Exactrix Winter Canola, Fall Establishment,
Winter Hardiness, Fertilizer Practices.

Winter Canola On The Southern Great Plains. Frequently Asked Questions,
regarding the fall start and winter hardiness of Winter Canola and Winter Rape.

How do they do that? Seed production in the Pacific Northwest.   

Hybrid Canola with 6 male rows, (7.5 inch) on a 60 inch alley. Production techniques are different as risk mitigation is very important for this type of production.

The Breeder is looking for highest quality seed. The least amount conflicting test weight problems. Green seed is avoided by driving the plants to ripen evenly. Planters are effective with expensive breeder seed. Drilling is also effective.  

Notice the residue spread on the back of the combine. The spread allows for the Inspector and Breeder to confirm the loss of valuable hybrid seed in a concentrated area.

Utilization of Nutrients in the male rows is not very efficient. Just like hybrid seed corn the male rows contribute to nitrogen leaching problems and thus the need for a scavenger cover crop like cereal rye.

The rotation will be back to potatoes so the use of heavy tillage is required to dissect residue in the breeder row alleys.
Seed Potatoes which is a five year rotation performs very well on Canola soils.

1. Is Winter Canola an insurable crop in Kansas and the Great Plains? Yes.

2. Is the crop insurable with a planter on 20 or 30 inch seed row spacing on the Great Plains? Yes.

3. Will Winter Canola lead to higher yields in following crops? Yes in every case and about once every three years in rotation works best.

4. Is the rotation of winter canola very important? It is very important, At least three years separation and always following a cereal crop. No rotation on sunflowers or soybeans. Peas are considered acceptable. The most powerful rotation in North America is RR or Liberty Link Spring Canola on Spring Wheat or Durum with barley or peas following spring wheat. On the Southern Great Plains, Winter Canola following two years of winter wheat is a good choice. In irrigated production a double crop can be considered, of Winter Wheat, Winter Canola, Milo double crop, followed by corn or triticale/Sudan sorghum, double crop. In southwestern Kansas irrigated corn can be taken off early enough to allow establishment of winter canola seeded in early October. Double crop of Winter Canola is a major advantage.

Seed production of Hybrid Spring Canola Seed in Washington State.

5. Is Blackleg and White Mold a problem? Yes and it is important to avoid volunteer canola. Trucks must be tarped with no leakage and the roadsides should not propagate the volunteer. The importance of controlling the crop harvesting, delivery, and the volunteer was recently reemphasized in Washington State. Kill it dead on roadsides and volunteer areas.

6.  Is there an optimum seeding date? Yes and it varies with altitude and the ability of the crop to optimize the tap root size and the growing point vigor before winter freezing conditions. The seeding date can be sourced from your seed supplier or KSU and OSU websites.

7. What is considered an acceptable stand? In the Pacific Northwest an acceptable stand is 98% emerged in 7 to 10 days. If moisture is not in the seeding zone producers should not seed or dust in the crop…the crop must emerge on the Great Plains immediately and no delay in the race with the winter hardiness clock. All stands must be 98% emerged in 7 to 10 days. If seeding conditions are warm at 70 to 80 degrees the plants will emerge in 5 days.

8. Can water injection be used? Yes and especially true with a planter on 20 or 30 inch spacing. Water injection may be long term critical to stand establishment on sandy soils. Fluidized Calcium Sulfate can be included with the water to improve flocculation and soil life in the germination area. Sulfur also helps with oil and protein of the seed.

9. What happens if weeds have not been controlled in dryland wheat Chemfallow? Basically Chemfallow must be perfect at 99% weed control. If weeds are able to pull moisture out the seed zone the Canola crop will not come. Then water injection is required. So it is best to carry out a good Chemfallow program following the dryland wheat harvest…there will be more than like two and three applications to control weeds prior to planting dryland Winter Canola on dryland wheat residue.

10.  I have heard stories about seed size variation being 2.2 times. So how do producers seed the crop? Establishing the crop is definitely based on population. The variation is 60,000 to 140,000 plants per lb. based on studies at Idaho and Washington State. In dryland production, the planters like Monosem have a finished emerge stand in the range of 4 to 5 inches spacing with either 15, 20 inch or 30 inch rows. The plant will produce healthy tap roots with this spacing.

A good place to start in dryland is 44,000 on 30 inch and 66,000 on 20 inch spacing. A 10 inch spacing drill would be 132,000 in dryland. The goal is to space the plant about 4 to 5 inches apart. Spacing to 8 inch will produce a good economic yield in the spring stand evaluation. Irrigated production seed population can be increased 125% on supplemental and 150% on full irrigation. No long term data is available as to any advantage to planting at heavier plant populations on irrigation. Row Spacing seems to make little difference in yield. Plant spacing and resulting plant vigor seems to make the most difference

11.  What is the correct seed depth? Winter Canola can be seeded deeper than spring Canola based on soil temperature. In No-tillage seed beds the producer should seed about 1 inch in depth and no deeper than 1.5 inch with a drill single disc opener or a planter. Do not pack on top of seed row when seeding deep. Single disc openers that do not pack on top of row should be used when seeding deep.

Singulated Spring Canola Seed, reduces risk and raises yield potential.

12.  Does No-tillage seeding have an advantage? Yes and no, since the chance of getting a good stand in No-tillage seeding is very good since the moisture level is more managed. Soil active chemicals such as SU’s and Atrazine can be a problem whereby tillage might dissipate the soil active chemicals but loose the soil moisture for a stand. There is one variety of Winter Canola that can tolerate SU soil chemical problems. Chemical carryover is a limiting factor in winter hardiness. Properly set and selected row cleaners may allow for stronger stands and less interference with SU carryover.

13.  Planter or Drill, I have two choices and I would like to try both or should I concentrate on one machine? It would appear that in Kansas and Great Plains conditions a planter equipped with row cleaners on 20 or 30 inch centers has a rather significant advantage.

14.  Why is a planter better? The planter properly set up with row cleaners may allow for a lower crown set. So winter hardiness appears to be better with a proper planter. The challenge is to keep the residue away from the emerging plant so the vegetative state crown does net set up high in the residue. This is the current theory that residue produces a high crown set. So a drill using single disc opener might not move enough residue away from the row. A shank opener might be better like a contour shank drill offered typically by Canadian manufacturers.

Monosem Planter with the ability to singulate on 15 inch rows.

15.  Isn't seed population and spacing better with a planter? Yes and this is the major point of lowering risk and keeping winter canola in the rotation.

This was proven by Conservapak over many years. The Conservapak metering system (non-singulating but highly accurate row to row) was dropped by Deere when the 1870 was introduced. Seed costs can be reduced to the point that the winter Canola seed cost competes with winter wheat seed costs. The plant produces top yields at 4 to 5 inch spacing and this is simply not possible with the controlled spillage of air-seeder towers and central meter delivery systems. Thus when a RR license is involved the opportunity of planter precision spacing is realized.

16.  What about metering Canola seed? There are some good choices in metering discs. The 90 cell discs appear to be good for Canola. Deere NT planters have the correct metering plates available through RRV designed plates. Note: Do not use plates that are not specifically designed for Canola Seed.

17.  Should the fall seeded field be pre-irrigated? Yes, all the way to 6 feet if you have the soil depth. The tap root determines the yield potential. The Tap root must not hit dry soil before winter sets in to maximize the winter Canola yield under pivots. The irrigation schedule needs to be adjusted and possibly no water would be needed in the spring if the TAPPS and TAPPKTS nutrients are deep banded. Nutrients should not be applied with a pivot since the goal is deep rooting. Shallow root colonies do not produce the highest yields. The deep banding of NH3, APP/ATS and Zinc into the growing crop would be made at a timeline of just before dormancy in the fall and during dormancy in the winter. Spring banding into growing winter canola is not optimum.


Canola residue provides bio-fumigation and improved yields. A uniform stand is important with a uniform spread of residue. The Canola pod residue spreading should be over the full combine width. The threshed pods are high protein and similar to the seed in protein content.  Spread the residue evenly across the entire machine width.

Advanced Fertilizer Practices.

1.  Is it critical to use a single disc banding tool? Yes, The plant requires deep bands to 7 inch depth to get the maximum yield. The plant prefers ammonium, phosphate and lots of sulfur to make oil content in the 42%to 46% range. It is not possible for the Canola plant to be hardy if Solution 32 is applied to the plant in the fall. Solution 32 allows the cell wall to elongate and weaken. Freezing conditions thus breaks down the cell wall and desiccates the plant.
Winter Hardiness is best achieved by avoiding nitrate and urea nitrogen. The ammonium state can be immediately absorbed by the plant and NH3 is immediately crop available. NH3 or ammonium does not produce as much elongation as compared to nitrate or 32-0-0 sources. Ammonium application also has the lowest carbon footprint and energy requirements to build the material at 82.4% ammonium.


Building Blocks to high oil content and protein, NH3 and Sulfur, Lysine a key Amino Acid utilizes NH3 directly. Using Amino Acids to build Protein and Oil content requires elevated rates of sulfur.

2.  Why does the plant prefer NH3? Ammonium immediately makes amino acids and does not require a second step as when nitrate is utilized. The protein and oil develops in the plant with a good supply of Ammonium Thio-sulfate sulfur or Thio-sul®12-0-0-26S. Ammonium Poly Phosphate, 10-34-0 or 11-37-0 helps to develop better root systems to absorb more moisture deep. NH3 or ammonium when late fall applied has the highest potential for top yields since the tap roots can develop deeper into the profile without interference or toxicity as found with 30 inch banding of urea in strip-tillage. The timing of ammonium, NH3 or 82.4-0-0 is critical to top yields by side dressing the crop in late fall on during dormancy growth period of the winter months. During dormancy winter wheat and winter canola roots grow and extended to deeper depths at slower rates since the ground does not typically freeze with No-tillage. A No-tillage snow trap is absolutely critical to top yields on the Great Plains.

3.  No nitrogen fertilizer is better when establishing the biennial winter Canola crop. Why? It is best to let the crop scavenge the residual N and PKS in the soil and keep the plant at a lower level of vegetative growth to assure hardiness. If you wanted to assure a big growth and resultant winter kill the producer would apply solution 32-0-0, or 28-0-0 with a pivot during the fall establishment. Winter Kill is assured with excessive vegetative growth from nitrate and urea sources.

4.  Does TAPPS, TAPPKTS, with Ammoniated Zinc require some adjustments? For Dryland 40 bushels per acre production the recommendation and nutrient package is about double to triple rates of Thio-Sul® compared to wheat to help make oil content higher and higher seed protein.

Currently more work needs to be done with KTS since the plant nutrient has promise in improving hardiness on most soil types. The dryland 40 bushel recommendation is about 12% or the gross income (2016) using TAPPS. NH3, 37.5 lbs N, 3 gallons of APP or 11.4 lbs. P and 4.2 lbs N, and 10 gallons of Thio-sul® 28.9 lbs. S and 11.lbs N, total Ammonium applied is 52.2 lbs N. 52.2-11.4-0-28.9S-.66 AZn.

The critical aspect of the formulation is the application period. Nutrients need to go on when the winter Canola tap root is about 2 feet in depth. This is normally about 45 days after planting. Band the nutrients with Mustang single disc openers on 12 inch to 20 inch band centers with 15 inch banding centers being the most common. Band to 7 inch depth to allow for maximum root targeting.


TAPPS Tri-Ammonium Poly Phosphate Sulfate, Zn.

Application of TAPPS and TAPPKTS at 1% CV at highest levels of manufactured uniformity using Mass Flow meters.

TAPPS Tri-Ammonium Poly Phosphate Sulfate, Zn. Ammonium as NH3 is combined with Ammonium Poly Phosphate and Ammonium Thio-Sulfate or Thio-sul® and Ammoniated Zinc in a uniform stream flow crystallization.

TAPPKTS includes the 4th material, Potassium Thio-Sulfate or KTS®. Advanced Canola producers have been using KTS® to improve oil content. Winter Hardiness can be improved with a balanced NPKS&Zn band.

Low cost, Ammoniated Zinc is utilized since it is compatible with Poly Phosphate which is 70% poly and 30% ortho. Ammonium Poly Phosphate 10-34-0, 11-37-0 is purposely designed to carry the Ammoniated Zinc 16-0-0-20Zn in the polymer section of the 10-34-0.

Humic Acid seems to have little to no positive economic effect when included into the highly uniform TAPPS band at 8.5 to 9 pH.

The same is true of the polymer Avail since the high pressure Exactrix ammonization at a 1% CV application allows the improved performance of placed P in calcareous soils.

August 29th,swathing of spring canola, Strathmore, Alberta, Canada

5.  I have read about winter Canola yields to 8,200 lbs per acre and I want to make sure that I can achieve that? You are a dreamer and this is probably not going to happen as those yields come from test plots with deep loess Palouse soils and 12 month black summer and chemical fallow programs. But it is certainly possible to hit 100 bushels per acre with irrigated winter Canola. The problem is normally the weather and soil depth being the major limiting factors.

6.  So what is the proper rate of application for irrigated center pivots with 4,200 lb yield goal. Follow the Exactrix guidelines at 12% of the gross. Thus 84 bushels per acre should produce a net income of about $600 per acre at $7.25 per bushel. About $72.00 per acre is the operating budget in 2016 economic conditions. 109.6-23.9-0-60.7S-1.4Zn.

Don’t forget, it takes a lot of sulfur to make yield, protein and oil content. The risk of not making oil content is also a management risk.

7.  With Winter Canola, Does Single Pass seeding and banding application work just as good as two pass seeding and application?

No, Such machines as the Deere 1895 or 1870, The Bourgault 3710 single disc, 3310 contour drill or the Case Flexicoil Stealth Opener provide opportunity to band all nutrients and seed making the farming operation, machinery deficient and operator sensitive. Timing of the crop nutrients in a biennial crop production mode has the highest level of performance and maximum level of nutrient efficiency when nutrients are late fall banded after the crop is established.

Spring Canola singulated seed placement with a Monosem planter on 15 inch, Nampa, Alberta.

8.  Why is snow key to top nutrient uptake?   North America is one of the few places in the world where snow is used to make ammonium more functional to the crop.   In No-till the famous snow trap allows the snow to distribute uniformly and keep the soil warm enough to prevent freezing. Thus there is a slow perk of melt-water into the soil. A uniform perk of melt-water assures a high quality crop potential.   Ammonium is soil stable as NH4 and when combined with P205 and S and S04 forming TAPPS. The crystalline TAPPS or TPPKTS becomes more stable with Ammoniated Zinc added to assure the proper metals balance in the band. The nitro ammonias and nitrobacteria find it hard to proliferate in 8.5 to 9 pH band of crystallized nutrients.

Thus the very narrow, low exposure, TAPPS or TAPPKTS bands stay in place or droop about 12 inches in the profile with a winter snow fall of about 70 to 80 inches. Nitrate fertilizers, 32-0-0, 28-0-0, will easily move out the root zone and follow the wetting front into the drinking water, streams, rivers and gulfs.  This is why nitrate 32-0-0 is never used in fall crop production.  Ammonium is soil stable when applied as TAPPS or TAPPKTS.


Great Plains producers know the value of a good snow trap in No-tillage production of winter wheat. It works just as well or better for winter Canola.  Canola roots grow in the winter months in the non frozen soils of the Southern Great Plains.  

9.  What about Boron? Yes, it is required at the reproductive bloom stage and is normally applied with the fungicide at first petal drop. Probably can also be considered in the band but at very low rates to be safe with the toxic material. The timing of Boron in the reproductive mode is proven to be an adder to higher profits.

10. What about honey bees? Yes, Honey Bees help and bring on a higher yield (5%) and typically well worth the minimum hassle. The insecticides are the problem. Irrigated production for sure should use honey bees just like the breeder who made the hybrid canola seed. Honey bees are important for excellent pollination in an open pollinated crop and it is important to keep their industry growing. Hybrid Canola seed absolute requires honey bees for pollination of the sterile seed.

Beeville, USA. SHB producing high quality seed for the Hybrid Canola seed market. Remote mountain valleys assure a high quality seed crop and little interference with the pollinators getting the job done.

11.  What seems to be the most misunderstood part of raising winter Canola? The producers lose focus on the timing of nutrients since they may not have the correct equipment. How to select nutrients is very critical. How to produce high oil content to assure a premium for his Canola is not well understood until the producer sees the settlement check from ADM or Vittera. Treat the crop as cover crop initially. Back off on the nutrients until you know you have a winner. The crop must make high protein and oil and it will with excellent fertilization techniques for Exactrix TAPPS.

12.  Can Nutrients be applied in the seed row? Ammoniated Nutrients should not be applied in the seed row. This is especially true on high pH soils when the soils are at warm temperatures from 50 degrees F to 80 degrees F.

13.  How effective is Rotational Band Loading? Allowing access to previous placed Exactrix TAPPS and TAPPKTS bands in No-tillage farming makes a big difference. NPKS efficiency goes up by a factor of 15% per year for at least 3 years is the old bands are not disturbed. At highest levels of efficiency which is TAPPS vermiculated bands using Mustang openers the placed P is 25% to 30% utilized by the plant. So No-tillage and deep banding to 7 inches plays a big role in raising soil test P and improving crop yields. Rotational Band Loading is long known for its value in improving soil test P in Kansas conditions.

Roll the Dice Twice.

1. If the crop does not make it through the winter you have a cover crop that has left a high quality, residual place to plant a spring crop.

2. Invest about $8.00 per acre for seed and look for a 98% stand in 7 to 10 days. Treat the crop initially as a cover crop with low expectations.

3. Invest in TAPPS or TAPPKTS fertilizer only when a stand is assured in about the 45th day after planting. Ammonium is always the winner at the low rate.

4. If the crop does make it into the spring figure out why and come back with a great spring crop and pickup your insurance check.

5. Never give up, keep trying until you figure out the cultural practice and always have a backup plan.

Note. Growth Regulators are being considered for Winter Canola in about the 25th to 30th day after planting to thicken the cell wall and slow down the vegetative growth.  Pix, Cerone, Palisade are such growth regulators that may or may not work and are definitely not a labeled practice.  Most producers should be able to produce good winter hardiness without a growth regulator if they follow the above guidelines.  Ammonium is considered a functional growth regulator when combined with APP and ATS stopping or limiting the conversion to negative valence nitrate which enhances winter kill by producing a thin cell wall.   Urea is not ammonium.

Goodland, KS, at the ADM crushing facility which has several receiving stations in Kansas. The crush goes primarily to the large dairy farms in western Kansas and Colorado.

Pretty good residue spread with a New Holland Twin Rotor. Notice the shatter from hail. About 15 bushel was shattered in the row . The field averaged 60.44 bushels per acre across the scales. 

Field location is in the water basin and the headwaters of the north fork of the Republican river.  

Republican river, artesian springs at 3,800 feet support the headwaters of the Republican river. Springs are based on this field at  higher 4,200 foot elevation and providing the head pressure of the springs.  

This is typical of the sand hills of Nebraska and Colorado.

The windrow pickup investment is about $20,000.

The TAPPS Banding Exactrix tool bar investment on 40 feet with Mustang openers, a $180,000 to $275,000 investment.  A key component in improving yields, improving winter hardiness, and reducing risk.

Yuma, Colorado at 4,200 feet. DeKalb variety. Winter Canola swath with damaged pods from hail. A surprising good crop and initially established as a cover crop only.

A $225,000 investment, Banding into all soil types and residue situations with Mustang P-51 CUE openers. No-tillage banding to 7 inch depth. Vermiculated bands of TAPPS and TAPPKTS. 30 feet on 15 inch band centers. 

A powerful tool in western Kansas since almost all crops produced in double crop or annual crop mode are not legumes. Banding low cost NH3 is required to make maximum profits.  

Exactrix is developing a banding tool bar in the same design for soybeans. The key point is geometry of the non-nitrogen units….as crop critical nutrients and inputs in relation to the rainfall timing and pattern.

McDon 40 foot Swather Head with Roto Shear. A harvest investment in the $150,000 range. 

Direct cutting is also working well in certain areas. Reglone® is required to ripen the crop.

Rotational Band Loading drives P uptake and long term efficiency.  

TAPPS And Vermiculated Banding Improves Soil Test P For Future Crops.   

Deep 7 inch, No-tillage banding has changed No-tillage farming with advent of P-51 C Mustang openers.

Vermiculated Banding of TAPPS and TAPPKTS. Hydra Hume and Avail are no longer included in the chemistry due to the high efficiency of the band when triple super ammoniated.

Seed Potatoes on every 5th irrigated acre with Canola leading the highly profitable seed potatoes. Hybrid Seed Canola is long term profitable in the advancement of seed production.

Confirming highest quality seed in a critical watershed of a populated mountain river valley. The environmental aspect of canola and potato seed production must also be considered in keeping the rivers and water clean.  

A good location for certified Westbred seed wheat.  Following Canola with field wide averages of 174 bushels per acre with the variety Jet.

November Banding into growing winter wheat.  Banding into growing wheat and canola is a time proven technique in Kansas and Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma up to 180% higher rates of TAPPS and TAPPKTS are applied during winter crop dormancy to assure the following double crop has adequate nutrients in dryland production.  

The TAPPS bands are elevated and designed to carry-over into double crop dryland Milo.  

At some point the TAPPS bands become toxic so it is important to not raise the application rate too high and yet the rate must be managed for the following dryland summer crop.  

Rotational Band Loading in No-tillage further allows reduction in nutrients over time.

Exactrix Banding Tool bars. Red or Green, it's a good machine!  

"Big Red"   #1 https://vimeo.com/bandbvideo/review/162428756/c562a9070d

"Small Green" #2  https://vimeo.com/bandbvideo/review/162609745/b8a4c47ab2

"Canola harvest scene." To see the video go to www.exactrix.com/EOYT.htm

Training Videos are available at www.exactrix.com/EOYT.htm

More news about Relay Intercropping at www.exactrix.com/RI.htm

Nitrogen Stabilization,
Thio-Sul® is as good or better than N-Serve®. http://www.exactrix.com/Broadcast_03_11_16.htm

Mustard and Fumigation at WSU, U of I subject web page at www.exactrix.com/FM.htm

Terminate your Cover Crop Early.

TAPPS and TAPPKTS at www.exactrix.com/TF.htm

For a good overview of banding deeper go to Center Pivot Corn Production

Need more historical reference of Exactrix Global Systems? Go to www.exactrix.com/EWAC.htm

Banding Deeper in No-till without tillage with Rotational Band Loading. www.exactrix.com/mustang.htm

Need more information about STEEP test plots and how Exactrix performs? Go to www.exactrix.com/mcclure.htm

See Video  How TAPPS and TAPPKTS Changed a Kansas Farm. A  KSU Ag Economist gives a good review.    

Meeting your formulation needs. www.exactrix.com/TF.htm  

Picking your metering systems. www.exactrix.com/EPM.htm

Need more information on advanced crop production? Go to www.exactrix.com/EWAC.htm


Exactrix P51 Mustangs
 Outstanding Video With Kevin Medow and His P51 Mustangs