How does emergence count benefit me?

For those who managed to seed early, the crops are around the perfect stage to do plant counts.  

About 21 days after seeding is the ideal timing because:

  • it gives the seeds enough to emerge; and
  • plants have not developed tillers, making it easier to count

Why should I do plant counts? What benefit does it bring?

  • Plant counts are essential to calculating emergence mortality, which is required to calculate accurate seeding rates.
  • Emergence mortality varies from year to year and between fields, that is why it’s important to do emergence counts and get more accurate information.
  • Knowing emergence percentage sets expectations for seeding rates and plant stand in the following years. It helps to optimize seeding rates to reach the target plant stands, and in turn, maximize yield potential.

For how to use emergence mortality to calculate seeding rate, refer to Alberta Grains Seeding Rate Calculator.

For details on how to do emergence counts, check out this previous Growing Point article "Take steps to know your emergence percentage"

For more info on how plant stand and seeding rate impact yield potential, pest management and more, check out this RealAgriculture article featuring Alberta Grains Agronomy & Extension Specialist, Ruoxi Xia: "Wheat School: Yield starts at seeding rate".