On Farm Research – Barley & Canola Stand Establishment
Ron Heller, Reduced Tillage LINKAGES & Robert Semeniuk, Cooperating Farmer
November 21, 2007
November 21, 2007
It would seem that growing crops is all about yield – and price. On the other hand, what about the money left over (or not) when the bills are paid and the bins are empty? For almost any crop, it would be hard to argue that high yield really matters, without profit.
Small plot research in some areas points to inadequate seeding rates as a reason or risk for less than optimal crop yield. In 2005-07, Alberta Reduced Tillage LINKAGES (RTL) has worked with farm co-operators to investigate how stand establishment impacts yield outcome. This involved field-scale seeding rate trials (barley and canola) and in some cases other agronomic overlays such as seeding speed and fertility (canola) within a direct seeding system.
The outcome of these individual projects can be discussed from a “results” perspective using the observations and data collection reports, however it is also important to note the general absence of any direct correlation between higher seeding rates and increased yield overall. In fact, in some cases an opposite effect occurred wherein plots with low seeding rates tended to yield more than adjacent replicates of high seeding rates. Further, some of the significant differences found between initial stand (plant counts) failed to affect eventual yield (bushels/acre). Hmmm…?
An overview of what was done and what happened will be presented. Smoky Lake area farmer, Robert Semeniuk, will discuss his direct seeding background, experience and learning as a project co-operator along with RTL agronomist, Ron Heller who will recap the main details and outcomes of this on-farm research focus.
open the attached PDF for the complete paper