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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Soil and Agriculture > Resource Development > Seeding

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Seeding

Seeding Seeding is clearly one of the most important components to a farmer or agriculturalist. There is much more to seeding than one might suspect. There are different ways of seeding, which can make a significant difference in the outcome of the crop. The different ways depend on many factors, such as the type of crop being grown and the type of soil the crop will grow in. There is also the other component of time. When the seeding is done will also greatly affect the outcome. Early seeding usually results in maximum yields of cereals. This is because it lends to ultimate use of the moisture available in the soil, it allows the crop to avoid the most serious diseases and the effects of mid-summer heat and drought. Early seeding can also take advantage of the longer spring days. The more you have the crops working by our longest daylight periods, the greater will be the harvest.

Cereals should be sown as soon as soil temperature is warm enough. Soil temperatures are normally measured twice a day, early morning and mid-afternoon, and an average of the two readings is used. Soil temperatures in Alberta are usually best in the period from April 20 to May 15, depending on location and frost risk. Before the advent of selective herbicides, seeding was often delayed as a form of weed control. This practice has fallen into disuse by most growers in favour of weed control by herbicides. A farmer may still encounter trying situations, like extremely wet or dry spring weather. At these times, seeding must be delayed. Barley can be sown later than wheat or oats with little or no difference in maturation of the plant. In southern Alberta it will often mature when sown as late as June 20, although the amount and quality of the crop are sacrificed to an extent. In central Alberta, seeding after June 10 is hazardous, and in the Peace River area, seeding much after June 1 often results in loss of the crop by fall frosts.

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