Impact of tillage and crop residue on the establishment, survival and yield of winter canola (Brassica napus L.)


Page, E.R., S. Meloche, A. Thibodeau, and M. Moran. 2021. Impact of tillage and crop residue on the establishment, survival and yield of winter canola (Brassica napus L.). Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Agronomy, Halifax, N.S., November 14-17.


Winter canola production in eastern Canada is a growing segment of the Canadian canola industry. Winter canola acreage in Ontario, for example, has increased from less than 100 acres in 2015 to over 10,000 planted in the fall of 2021. Many of these acres are clustered in the most southern counties of the province where interest in the crop is being driven by high commodity prices and record yields. While farmers in this region are familiar with corn and soybeans, the management of winter canola and its incorporation it into existing rotations is a new challenge. It is often recommended that winter canola be seeded into tilled ground following winter wheat. In southern Ontario, however, it is conceivable that winter canola could also follow early harvested soybean, in which case no till practices could help accelerate the timeliness of seeding. Field trials were established at the Harrow Research and Development Centre in 2019 , 2020 and 2021 to assess the impact of crop residue (winter wheat or soybean) and tillage (no-till, strip till and conventional tillage) on the establishment, over winter survival and yield of winter canola. Stand losses during the fall and winter were generally acceptable in all treatments and the type of residue did not appear to have an influence. There was no difference in yield when canola was seeded into winter wheat or soybean residue but yields were higher in conventional and strip till than in no-till. Results indicate that, while crop residue and its management through tillage are important factors influencing the establishment of winter canola, farmers in southern Ontario can successfully produce winter canola using a wide range of crop management practices.

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