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Lafond G.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Holzapfel C.B.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2013

A major challenge in agriculture is to enhance crop production in an environmentally sustainable fashion to meet the needs of a growing population given the continual decline in the global arable land base. The objectives of the study were to study the interaction between row spacing and N rate in oat (Avena sativa L.) on plant establishment and development, biomass production, grain quality, and grain yield under a no-till production system. Four row spacing (25, 30, 35, and 40 cm) and five rates of N fertilizer were investigated for 3 yr. Plant density was not affected by N rate and there was no N rate by row spacing interaction. There was a 10% decrease in plant population going from 25 to 40 cm with some years showing no differences. Some differences on the origin and frequency of tillers were observed due to spacing. Grain yield was similar among 25, 30, and 35 cm row spacing with a 13% yield decrease at 40 cm. A row spacing by N rate interaction for grain yield was observed. Grain quality was not affected by spacing other than for a small increase in thin seed and seed weight at wider spacing. Grain N and P concentrations were not affected by row spacing. The results support the feasibility of wide row spacing up to 35 cm combined with placing all fertilizer requirements in a side-banded position. © 2013 by the American Society of Agronomy.


May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Holzapfel C.B.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation | Lafond G.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Schoenau J.J.,University of Saskatchewan
Canadian Journal of Plant Science | Year: 2013

Annual canarygrass is an important cereal crop in western Canada with a unique niche market as feed for caged birds. Chloride (Cl) fertilizer has been shown to increase seed yield in annual canarygrass; however, the response was only tested in one glabrous cultivar. Currently, glabrous cultivars created through mutagenesis, are lower yielding than cultivars with trichomes on their lemma, palea and glumes. The objective of this study was to determine if the mutagenic process which created cultivars that lack trichomes on their lemma, palea and glumes also affected the response of annual canarygrass to chloride fertilizer. A two-way factorial study was conducted across 7 site-years. The first factor was Cl applied at two rates (0 and 18.2 kg Cl ha-1) and the second factor was four cultivars (Keet, Cantate, CDC Togo (glabrous) and CDC Bastia (glabrous). The application of Cl increased the seed yield of annual canarygrass by 25% and most of this increase was due to a 21% increase in seeds per panicle. Kernel weight also contributed to increased seed yield. Chloride did not interact with the presence or absence of trichomes and therefore growers can expect to receive a yield increase from the application of Cl regardless of the annual canarygrass cultivar grown. Growers should apply 9 kg haof Cl when growing annual canarygrass. In conclusion, Cl is not involved in the physiology of the lower yield in glabrous cultivars compared with cultivars with trichomes, and Cl could not explain the seed yield differences between the two types of annual canarygrass.


Lafond G.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Walley F.,University of Saskatchewan | May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Holzapfel C.B.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation
Soil and Tillage Research | Year: 2011

Meeting the needs of an increasing population requires protection of our arable land base and improvements in productivity. The study compared soil quality characteristics and crop yield to nitrogen (N) fertilizer in two adjacent fields; one field managed with no-till for 31 years while the other for 9 years. In 2003, the two fields along with native prairie were sampled for soil quality parameters across two landscape positions. A small plot study involving five rates of urea N (0, 30, 60 90 and 120kgNha -1) and two phosphorus fertilizer placement methods (seed-placed vs side-banded) was conducted on the two adjacent fields for the period 2002-2009. The rates of N were superimposed on the same plots each year whereas wheat and canola were normally grown in alternate years. An N balance was conducted after 8 years to account for inputs and outputs of N. Soil bulk density values were 0.98gcm -3 for native prairie and 1.46 for LTNT and STNT in the 0-15cm soil layer. The native prairie had 48.2tha -1of SOC vs 44.4 and 36.7 for LTNT and STNT, respectively, in the 0-15cm soil layer and no detectable differences for the 15-30cm soil layer in 2003. Potentially mineralizable N using the Hot KCl digestion in the 0-15cm soil layer was 60kgha -1 of ammonium nitrogen for native prairie and 30 and 22kgha -1 for LTNT and STNT, respectively. For amino sugar-N, native prairie had 558kgha -1 vs 462 and 370kgha -1 for the LTNT and STNT, respectively. This indicates a positive relationship between SOC levels measured and potentially mineralizable N reflecting differences in land management. Phosphorus fertilizer placed in the side-band with N yielded 3.5% more than seed-placed phosphorus in spring wheat and no difference in canola. Grain yields were 14% and 16% more for LTNT than STNT in spring wheat and canola, respectively. Maximum grain N removal averaged in wheat was 87kgha -1 for LTNT and 74kgha -1 for STNT and 71 and 65.4kgha -1 in canola, respectively. A positive N balance was obtained provided that 60kgha -1 of N was applied every year and no accumulation of nitrate-N was noted even with rates that exceeded N removal in the grain. This supports the view that no-till combined with continuous cropping and proper fertility represents a path to sustaining the global soil resource. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Lafond G.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Holzapfel C.B.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation | Lemke R.L.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Lupwayi N.Z.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2011

Including grain-legumes in cropping systems contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and enhances agronomic and economic performance of cropping systems. The objective was to examine the potential for increasing the frequency of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) (FP) in a spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (W)-based cropping system. Three crop rotations, continuous pea (C-Pea), W-FP, and W-W-FP, were evaluated over a 10-yr period (1998-2007) at Indian Head, SK. During the FP phase of C-Pea and W-FP, three starter N rates (5, 20, 40 kg N ha-1) were applied. One rate of N (80 kg N ha-1) was used in W. Rotation and N had similar effects on plant densities in either crop. Field pea grain yields were 25% lower with C-Pea than W-FP or W-W-FP but similar between W-FP and W-W-FP. Starter N had some eff ect on FP grain yields at the higher N rate in W-FP but not C-Pea. Spring wheat grain yields were 3% greater on FP than W stubble. Grain protein in FP was 3.1% higher on C-Pea than W-P or W-W-FP while grain protein in W was 1 g kg-1 higher on FP than W stubble. Crop water use efficiency in FP and W was not affected by crop rotation. Based on the results of this study, we conclude that the frequency of FP in cropping systems in the subhumid and semiarid areas can be increased intermittently with only a 1-yr cereal break between FP crops when combined with proper integrated crop management practices. © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy.


Campbell C.A.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Lafond G.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | van den Bygaart A.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Zentner R.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | And 3 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Plant Science | Year: 2011

We analyzed the agronomic data from a 50-yr crop rotation experiment being conducted on a fine-textured, thin Black Chernozem at Indian Head, Saskatchewan in Canada. Our objective was to determine how a change from conventional-till to no-till, together with an increase in N fertilizer rates recommended by the Saskatchewan Soil Testing Laboratory has affected wheat yields and N and P balance in the systems over the past 20 yr. The treatments assessed were fertilized (N+P) and unfertilized fallow-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (F-W), F-W-W, and continuous wheat (ContW), and unfertilized legume green manure (LGM)-W-W and F-W-W-brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.)/alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) hay (H)-H-H. On average, N applied to wheat grown on fallow was 6 kg ha-1 yr-1 from 1957 to 1989 and 57 kg ha-1 yr-1 from 1990 to 2007; for wheat grown on stubble, the N rates were 21 kg ha-1 yr-1 from 1957 to 1977 and 85 kg ha-1 yr-1 thereafter. Crops received P at 10 kg ha-1 yr-1. On average, fertilizer increased wheat yield of fallow-wheat by 31%; the hay system increased fallow-wheat yield by 26% compared with unfertilized fallow-wheat in F-W-W, and the LGM system increased it by 14%. Effects were greater on stubble crop than on fallow crop, with fertilizer increasing the yield of wheat grown on stubble in the monoculture system by 114%, the hay system increasing it by 83% and the LGM system increasing it by 37%. The legume-containing rotations increased yields by increasing the N supplying capacity of the soil with the hay system being more effective than the LGM because legumes occurred more frequently in the hay rotation (3 in 6 yr vs. 2 in 6 yr). The benefit of the legume-containing systems on wheat yield may have been restricted because this unfertilized system steadily depleted available soil P. Average annualized wheat production in F-W, F-W-W and ContW rotations was unaffected by cropping frequency for the unfertilized systems, but it was directly proportional to cropping frequency for the fertilized systems. Annualized wheat production for the LGM-W-W rotation was 18% greater than for unfertilized F-W-W, but 41% less than for the fertilized F-W-W. Annualized wheat production in the hay-containing rotation was 32% less than in the unfertilized F-W-W rotation because of the less frequent presence of wheat in the hay system. Greater rates of N fertilizer in the later years increased yields and grain N content; this resulted in less residual NO3-N in the soil compared with previous years with lower fertilizer N. Thus, we expect there will be less likelihood of NO3 leaching under fallow-containing systems under no-till when updated fertilizer recommendations are used compared with previous results under conventional tillage with lower rates of N applications.


Morrison M.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Harker K.N.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Blackshaw R.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Holzapfel C.J.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation | O'Donovan J.T.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2016

During the period from 2000 to 2013, average canola yields from Canadian farms increased from 1330 to 2025kgha-1, or 54kgha-1 year-1. The objective of this review was to propose likely reasons behind this increase by examining genotypic, environmental and agronomic factors. During this period, hybrid canola cultivars with herbicide tolerance (HY-HT) expanded from 80% to >95% of the area sown to canola. Genetic gain from switching from open-pollinated cultivars to HY-HT cultivars was estimated to account for 32kgha-1 year-1. When some key environmental factors were examined, there were no significant linear changes in growing season temperature, although the linear increase in April and May precipitation was significant and likely responsible for an increase of 12kgha-1 year-1. When coupled with the yield increase from changes in atmospheric CO2 (3kgha-1 year-1), the environment was estimated to account for ∼15kgha-1 year-1. Ignoring all main-factor interactions, changes due to management accounted for the remainder, or 7kgha-1 year-1. The expanded use of HY-HT varieties has resulted in better weed control, and an increase in the use of minimum tillage, leading to greater water-use efficiency and higher yield. It is likely that many of the effects of changes in management were hidden in the interaction with genotype and environment main effects. It is difficult to estimate these interactions without designing experiments to do so. The design and implementation of experiments to understand the interaction among main factors should be a priority. Future yield targets of 25 Mt canola by 2025 will require an increase in yield per ha beyond the current rate, or an increase in the land seeded to canola, or a combination of the two factors. Continued progress with canola yield depends on active plant-breeding programs, agronomic research using new varieties, favourable environmental conditions, and high world commodity prices. © CSIRO 2016.


Haile T.A.,University of Saskatchewan | Holzapfel C.B.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation | Shirtliffe S.J.,University of Saskatchewan
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2014

Seed loss in canola [Brassica napus L., B. rapa L., and B. juncea (L.) Czern. & Coss.], which includes seed shatter and seeds in unopened dropped pods, leads to yield reductions and seed dispersal into the soil seedbank. The volunteer canola can then become a weed in the subsequent crops and cause yield losses. The objective of this study was to evaluate canola genotypes, harvest methods, and commercial pod sealant products to reduce canola seedbank addition. Field trials were conducted at Saskatoon, SK, Canada, in 2010 and 2011. The effect of harvest methods (untreated direct harvested [DH], Pod Ceal treated DH, Pod-Stik-treated DH, and windrowed) on seed loss in four B. napus genotypes (5440, 45H26, 5020, 4362), and a canola quality B. juncea (8571) were evaluated. Results showed that there were differences in seedbank addition among the canola genotypes in each year. The B. napus Genotypes 5440 and 45H26 were found to have lesser seedbank addition than other genotypes. Neither of the two pod sealant products reduced seed loss in canola. The windrowed canola had higher seedbank addition than the DH canola. This study indicated that direct harvesting can be a viable option for canola in western Canada and canola seedbank addition could be minimized by growing genotypes with improved shattering tolerance. © 2014 by the American Society of Agronomy, 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711. All rights reserved.


May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Lafond G.P.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Gan Y.T.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Hucl P.,University of Saskatchewan | And 3 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Plant Science | Year: 2012

Concern over the year-to-year and field-to-field variability in grain yield has consistently been expressed by annual canarygrass growers in Saskatchewan. The objectives of these studies were to understand the effects of a delayed seeding date (0, 15, 30 and 45 d), seeding rate (15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 kg ha-1 of seed) and applied N fertilizer (20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 kg N ha-1) on the development and yield of annual canarygrass, to improve recommendations of best management practices in annual canarygrass and to determine the impact of these factors on yield variability in annual canarygrass. To address these objectives, three single factor field experiments were conducted, at a number of sites in Saskatchewan from 1998 to 2001. Seeding date had a large effect on grain yield. Grain yield decreased as seeding was delayed by 30 and 45 d from early May. Seeding rate had a small effect on grain yield. The response curve was very shallow peaking at approximately 1310 kg ha-1 at a seeding rate of 45 kg ha-1. Variation in grain yield tended to decrease as the seeding rate increased. There was a small increase in grain yield with the addition of nitrogen fertilizer. The response curve estimated a maximum yield of 1215 kg ha-1, which was obtained with a nitrogen rate of 78 kg ha-1. The majority of the increase was between 20 and 40 kg N ha-1, with a 2.3 kg ha-1 increase in grain yield for each kg of fertilizer N in that range of rates. There was a slight increase in grain yield as the nitrogen rate increased above 40 kg ha-1 but the variation in grain yield also increased reducing the incentive for growers to use N rates above 40 kg ha-1. Seeding date had a large effect on seed yield and could impact yield variability while seeding rate and nitrogen rate did not have a large effect on seed yield or yield variability.


May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Malhi S.S.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Holzapfel C.B.,Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation | Nybo B.X.,Current Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2012

The year-to-year variability of seed yield in annual canarygrass (Phalaris canariensis L.) is a major concern among growers. A field experiment was conducted at 13 site-years across Saskatchewan to determine the response of annual canarygrass seed yield to K and Cl, and to provide better recommendations to producers on the use of KCl fertilizer in annual canarygrass based on soil test results. Potassium did not affect the yield or development of annual canarygrass over a range of 155 to 717 kg K ha-1 in the top 15 cm of soil. Chloride had a large impact on annual canarygrass seed yield; seed yield increased by approximately 24% when Cl was added in the form of KCl or CaCl2 when averaged across all sites. The seed yield increased because the application of Cl increased panicle size (seeds panicle-1). The magnitude of the response tended to increase as level of Cl in the soil decreased. Annual canarygrass growers need to measure Cl when using soil tests to determine fertilizer requirements. It is recommended that 9.1 kg Cl ha-1 in the form of 20 kg ha-1 of KCl be applied when the Cl level in the surface soil (0-15 cm) is below 70 kg Cl ha-1. The findings encourage growers to conduct individual field test strips to determine the strength of the Cl response. © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy.


May W.E.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Brandt S.A.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Gan Y.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Kutcher H.R.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Plant Science | Year: 2010

Differences in response to nitrogen (N) fertilizer will affect the production economics of field crops. Currently, there is limited information comparing the agronomic and economic performance of juncea canola (Brassica juncea L.) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) to napus canola (Brassica napus L.) and flax (Linum ustitatissimum L.) in Saskatchewan under no-till practices. A study of these species was carried out at five Saskatchewan locations over 3 yr and included eight nitrogen rates. All four species had a curvilinear increase in grain yield as N rate increased with the largest yield response observed in napus canola to as much as 200 kg N ha-1. The majority of the increase in flax grain yield occurred as the N rate increased from 10 to 90 kg ha-1, while most of the increase in grain yield of juncea canola and sunflower occurred as N increased from 10 to 70 kg ha-1. Biplot analysis indicated that grain yield variation was reduced at and above 50 kg N ha-1 in flax, napus canola and juncea canola, but not in sunflower. Analysis indicated that a wide range of N rates would provide a similar adjusted gross return within each crop with the exact N range being determined by crop price and nitrogen cost. The N rate affected the kernel weight of sunflower but not the kernel weight of other crops. The protein concentration of all the species increased as N rate increased. Seed oil concentration tended to decrease as the N rate increased, but this was not consistent. In conclusion, higher yielding cultivars of sunflower and juncea canola are needed before they will replace a large acreage of flax or napus canola; however, in the drier regions of the Saskatchewan there is potential to expand sunflower production.

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