Plant Stand Counts for Spring Cereals

Plant Stand Counts for Spring Cereals


With spring cereals beginning to emerge across the province, getting out and doing stand counts can help in assessing seed germination and emergence, see areas with potential crop loss and evaluate seed quality.

Low plant stands mean you aren’t getting full value out of your seed. This could lead to a variety of issues throughout the growing season including increased weed pressure, less herbicide and fertilizer efficiency, extended maturity challenges and increased disease pressure.

The number of counts you required to get an accurate stand estimate depends on the variability of the field. If the field is highly variable, more counts will be required. A good starting point is between 7-10 spots. Start by determining the length of row needed to equal one ft2, then count the plants in that row.

Row Width Row length needed for 1 ft2
(in) (ft) (in)
6 2.0 24
7 1.7 20.6
7.5 1.6 19.2
8 1.5 18.0
10 1.2 14.4


An easy way to remember how much of a row you need to count to equal 1 ft2 is to divide 144 by your row spacing. The answer is the number of inches you’ll need to count.

Article written by MWBGA Agronomy Extension Specialist, Mallorie Lewarne.

Information for this video was sourced from:

Crop Chatter: Doing Plant Counts in Your Cereals

The Growing Point: Emergence Expectations