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.
|Parameters associated with canola emergence, growth, and yield components will be measured.|
|This project will inform the producers of best management practices to be followed to obtain maximum seed yield and quality for canola crop production.|
|Project outcomes may help determine if the inclusion of planters, especially for small-seeded crops, is warranted for the agricultural systems in southern Alberta.|
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.
|Plant density and emergence (%)||Days to start and end of flowering, days to maturity|
|Canopy cover||Soil moisture|
|Seed yield||Soil temperature|
|Yield components - Branches per plant, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, and 1000-seed weight.