Check patches in crust-prone soil

This seedling hit an impenetrable crust and curled back downward.

The bent top on this seedling indicates crusting trouble.

Rains can help to mellow soils that had crusted after a couple weeks of dry conditions, but the damage may have already been done. When scouting in fields with poor emergence, dig down and look for the plants — especially in fields known to be crust-prone. The photos show what canola seedlings look like when they come up against an impenetrable crust. Some of these may turn back skyward again, but many others will die.