Biomass and nutrient accumulation in hybrid canola
Measuring and characterizing aboveground biomass and nutrient accumulation may help us understand the fertility requirements of hybrid canola and lead to better fertilization programs for this crop. The original objective was to measure Nitrogen use by hybrid canola; appropriate timing of N application, if a window of opportunity does exist in season, will reduce N rate and NO3-N remaining at the end of the season. This was extended to all nutrients. A study was initiated in 2003 that included experiments out at four sites (two in Manitoba and two in Alberta) using one cultivar (45H21). The basic design was a control, two N rates, 54 and 90 lb N/acre (60 and 100 kg N ha-1), and 54 lb N/acre plus topdressing of 36 lb N/acre (40 kg N ha-1) at 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 weeks after seeding. We carried out weekly sampling of canola and determined biomass, and N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn concentration. Peak of N, P and S uptake, as an example, was at the 6-leaf growth stage of canola. Only the N data are presented here. We used topdressing of N at 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 weeks after seeding as an alternative practice. Its success was directly related to timing of precipitation.
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