Seed-drill opener type and crop residue load affect canola establishment, but only residue load affects yield
CITATION: Swanepoel, P. A., et al. 2019. Seed-drill opener type and crop residue load affect canola establishment, but only residue load affects yield. Agronomy Journal, 111(4):1658-1665, doi:10.2134/agronj2018.10.0695.
The original publication is available at https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com
Core Ideas Canola establishment can be affected by the residues of the previous crop. Different planting tools may handle crop residue differently. Tine and disc furrow openers at different residue loads were tested. Canola performed best when established with tine openers and when residue load is low. Handling crop residue during planting operations is a challenge to conservation agriculture (CA) farmers worldwide. It remains unclear which tools are most effective in which conditions. Canola (Brassica napus L.), an oilseed crop widely used in rotation with cereals, is particularly sensitive to seedbed conditions, and thus may be influenced by residue loads and the choice of seed-drill openers. To identify optimal planting practices, this study compared the performance of disc and tine openers on canola establishment, growth, and yield under differing residue loads in a Mediterranean-type climate region. First, soil disturbance caused by disc and tine openers was evaluated to assess their effect on seedbed conditions; and second, the interacting effects of the openers with different residue loads was investigated. Tine openers and low crop residue loads resulted in the best (P < 0.05) canola establishment. However, canola at reduced plant populations compensated in both biomass and grain yield, so that no yield differences resulted from different opener types, and only small yield differences occurred between residue loads (P > 0.05).
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