Research by Taylor and OSU agronomists Dr. Chad Godsey and Mark Boyles evaluates planting canola in no-till fields.

Producers can be successful planting no-till winter canola, but should pay careful attention to seeding depth. Seed should be placed from one-half inch to one-inch deep. If the seedbed is uneven, plant the seed at one inch to assure good seed to soil contact. Do not plant seed in crop residue, they say.

Do not attempt to plant in residue that’s not evenly distributed across the soil surface, as in a windrow left behind a combine after harvest, they say. If necessary, perform a light tillage.

OSU experts also recommend increasing seeding rates by 15 percent to 20 percent in no-till production. This practice is often recommended when a heavy amount of crop residue is left in no-till fields after harvest.

Remove as much residue from the seed row as possible. Switching to a "wavy" coulter on the planter may increase soil disturbance and remove residue from the crop row, they say.

It is wise to have sufficient down force on row units so they function correctly. They advise producers to get off their tractors often to check seeding rate and depth as seeding conditions often change in each field.

Pay attention to advised planting dates and plant early in the "planting window" for the region where you are farming. They caution against planting winter canola in new no-till fields. Fields in which no-till has been practiced longer will have better soil structure and lower bulk densities of residue in the soil that will promote root growth.

Choose a winter canola variety with excellent winter hardiness and low crown development. Varieties with crowns closer to the soil surface overwinter better.

The OSU specialists say these suggestions will not guarantee successful no-till winter canola production, but should improve chances of success if farmers have no other options.

For direct assistance in planting and growing winter canola, producers can contact Heath Sanders and Gene Neuens at PCOM at 405-232-7555begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting. Sanders' email is hsanders@producerscoop.net. Neuens' email is cscneuens@yahoo.com.