assist them in targeting precise canola plant populations.


- Plant counts were conducted on a total of 22 separate farms

- 20 farms were seeded using SeedMaster toolbars with SeedMaster on-frame tanks featuring Individual Row Metering (IRM) with UltraPro metering

- 1 farm seeded with a SeedMaster toolbar and a SeedMaster bulk metering system

- 1 farm seeded with a SeedMaster toolbar and another manufacturers bulk metering system

Below is a map showing all field locations.

Methods: Plant counts were completed at 3 locations within each field.  6 counts per location for a total of 18 counts per field.  The highest and lowest count from each field was discarded.  The remaining 16 counts were averaged together to determine the average plant population for each field.

Once plant population was determined, the following formula was used to determine seed survival.

Seeding Rate (lbs./ac.) = [9.6 x actual plant population(plants/ft2) x TKW (grams)] ÷ % seed survival

Below is the data that was obtained:


It can be seen from the above graph that Individual Row Metering (IRM) had a 7.70% increase in seed survival over the bulk delivery systems in the second year of the study.

I believe that the variance seen in seed survival is because of the following reasons:

  • Individual Row Metering systems require low air velocities to distribute the canola seed to the opener (approximately 20% lower than bulk metering).  This ensures a consistent depth and placement within the furrow.

  • With bulk delivery systems, high air velocities are required to distribute canola seed from primary to secondary lines through distribution manifolds. When canola seed strikes a manifold at high velocity, it causes physical damage to the delicate seed that result in a decrease in seed survival.

Included within the study was a SeedMaster toolbar with a tow behind NovaXP that employs the option of bulk delivery of canola seed. It was in line with average seed survival numbers from other manufactures tanks using SeedMaster toolbars.

Below is the data that was collected from each location. (3 locations had to be discarded from the study due to an absence of TKW information)

Seeding rate (lbs/acre) =9.6 X plants/sq. ft X TKW (grams) / seed survival% SeedMaster Model


Future Considerations:

It should be noted that all data collected was from SeedMaster toolbars regardless of the metering system.  SeedMaster toolbars are well known for very accurate seed and fertilizer placement. Next growing season, I hope to include growers in the study that own a complete seeding system from another manufacturer.

When visiting farms that had the option of seeding canola from a SeedMaster IRM tank or another manufactures tank, all farmers seeded their entire canola acreage from the SeedMaster tank. 

The results of this study are from 2014 growing season only.  To view the results from 2013 growing season, please visit the following linkhttp://www.seedmaster.ca/news/item/63-canola-seed-survival-study

SeedMaster has developed an app to assist growers in determining an appropriate seed rate so that they can more consistently achieve a desired plant population.  For more information about the app, please see the following linkhttp://www.seedmaster.ca/news/item/94-app

These results will vary in subsequent trials, depending on environmental conditions present at time of seeding.

This study needs be repeated in time and multiple locations across a broad geography.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to the members of the Master Seeders Network who took time to conduct plant counts with us.  SeedMaster is thankful for the opportunity to share the results amongst SeedMaster owners.

Frank Groeneweg
Kory Pick (Jack)
Kevin Giroux
Sheldon Stang
Tim Bruun
Mirvin MacKay
Ian Brassington
Camile Baillargeon
Martin Prince
Barry Shouse
Steve Wiens
Blaine Haubrich
Bob Eyolfson
Owen Kinch
Andy Johnson
John Headford
Ryan Murray
Collin Lewandoski





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