When coming to a decision in regards to your crop plans for spring, you take into consideration a number of things, fertilizer, seed and variety, just to name a few. One other big factor that should play in the decision making is moisture. Water is the major limiting factor in crop production.
Seedbed water is extremely important for germination and emergence. A single seed must absorb a high percentage of its weight in water to begin the germination process, about 45%. With this being said, moisture conservation during seedbed preparation is very important, and can be implemented by reduced tillage and direct seeding.
Research from Agriculture Canada indicates that rainfall, soil moisture and reasonable input management of one inch of water equals 2.75-3.60 bushels per acre of canola. Recent research indicates that canola under high management can produce over 7 bushels per inch of water. Water is a major player when it comes to yield.
From Amanda Homans, Agronomist for McRae Holdings.