ECODA project number: B.6
Principal investigator: Claude Caldwell
Field experiments were conducted at several sites in Eastern Canada to evaluate the effects of certain agronomic practices on canola production.
A field experiment was conducted to determine the optimum seeding rates and dates for spring canola grown in Eastern Canada. It was carried out in 2011 and 2012 at sites in Harrington, PEI; Canning, NS; Fredericton, NB; McGill, QC; Laval, QC; Ottawa, ON; and Guelph, ON. The trial was setup as a 3 × 3 factorial experiment arranged in a split plot design with four replications, where three seeding dates were the main plots, and three seeding rates were the subplots. The three seeding dates were designed as early, intermediate and late dates. Seeding dates varied at each site. The three seeding rates were 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 kg ha-1, targeting seed densities of 35, 65 and 130 seeds m-2, respectively.
A second experiment was established to gain better understanding of how canola will fit into existing cropping systems. A four-year crop study conducted at three locations (Canning, NS; Ottawa, ON and McGill, QC) with canola, wheat, soybean and corn in the rotation began in 2011. Specifically, the objectives of this study were to:
- Define the effect of canola on other crops in the rotation and the effects of those crops on canola performance across Eastern Canada.
- Collect data of soil, crop growth, yield and tissue N concentration in order to allow for calculation of economic benefit of growing canola as well as nutrient utilization efficiency and carbon footprints in different cropping systems.
- Investigate major diseases and insects of canola production in different cropping systems.
- Identify and establish a sustainable cropping system for canola production in eastern Canada.
The experiment is arranged in a RCBD with 13 different rotations and four replications.
Conclusions drawn from the canola seeding date x seeding rate trials indicate that to obtain a higher seed yield, early seeding date is preferred. Increasing seeding rate could increase seed yield, but the increase was not dramatic, therefore, the medium seeding rate is recommended. Oil content reached the highest when it was early planted. As far as yield component, branch number per plant and pod number per plant did not show any strong correlation with seed yield. As this is only the second year of a planned minimum four year study of these rotation sequences no conclusions can be made at this time. The continued data collection in the next two years will further the understanding of the rotation effects on these crops.