Just over a week into seeding and we are at 45% complete. We have 77% of the wheat done, 58% of the barley, 36% of the canola, and all the oats are in the ground. This is very early compared to normal – not too many years ago we were just getting started around this time!
Still no rain in the forecast, but the cool weather is helping to not dry the land out so quickly. So far we have managed to place most of the seed into moisture, but that is requiring us to plant deeper than we normally do. Cereals are going in between 1-1.5 inches deep, and canola is going in between 3/4″ to 1.25″ depending on how dry the land is. We have also increased packing pressure to try and seal the ground off and “wick” the water up.
Due to dry weather, we are only harrowing fields that have heavy straw from last year. Even though we harrowed last fall, and ran our Salford over the cereal stubble, there is still a lot of straw to contend with. If we don’t harrow those fields the straw doesn’t allow us to get a decent seedbed and the seed/soil contact is not satisfactory. We are running the harrow right in front of the drill on those fields to reduce the amount of drying that happens after it is harrowed.
The cool weather also means our sprayer has been used in a limited fashion. We are still spraying ahead of all our cereals – we use a herbicide that has residual activity and helps control broadleaf’s such as spring annual cleavers, and volunteer canola for up to 21 days after it is sprayed. In dry years this allows us to delay our in-crop herbicide application as well – and wait for the rain to bring a flush of weeds.