To obtain optimum emergence and vigorous plants, the seedbed should be firm, moist and uniform. A firm seed bed will provide good seed-to-soil contact, even planting depth and quick moisture absorption by the seed resulting in uniform germination
For zero tillage systems, residue management is very important to ensure even emergence. Uniform residue distribution will help to ensure even seedbed moisture and result in uniform emergence. Prior to growing mustard, residue should be finely chopped and uniformly spread during harvest and/or harrowed in the fall when the straw is dry if further distribution is required. When residue spreading is inadequate there will be patchy emergence due to variable moisture (poor seed to soil contact) and soil temperatures in areas where residues are low vs high. Zero tillage systems will help conserve more moisture than conventional tillage.