Hybrid canola stands with fewer than 5 plants per square foot cannot reach their yield potential. You want at least 5 plants and ideally 7-10 to allow for some plant loss to disease and insects.
For growers who want to keep things simple, a standard seeding rate of 5 lb./ac. should meet the basic needs of stand establishment — as long as all other steps for a good stand are followed.
However, growers who want to improve their odds will want to adjust the seeding rate based on seeding date (cool soils may require a higher seeding rate given the likelihood of higher seeding mortality) and thousand seed weight. Read how to do that.
If growers have budgeted on a fixed seeding rate in lb./ac., consider seeding heavier in cold soils, trashy conditions or other poor seedbed fields and using lower seeding rates on fields with excellent emergence expectations.
Canola Stand Establishment: A Grower Q&A from Canola Council of Canada on Vimeo.
Other articles that will help with seeding rate decisions and final variety choices:
Media release: The bottom line on canola seeding rates
Taking a spring stubble count can help figure out whether last year’s seeding rate was enough.
Seed weight just one factor in plant population
Look at various sources for seed info
Canola performance trial results
Seed decisions: How to ID good data