With a team of on-staff agronomists and certified crop advisors, Nutrien Ag Solutions offers local expertise that is second-to-none. Our agronomic service representatives provide advice on crop planning, relative yields, soil nutrient levels, fertilizer blends, area weeds, herbicide tank mixes, fungicide and seed treatment recommendations as well as diagnostic services when things don’t go as planned.


Your optimum seeding date depends on several factors including:

  • earliest date your field can support tractor traffic
  • soil temperature 
  • weather patterns for the growing season 
  • precipitation amounts and timing 
  • timing of disease, weed or insect outbreaks 
  • weed control methods 
  • maturity of different species/varieties 
  • ideal harvesting conditions

Seeding date vs. Average yield response

 Crop yield response

The chart above shows the average relative yield reported to MASC during each sowing week for the selected crops grown in Manitove for the period of 2005 - 2013. The vertical axis represents the percentage of average yield and the horizontal axis represents the week each crop is sown. [SOURCE] 

All factors must be considered to identify the seeding period that will produce a high yield with acceptable risk. Ensure the varieties chosen consistently mature within the average frost-free period for your area. 

Germination soil temperature

Soil temperature is normally measured at seedbed depth in the morning and afternoon. The average daily soil temperature lies between the two. At a minimum temperature, it will take cereal crops seven to 10 days to emerge, depending on seeding depth. Both germination and seedling growth are more variable and slower when soil temperatures are low. Germination and emergence become faster and more uniform as temperatures increase. 

Due to changes in soil temperature, the rate of seedling emergence and stand density is also strongly impacted by seeding depth. As soil temperatures decline with depth, seeds take longer to germinate and emerge and are at greater risk of soil pathogens. As per the chart above, consider seeding shallower when soil temperatures are cool and soil moisture is adequate.

Achieving a targeted plant population starts with seeding rate, while other factors impact establishment. There is evidence that we may not be reaching an adequate plant stand, especially in canola. Based on a wide scale survey of plant counts in mid-summer, 80 per cent of fields were under seven canola plants per square foot. Keep in mind we hope to achieve seven to 10 plants per square foot. Also, despite typically larger seed size in bags, most farmers are seeding at a rate of five lbs or less per acre based on this same survey. As you set your seeders, decide how many plants you are aiming to achieve. Alternately, in the fall, count the stalks when swathing. If it looks a bit too low, consider increasing seeding rates or seed more carefully, or more likely, a combination of both.