Evaluating the competitive ability of semi-leafless field pea cultivars
Field pea (Pisum sativum L.) is an important grain legume in Western Canada. Growers can, however, be reluctant to include pulse crops in their rotation because they are poor competitors with weeds. Developing more competitive field pea cultivars is important to mitigate weed competition. The identification of competitive cultivars and the traits conferring competitive ability should lead to the development of more competitive field pea cultivars. The objective of this research was to evaluate the ability of semi-leafless field pea cultivars to suppress and withstand weed competition and to identify traits that may confer competitive ability in field pea. Field experiments were conducted in 2012 and 2013 at Floral, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and St. Albert, Alberta. Fourteen semi-leafless field pea cultivars were seeded at a target density of 75 plants m-2 under weedy and weed-free conditions. Imidazolinone-tolerant wheat (c.v. CDC Imagine) and canola (c.v. 45H73) were planted as pseudo weeds in the weedy plots. There was no cultivar by treatment interaction for all of the measured variables thus, cultivars did not differ in the presence or absence of weed competition. CDC Dakota produced the greatest pea yield and Reward produced the poorest pea yield at Saskatchewan. CDC Dakota and CDC Striker were among the best for pea biomass production at Saskatchewan, compared to Reward, which was among the worst. CDC Centennial and CDC Mozart were significantly better at Saskatchewan for their ability to withstand competition, while CDC Dakota, CDC Patrick, and CDC Meadow were statistically the best in their ability to compete with the pseudo weeds. At Alberta, CDC Striker and CDC Dakota were statistically best in their ability to compete with the pseudo weeds, versus Cooper and Stratus, who were among the poorest. At both Saskatchewan and Alberta, no correlations were strong enough to show which traits are conferring competitiveness in semi-leafless field pea cultivars.
integrated weed management
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