Prep jobs for April

Seeding in April is not usually recommended or beneficial for canola (except perhaps late-April seeding in southern Alberta).

Seeding small

Here are a few things you could do now:

—Make final rotation and seed decisions and pick up seed, if possible. Check the thousand seed weight of seed lots in hand. This can help with seeding rate decisions and also with decisions on where to put heavier or lighter seed lots.

—Do spring soil tests. While fall and winter soil tests give growers more time to plan fertilizer rates and place orders, spring soil tests are the most accurate in predicting the soil nutrient situation at seeding time. Labs may be able to provide results within a few days or a week, so spring tests can be done without holding up the seeding process.

—If soils can support field work but it is too early to seed, growers could deep band their fertilizer blend. Remember, ideally you only want to seed-place safe rates of phosphorus, so everything else can go in the blend. Careful with soil moisture conditions. Too wet and you have a mess, included muddy clods for a seedbed. Too dry and you risk drying out the seedbed.

—Prep the drill. This can include sanitation to remove soil, especially if clubroot is on your farm or if you purchased a used drill. Top 10 things to inspect.

—Prep the sprayer. Fill it with water and cleaner. Check for leaks. Check nozzle function. Consider a few retrofits. Read more.