Canola is injured by in‐row nitrogen placement associated with disc openers, but not by tine openers

Swanepoela, Pieter A. ; Labuschagne, Johan (2020)

CITATION: Swanepoela, P. A. & Labuschagne, J. 2020. Canola is injured by in‐row nitrogen placement associated with disc openers, but not by tine openers. Crop Science, 60(1):466-474, doi:10.1002/csc2.20084.

The original publication is available at https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Article

Seed drills are used in no‐tillage systems to place seed directly in soil. Various furrow openers exist, each with unique seed and fertilizer placement characteristics, particularly positioning of fertilizer in relation to the position of the seed. Seedling damage may occur if seed and fertilizer placement is not appropriate for the particular crop. Canola (Brassica napus L.) seed is small, resulting in seedlings susceptible to injury by fertilizers. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of in‐row N placement with a seed drill fitted with single‐ and double‐chute tine openers, and disc openers. The study was performed in a Mediterranean‐type climate region in South Africa over 2 yr. Plant establishment was reduced by 48% when canola was established with disc openers with no separation between N and the seed (P < .05). Tine openers were most successful in establishing an acceptable plant population, as well as ensuring high biomass production throughout the season, leading to a high leaf area index. Although no yield differences (P > .05) were observed between openers, it was concluded that the application of N in the band at the same position as the seed is a risk. Tine openers, either with a single or double seed chute, that separate seed and fertilizer resulted in the best canola performance.

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