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Growth, yield, and yield components of canola as affected by nitrogen, sulfur, and boron application

Ma, B.L., Biswas, D.K., Herath, A.W., Whalen, J.K., Ruan, S.Q., Caldwell, C., Earl, H., Vanasse, A., Scott, P., Smith, D.L. (2015). Growth, yield, and yield components of canola as affected by nitrogen, sulfur, and boron application, 178(4), 658-670.


© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Developing efficient nutrient management regimes is a prerequisite for promoting canola (Brassica napus L.) as a viable cash crop in eastern Canada. Field experiments were conducted to investigate the growth, yield, and yield components of canola in response to various combinations of preplant and sidedress nitrogen (N) with soil-applied sulfur (S) and soil and foliar-applied boron (B). Canola yield and all its yield components were strongly correlated (r<sup>2</sup> = 0.99) with the amount of N applied, as was the above-ground biomass at 20% flowering and the leaf area index. Sidedress N was more efficiently utilized by the crop, leading to greater yields than preplant N application. On average, canola yields increased by 9.7 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> for preplant N application and by 13.7 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> for sidedress N application, for every kg N ha<sup>-1</sup> applied, in 6 of the 10 site-years. Soil-applied S also increased canola yields by 3-31% in 7 of the 10 site-years, but had no effect on yield components. While there was no change in yield from soil-applied B, the foliar B application at early flowering increased yields up to 10%, indicating that canola plants absorb B efficiently through their leaves. In summary, canola yields were improved by fertilization with N (8 of 10 site-years), S (7 of 10 site-years) and B (4 of 10 site-years). Yield gains were also noted with split N-fertilizer application that involved sidedressing N between the rosette and early flowering stage. Following these fertilizer practices could improve the yield and quality of canola crop grown in rainfed humid regions similar to those in eastern Canada.

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