With planting depth being so important to getting good emergence, producers should pay close attention to tractor speed when they’re planting, Stamm said. “Producers must plant slower when planting canola than when planting wheat—preferably five miles per hour or slower,” he said.

Row spacing is less critical than planting date and seeding depth. The most common row spacing for canola is between six and 15 inches, he said. That allows for rapid canopy closure and weed control. Yields are similar with row spacings in this range, with good weed control.

Some producers are experimenting with canola planted in 30-inch rows, using planters instead of drills, Stamm said. By using planters, producers are able to get more accurate depth control, precision seed metering, and better residue removal from the seed row. 

“As a general rule, yields may be reduced by about 10 percent when planting in 30-inch rows instead of 15-inch rows under dryland conditions. However, producers are able to reduce their seeding rate from five pounds per acre to between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half pounds per acre, eliminating some inner row competition among plants and saving on seed costs,” he said.

Planting a hybrid cultivar with prolific branching will increase the profitability of canola planted in 30-inch rows, he added.