The Soil Scout Social - Adjusting seed rates according to emergence percentage - Part 1

It's essential to get your planting timing just right. Planting too early or too late can have a huge impact on both the emergence speed and emergence rate. Surprisingly, one soil temperature isn't necessarily the optimum from both angles.

A closer look at the science of the soil temperature-related emergence percentages reveals that some crops are much more sensitive to non-optimal conditions, while others are more tolerant.

Trials at the Canada Agriculture Research Station as early as 1961 shed light on various emergence percentages of different arable crops. Interestingly, both barley and spring wheat emerge with the highest probability of 92-96% at 13°C (55°F) and produce a 5% less dense canopy when planted in soil at 6°C (43°F). However, barley will not mind even higher temperatures, while spring wheat (and wild oats) emergence decreases significantly when soil heats up.

When seeding cereals, it is important to consider the temperature of the soil. If it is cooler than desired, the seed rate should be increased by 5-15%. However, it is also possible for the soil to get too warm, which could result in losing precious soil moisture. Therefore, it is important to take soil temperature into account when seeding.

Stay with us weekly to explore the agronomic advantages of monitoring soil temperature together. You can also ask one of our soil monitoring experts a question to answer next week.. Click here to send an email with your question

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James Baylis

Head of Creative Content at Soil Scout. With over 20 years experience in the design, media and photographic industries, James has a passion for promoting the Soil Scout solution through creative content and marketing.