Irrigation effects on Canola production
Bifrost Agricultural Sustainability Initiative Cooperative (BASIC)
Bayer Crop Science
The current study was designed with the objective to determine if canola variety agronomic attributes (maturity and height) and seeding rate have any effect on canola yield and performance under excess moisture conditions. Three canola varieties and three seeding rate combinations were evaluated under irrigation and ideal growing (on tile drainage land) conditions.
Irrigation treatment had effects on canola growth, but its effect on yield was not determined because of rainstorm damage in non-irrigated plots.
The summer during 2018 was exceptionally drier at Arborg site and the site only got almost 70% of the normal rainfall during active canola growing period. A total of 16.5 inches of simulated rainfall (started at 3-4 leaf stage) did not show any adverse effect on canola productivity and the yield ranged from 34-76 bu/acre in different plots. Irrigated canola plots took greater number of days to mature, when compared with non-irrigated canola plots. Irrigation exhibited significant effect on lodging of canola varieties L252 and L233P.
It was not possible to simulate excess moisture conditions because of drier year. It is recommended to repeat this study to simulate excessive moisture stress.
Canola is quite susceptible to water logging and shows a yield reduction if exposed to excess moisture in the earlier phase of crop growth. Wet soils cause an oxygen deficiency, which reduces root respiration and growth (Canola Council of Canada). With wet conditions, roots may be shallow and not able to access nutrients once the soils begin to dry. A few days in waterlogged soil can be enough to kill canola plants, and yield loss is certain — although as canola plants age, they tend to be more resilient.
Entire findings are available by downloading the report PDF.