Chickpeas Dry Beans Faba Beans Lentils Peas Soybeans Seeding
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Pulses are not very competitive early in the season and optimum plant populations have been determined for each crop. Targeting seeding rates based on the final plant population desired is the first step for successfully seeding pulses and calibrating your seeder based on the actual seed size is important. Consider factors that could reduce emergence and adjust seeding rates accordingly: soil temperature, seed quality, environmental conditions, moisture availability, and soil type.

Handle delicate seeds (i.e. pulses) with care as seed coats are susceptible to damage – run augers full and slow, and watch fan speeds on airseeders. Use a seed treatment if seed has a high level of disease, seeds show signs of mechanical damage, or the forecast is for wet, cool environmental conditions that may delay emergence. Kabuli chickpeas must have seed treatment or reduced emergence will occur. Insecticidal seed treatments are important for peas in areas where pea leaf weevil risk is high.

Seeding dates should target recommended soil temperatures for optimum germination as outlined in Table 1. Seeding depth is also important as larger pulses can typically be seeded deeper than smaller seed pulses. However, if soil moisture at seeding time is very good there is no benefit to seeding deep.

Pulses are generally poor competitors with weeds making good weed control prior to planting critical.

Table 1. Temperature Requirements for Seeding by Crop

Crop Recommended Minimum Average Soil Temperature at Seeding Depth (°C) Estimated Seeding Dates for Saskatchewan Target Plant Population Recommended Seeding Depth in cm (inches) Rolling Timing (if required)
Pea 5 Mid-April to Mid-May 8 per ft2 3-8 cm (1.2- 3.2 inches) Prior to emergence or up to 5th node stage
Lentil 5 Mid-April to Mid-May 12-17per ft2 2.5-7.5 cm (1-3 inches) Prior to emergence or up to 7th node stage
Chickpea 7 (Desi); 10 (Kabuli) Prior to May 25 3-4 per ft2 3.5-6 cm (1.5- 2.5 inches) Prior to emergence
Faba Bean 3-5 Mid-April to Mid-May 4 per ft2 5.1-7.6 cm (2- 3 inches) Prior to emergence
Dry Bean 12 May 25 to June 5 87,000 (pinto- narrow row, dryland); 140,000 (black- narrow row, dryland); 100-120,000 per acre (wide row, irrigated) 5-6 cm (2 – 2.5 inches) Prior to emergence
Soybean 10 May 10 to May 25 150-200,000 per acre 1.9-3.8 cm (0.75-1.5 inches) Prior to emergence

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Fertility is important with pulses. Phosphorus promotes the development of extensive root systems and vigorous seedlings. Encouraging vigorous root growth is an important step in promoting good nodule development and nitrogen fixation for all pulses. It also plays an important role in promoting earlier and more uniform maturity in all crops.

However, sensitivity to seed-placed fertilizer varies by crop with the tolerances listed in Table 2. Crop sensitivity is based on monoammonium phosphate (11-52-0), which has a relatively low salt index and the recommendations listed should not be used for other fertilizers. These rates are based on knife openers with 1-inch spread, 9-inch row spacing, and good-to-excellent soil moisture. Wider row spacing and/or openers with narrower seed spread would reduced tolerance and safe rates should be adjusted lower.

Table 2. Safe Rates of Seed-Placed Fertilizer

Crop Maximum Safe Rates of Seed-Placed (P2O5) Fertilizer (lb/ac P2O5)
Peas 15
Chickpeas 20
Lentils 20
Soybeans 20
Dry Beans 30
Faba Beans 40

(11-51-0 based on knife openers with 1 inch spread, 9 inch row spacing and good to excellent soil moisture)
Source: Dr. Jeff Schoenau, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, Guidelines for Safe Rates of Fertilizer, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Crop-Specific Seeding Tips





Faba Beans

Dry Beans

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