Impact of tillage system, rotation, and fungicide application on field crop production (1998-2001)
The impact of tillage, rotation, and fungicides on diseases and seed yield of wheat, barley, field pea, flax and canola was determined in the second cycle of 3, 4-year rotations at Melfort between 1998 and 2001. A 4-replicate split-split plot design was used with tillage systems (conventional, minimum and zero) as main-plots, three rotations (1 - canola, wheat, barley, barley; 2 - canola, barley, pea, wheat; and 3 - canola, pea, flax, barley) as sub-plots and fungicide treatments (treated or untreated) as sub-sub plots. Tillage system had little impact on diseases of any crop, although yield was greater under zero tillage than conventional or minimum tillage for most crops in the drought year of 2001. Rotation was not a major factor in disease severity of any of the crops except barley in Rotation 1, where it was grown for two consecutive years. Rotation did have an impact on yield of barley, which followed flax in Rotation 3 due to the water use of flax in 2000, which reduced barley yield in the drought year of 2001. Fungicide application had the greatest impact on disease control and yields although benefits varied among crop species and environments.
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