Canola Watch Exam 2020 – Section 5 – Plant establishment and seed

This is the fifth of seven sections for this year’s Canola Watch annual CCA/CCSC exam. By dividing the exam into seven separate sections, we are giving CCAs and CCSCs the opportunity to customize the exam based on credits they need and to take some in 2020 and some in 2021.

Those who achieve 70 per cent or better on this section will qualify for 1 CEU (CCA or CCSC) in Crop Management.

Credits will be applied in either 2020 or 2021, depending on when you pass this section. For those who pass, Canola Watch will submit your name and number to the program to have the credits counted.

When writing this self-study exam, note that all answers can be found in Canola Watch articles as well as Canola Watch videos, podcasts and Canola Encyclopedia and Canola Digest links from 2020. You can find the Issue Archives as well as the video and podcast libraries under the “Canola Watch” tab at the top of

For questions or additional information on this exam, please contact Jay Whetter at 807-468-4006 or

Canola that gets off to a good start tends to have lower pest management costs, earlier harvest, higher yields and higher profitability. Steps to achieve a “good start” begin with a cultivar well-suited to the risks unique to that particular field or farm. That follows with placement at a uniform depth into warm, moist soils, safe rates of seed placed fertilizer, and close scouting in the first few weeks after emergence. CCAs and CCSCs completing this section will pick up tips from 2020 experiences that will help them to improve their recommendations for canola stand establishment.

REQUIRED - Your full name:

Your CCA number: (Leave blank if not applicable)

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REQUIRED - What region best describes your work territory?
1. An April podcast talked about drill prep to achieve uniform seed depth. (Find all podcasts here.) The podcast starts with an explanation of why uniform seeding depth is so important. Guest Rob MacDonald says uniform emergence is particularly important for canola because the plant is “very sensitive to _________”. Fill in the blank.
2. The Canola Council of Canada would like farmers to strive for a minimum 75 per cent emergence for canola seed. This will improve the return on investment for seed and help them achieve their target stand. An April Canola Watch article, which has lots of tips on how to improve seed survival, says “Yield potential and predictability drop off with stands of fewer than ____ plants per square foot.” Fill in the blank.
3. Removal of weed competition is an important step in canola crop establishment. An April article on weed control and canola profitability cited University of Saskatchewan research with the specific conclusion that early weed control is more beneficial than _________? Fill in the blank.
4. A May article on “How does seed size influence seeding rate?” includes Episode 7 of the Canola Watch agronomy video series. (Find the whole series here.)  In the video, which describes the target plant density tool at, CCC agronomy specialist Autumn Barnes adjusts a few of the toggles to come up with recommended target density of ___ plants per square foot for her hypothetical field. Fill in the blank.
5. A May article on scouting for seedling diseases and other emergence issues has some detail on how to distinguish the three pathogens of the seedling disease complex. In the article, which pathogen species does Krista Anderson say uses a “sledge hammer”?
6. A June article, “Do I bother with canola plant counts”, includes Episode 11 of the Canola Watch video series. The video explains how to use a hoop to do plant counts. While all four of the tips below are useful for plant counting, in the video what is Autumn Barnes’s first important thing to note?
7. The June 10 quiz explores reasons for missing plants. One question has to do with seed depth. The answer (which you can find after clicking “submit” at the bottom) talks about the inflated seedling disease risk when the white underground stem part has to grow so long to reach the soil surface. What is that white stem part called?
8. Residue from the previous crop can influence drill performance, especially its ability to achieve uniform seed placement into soil. A September article on residue management suggests a few harvest decisions that can improve seed placement the following spring. One step is more important than others when it comes to leaving the thinnest layer of residue on the soil surface. What is it?
9. An October article encouraged farmers to choose the appropriate hybrid for each field. (Using results from can be helpful.) When a farm grows two or more hybrids per year, the article says performance can be compared and analyzed to see which hybrids have genetics best suited to local growing conditions. What is the term for this local suitability?
10. Canola Watch makes regular reference to Keep It Clean messages. Keep It Clean is a program of Canada’s canola, pulse and cereal organizations and has important tips on using crop inputs (pesticides, seed) so that our harvested crops meet the standards of our customers. The fifth “simple tip” for canola, as listed at, is about growing seed from current registered varieties. It makes specific mention to something that was changed effective August 2020. What was changed?