Stubble and seeding management to improve microclimate and seed yield of canola
The benefit of standing stubble for wheat and pulse growth and yield is dependent upon the height of the stubble. Taller stubble traps more snow and creates a better microclimate for seedlings growth than short or cultivated stubble. Since information on the effect of stubble management on the in-crop microclimate of canola was lacking, a three year field study was conducted at Swift Current. Short (15cm) and tall stubble (30cm) effect on microclimate and seed yield were compared with that of cultivated stubble. The microclimate parameters included wind velocity, soil, air, and plant temperatures, solar radiation, and relative humidity. Microclimate observations indicated lower wind speed near the soil surface and lower soil temperatures in tall compared to cultivated stubble. Surprisingly, the stem temperature of canola seeded in tall stubble was higher than cultivated stubble. Biomass production and water use efficiency increased for tall standing stubble compared to cultivated stubble. Tall stubble increased mean seed yield by 9 and 19% compared to short and fall cultivated plots, respectively. The results indicated that a combination of improved microclimate was responsible for the yield increase.
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