Effect of Early Planting on Canola, Field Pea, and Hard Red Spring Wheat

Paul Hendrickson, Bob Henson and Blaine G. Schatz


Text Box: In response to the unseasonably warm spring, an experiment was conducted at the Carrington Research Extension Center to evaluate earlier than normal planting dates for canola, field pea, and hard red spring wheat (HRSW).  Hyola 357 Magnum’ canola, ‘Admiral’ field pea, and ‘Steele ND’ HRSW were planted at 9 live seeds/ft2, 300,000 live seeds /ac, and 1.2 million live seeds /ac, respectively.


The planting dates were spread over a 28-day period (Table 1) and emergence dates for all crops were spread over a 28- to 30-day period (data not shown).  Emergence generally occurred 10 to 13 days after planting, with the exception of the April 22nd and 29th planting dates.  Due to cold weather during this period, crop emergence for these dates occurred 15 to 20 days after planting.  From April 22 through May 4, the average minimum air temperature was 23°F.  The cold temperatures also reduced the canola stand for the April 8th and 15th planting dates (Table 1) and caused slight injury on wheat leaves planted April 8, but did not affect field pea.



Planting date did not affect the oil content (42.9%) or 1000 kernel weight (3.2 grams) for canola; the plant stand (872,000 plants/acre), test weight (59.1 lbs./bushel), or seed protein (15.7%) for wheat; or the plant stand (269,000 plants/acre), 1000 kernel weight (252 grams), test weight (65.7 lbs./bushel), seed protein (22.0%), or yield (46.0 bushels/acre) for field pea (data not shown).


Very early planting resulted in higher HRSW yields, reduced scab severity, and lower DON levels.  Field pea yield was not improved with very early planting.  Canola yield tended to increase with earlier planting.  However, the exposure of the canola plant growing point to frost increases the risk of crop injury. n