Farming Smarter started this project proposing that inter-row seeding could allow for taller standing stubble (which is proven to help increase yields in zero-tillage systems), improve depth control and seedling establishment. Past studies have found that seeding on-row reduced plant stand establishment in canola compared to seeding between the row and check plots. It was also discovered that canola yield was higher with the pillar laser disc/hoe openers compared to the steal paired tow and was not affected by the row placement. This study is a continuation of previous work and seeks to evaluate inter-row seeding by measuring seedling establishment and yield in relation to stubble location, stubble heights and seeding rates.
There were three treatments used in this study to help determine how inter-row seeding effects the crop. The first treatment had producers randomly seeding (however the openers are oriented when the pass begins). Treatment two involved seeding directly on the stubble row and treatment three was seeing somewhere between the stubble row.
Each seeding orientation was done twice, one plot with the Pillar Laser Disc/Hoe Openers and the other with the Stealth Paired Row Hoe Openers. The field trial was set up on large-size plots (approximately 50m x 1.93m).
Data was collected on several factors, including:
- Plant emergence and final stands
- Weed presence and abundance
- Soil temperatures
- Canopy closure
- Stubble heights
This study found there was a 10 per cent reduction in plant count on the ones that were seeded on row in comparison to the crops seeded between the stubble. We discovered there was no temperature variance between the soil on the stubble rows and that of in between, and the weed counts were the same. There was no difference in the yields between the two treatments. The project shows that producers can decrease their seeding rates and maintain their yields with nothing more than standard GPS technology.
To learn more, check out our final report: Final Project Report