Canola rotation frequency impacts canola yield and associated pest species.

Harker, K.N., Yu, A.Z., O'Donovan, J.T., Turkington, T.K., Blackshaw, R.E., Lupwayi, N.Z., Smith, E.G., Johnson, E.N., Gan, Y.T., Kutcher, H.R., Dosdall, L.M., Peng, G. (2015). "Canola rotation frequency impacts canola yield and associated pest species.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 95(1), pp. 9-20. doi : 10.4141/cjps-2014-289  Access to full text

Abstract

Canola (Brassica napus L.) production has been steadily increasing in western Canada. Here we determine the effect of canola rotation frequency on canola seed yield, quality and associated pest species. From 2008 to 2013, direct-seeded experiments involving continuous canola and all rotation phases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and canola or field pea (Pisum sativum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and canola were conducted at five western Canada locations. Fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides were applied as required for optimal production of all crops. Canola rotation frequency did not influence canola oil or protein concentration or the level of major (composition>1%) seed oil fatty acids. High canola yields were associated with sites that experienced cooler temperatures with adequate and relatively uniform precipitation events. For each annual increase in the number of crops between canola, canola yield increased from 0.20 to 0.36 Mg ha-1. Although total weed density was not strongly associated with canola yield, decreased blackleg disease and root maggot damage were associated with greater canola yields as rotational diversity increased. Long-term sustainable canola production will increase with cropping system diversity.

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