Across the Prairies this spring, canola emergence is very slow and in some fields, uneven. Research has shown much lower and slower canola germination at low temperatures. Soil temperatures above 5C have little effect on the time to 50 per cent germination; however, the number of days to 50 per cent germination increases dramatically at temperatures below 4C (with germination taking as long as nine days at 3C or over 12 days at 2C).
Now is the time to get down and scout to find out what’s happening beneath the soil surface. If emergence is patchy, dig around looking for the reason. Is an insect interfering (e. g. cutworms or wireworms)? Is it too dry and the seed is still intact? Is the white, healthy hypocotyl making its way through the soil to the surface, albeit slowly?