Growing Canola – Crop Nutrition 101

What you need to know about canola fertilization, best practices, and more

Crop Nutrition Information for Growing Canola (Brassica napus):

  • Performs well at soil pH values between 5.5 and 8.5 -Canola grows well in cool, shorter season environments like that of western Canada.

  • Like many crops, canola prefers soils that have adequate water infiltration and aeration.

  • Canola is very responsive to sulfur fertilizer supply.

  • Canola is often grown in a rotation with small grains and pulse crops to break up the disease cycle.

  • As a small-seeded crop, canola seeds and seedlings are very sensitive to excess fertilizer salts in the seed-furrow

Key Nutrients: 

  • High-demand nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur 
  • Secondary and micronutrient imbalances or deficiencies can negatively impact quality and yield 

Nutrient Requirements: 

Nutrient balance is key to quality yields.  

N lb/acre = 100-120  

P lb/acre = 15-25 

 K lb/acre = 60-120 

 S lb/acre = 20-25  

Ca lb/acre = 40-60  

Mg lb/acre = 12-18  

Nutrient uptake values are estimated for a 35 bu/acre canola crop. Source: Canola Council of Canada ( 

Role of Nutrients:  

 Different nutrients can influence your harvest quality and yield. 

+ = improving 

– = decreasing 

+/- = different results, depending on the rate of nutrient applied 

Yield: N++, P+, K+, S++, Ca+, Mg+  

Seed oil concentration: N +/-, S + 

Canola Field
Canola Harvest


  • Recommendations for canola production in Canada and the north-central United States often range between 20-30 pounds of S per acre including sulfur contributed by both soil and fertilizer.  

  • Canola seed is sensitive to high salt-index fertilizer sources. Potassium chloride or potash is a common source of K, but has a high-salt index limiting how much can be applied in proximity to the seed. Similarly, common sources of sulfur such as AMS can limit emergence and seeding vigor. A low salt-index, low-chloride source of K and S like Polysulphate is an ideal source for seed-applied K and S. 

  • Balanced nutrition is key. To complement grower practices  we recommend Polysulphate Premium (0-0-13+11.8Ca+3.4Mg+18.2S) as an excellent seed-safe 4-in-1 fertilizer source for canola production. Recommended application rates are 100 to 150 lb/A applied either broadcast or with an air-seeder. 

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