Deciding what crops to put in rotations and in what sequence can make the gears in your head grind. Fear not farmers, we have the answers for you based on our novel crop rotational study.
Let's take a look at some of the thing's Dr Jan Slaski, InnoTech AB, has for this project guidelines:
- Four staple crops (wheat, barley, canola, pea)
- Four novel crops (hemp and quinoa) and (dry bean/corn or flax/Faba bean or soybean/canary seed)
- Two x two-year studies
- Studying emergence, biomass, yield
The objectives for this project are:
- Identification of the impacts of novel crops introduced to production in Alberta and Saskatchewan on the performance of staple crops
- Diminish the risks of crop failure due to inadequate management of new crops by the lack of knowledge for novel crop production
- Generation of comprehensive, agro-climatic, zone-specific agronomic information that will be critical for successful introduction of novel crops into rotations
- Dissemination of knowledge through field days, papers, reports and electronic media
One of the questions we aim to answer is which crop should follow which crop. What kind of stubble either works well or give really poor results. For instance, we experimented with quinoa and grew it on multiple different stubbles. It did poorest on hemp stubble. Other stubbles that quinoa didn't do well on were pea stubble and quinoa stubble. We project yield may be down 10-20% on corn stubble. The recommended ideal for growing quinoa was growing it on a cereal stubble. We used durum as the stubble for our quinoa and were happy with the results from that growth.
When ranking the relative crop performances when grown on its own stubble on a scale of 1-9 with one being the best yield and nine being the worst yield, most crops were around the nine range when it came to yielding. Check out the chart below to see the results.
One of the main things we know is that cereals stubbles perform best for the following crop. Examples of this are barley, wheat and durum. But with that, they are also good as crops and performed very well. Novel crops like quinoa, corn and hemp, however, should probably not be grown on its own stubble. They generally have some problems with stubbles and that is why we're doing this study. The Chart below shows the yield scores turned into an index score from the study. 1.0 means that the grow was successful and as the number decreases, the worse the yield score becomes. The purple lines show the novel crops while the red shows the cereals.
To summarize, novel crops such as hemp and quinoa cause weed problems for next year's crops, so they require a strong receiver crop next year. Choose rotation wisely, because novel crops show agronomy gaps much more than staple crops.