Evaluating canola genotypes and harvest methods to reduce seedbank addition and longevity
Seed loss in canola (Brassica napus, Brassica rapa and Brassica juncea) leads to considerable loss of revenue and dispersal of canola seeds into the soil seedbank. Once canola seeds enter the soil seedbank a portion can become secondarily dormant and persist for many years creating volunteer weed problems in following crops. Reducing canola seed loss and seedbank persistence can be an important strategy to reduce the incidence of volunteer weeds. The primary hypothesis of this research was that canola seedbank addition and dormancy induction in the seed are affected by genotype and harvest method. To test this hypothesis, three studies were conducted with the following objectives: i) to determine canola seedbank addition from windrowing and direct-harvesting operations on commercial farms in western Canada, ii) to determine agronomic- and harvest-related factors that may increase seed loss in canola, iii) to determine the effect of stage of crop maturity at harvest on potential to develop seed dormancy in canola, iv) to evaluate canola genotypes and harvest methods to reduce canola seedbank addition. A total of 66 canola fields were surveyed across Saskatchewan in 2010 and 2011. Shattered seeds from these fields were sampled within 3 weeks of harvest by using a vacuum cleaner. Agronomic- and harvest-related data were collected for each field using questionnaires. In a separate small plot study the effects of harvest methods (windrowing and direct-harvesting) and pod sealant products (Pod-Stik® and Pod Ceal DC®) on seed loss in five canola genotypes (InVigor5440, RR45H26, InVigor5020, RR4362, and CL8571) were evaluated in 2010 and 2011. In both years, 6 harvest samples were collected weekly from InVigor5440 and InVigor5020 genotypes starting at early stage of crop maturity until harvest to assess the effect of seed maturity on dormancy induction. On commercial farms, the average seedbank addition was 5,821 viable seeds m-2, which was equivalent to 7.3% of the total seed yield. There was no difference in the reported yield and seedbank addition between windrowed and direct-harvested canola on commercial farms. But in the small plot study, windrowing resulted in higher seedbank addition. Higher seedbank addition was observed when the yield of canola was higher and when producers had a larger area seeded to canola. The observed seedbank addition was also higher in Roundup Ready genotypes and when a conventional combine harvester was used to harvest canola. Little primary dormancy and low potential to secondary dormancy induction was observed in InVigor5440 and InVigor5020 seeds at an early stage of crop maturity. But at full maturity seeds of both genotypes had no primary dormancy but showed high potential for secondary dormancy induction. This indicates that windrowing the evaluated genotypes at early stage of crop maturity lowered the potential for secondary dormancy induction. There were appreciable differences in seedbank addition among the evaluated canola genotypes but pod sealant products did not affect seed yield and seed shatter in canola. The results of this study suggest that canola seedbank addition can be minimized by growing genotypes having reduced seed loss and with the adoption of direct-harvesting operations.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorShirtliffe, Steven J.
CommitteeCoulman, Bruce E.; Pozniak, Curtis J.; Bueckert, Rosalind A.
Copyright DateApril 2013