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Management options for minimizing lodging of canola and its non–invasive assessment

Wu, W., and B.L. Ma. 2016. Management options for minimizing lodging of canola and its non–invasive assessment. Oral presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Agronomy and Horticulture (ICAH 2016). Xi’An, China, Aug. 24-26.

Abstract

Lodging, defined as the permanent displacement of aboveground parts of crop plants from their vertical stance due to stem buckling (stem lodging) or failure of the root–soil anchorage system (root lodging), is a common problem in canola (Brassica napus L.) production. The objective of this study was to mitigate the risks of lodging for canola production by using appropriate agronomic practices. In addition to a conventionally destructive method used to analyze root and stem lodging among different agronomic practices, i.e., irrigation regime, planting date, nitrogen (N) fertilizer management and cultivars selection; electrical measurements in terms of root capacitance (C), resistance (R) and impedance (Z) were used as a non–destructive and rapid method for evaluating root anchorage strength (Sp). This study indicated that the above agronomic practices can significantly influence the Sp, stem bending strength (Ss) and its associated safety factor. A delayed planting date was detrimental for lodging resistance and seed yield. Increasing the N fertilizer application rate significantly increased the seed yield but resulted in a high lodging risk. Evidence of differences in root size and lodging resistance between varieties was observed. Canola plants were more susceptible to root lodging than stem lodging. The electrical measurements of root C, R, and Z were more closely related with Sp than Ss. This study implied that the risk of lodging can be reduced by using appropriate irrigation patterns, planting date adaptation, best N fertilizer management practices and cultivar selection. N–split sidedressing practices or other innovative N balanced fertilizer management strategies are highly recommended. Enhancing root Sp was advocated as a priority over enhancing stem Ss. Electrical measurements, especially of root C, can be considered as a non–invasive technique that could partially replace the intrusive methods used for the in situ assessment of lodging resistance among various agronomic practices or can be applied in breeding programs for selecting genotypes with high yield potentials and strong Sp values.

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