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
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.