If growers must broadcast seed…

Broadcast seeding usually results in lower yields compared to drill seeding. But when wet conditions limit equipment flotation and when time is running out to get the crop in, growers may wish to consider broadcast seeding. Here are some tips:

1. Increase seeding rates slightly to compensate for non-uniform seed depth.
2. Consider lightly cultivating (two to four cm) or harrowing to incorporate the seed into the soil if field conditions allow. However, avoid creating lumps or clods during cultivation or straw piles with harrows or cultivators.
3. If broadcasting fertilizer as well as seed, be aware that broadcast phosphorus is only about half as efficient as banded phosphorous. There also can be greater risk of denitrification on saturated soils, reducing N fertilizer efficiency. Adjust fertilizer rates accordingly, keeping in mind a realistic target yield based on the time of year and field conditions.