Conservation tillage practices including no-tillage and reduced tillage have been widely adopted in the Canadian prairies. However, proper residue management of the previous crops is challenging, which may lead to cold and wet seedbed conditions and improper seed to soil contact during seeding. Despite the availability of high-quality canola (Brassica napus L.) seeds, initial crop establishment in the fields has been observed to be variable and low (approx. 50%). Lack of residue management can further impact canola emergence and seedling survival. Higher seedling emergence is required for improved canola yield and seed quality. This study proposes to test the efficiency of management practices including strip tillage and precision planting in managing crop residues and improving canola emergence, growth and yield.
Strip tillage will be compared to zero-tillage and conventional tillage practices for their effect on crop emergence and seed yield of conventionally sown and precision-planted canola on dryland and irrigated farming systems.
In addition, precision planting of canola will be compared to conventional seeding methods including 1-inch narrow knife opener, a 3-inch hoe opener, and a disc-hoe opener.
Small plot field trials will be conducted for three years under dryland and irrigated conditions at two locations in dark-brown and brown soil zones, respectively. This study will consist of three tillage systems – strip tillage, no tillage and conventional tillage. Four seeding methods will be tested, including precision planting and three conventional seeding methods.
Prior to seeding, soil samples will be tested for nutrient content to determine fertilizer requirements at each site. Herbicide spray applications will be performed as per the recommended schedule for the region at each site.
Data will be collected and statistically analyzed to assess the effect of treatments on the following metrics –
Data will be statistically analyzed by using linear mixed model analysis using lme4 package in R software. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s test for post hoc analysis will be used to detect treatment effects.
Return in 2023 for results!