Impacts of stubble treatment on canola establishment

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Intermediate

2013 Seasonal effects of stubble treatments on canola establishment and grain yield in CWFS districts

Canola is a very popular break crop, however there were issues regarding its establishment under a wheat stubble. This webpage reports on survey and trial results from Central West Farming Systems in 2013. The full trial report is located here.

Key points:

  • Survey results: 47 farmers (covering 207,000 ha),  70% of  producers regularly maintained stubble cover over the summer period, 20% maintained their fallows by cultivation alone.
  • Trial location: Rankin Springs, Wirrinya and Tullamore.
  • Aim: investigate the impact the different stubble treatments imposed towards the end of the fallow have on the establishment and yield of canola.
  • Design:
    • four ranges and four rows with four replicates.
    • four treatments were standing, burnt, mulched and cultivated stubble.
    • plot size was 10m wide by 40m long, running between the co-operators tram tracks.
    • sown by the farmer as part of their commercial canola planting program.

  • Key results:
    • significant yield difference between the various stubble treatments.
    • Wirrinya: burnt and cultivated treatments with yields of (2.55 t/ha) and (2.19 t/ha) respectively yielded significantly higher than the mulched 1.68 t/ha.
    • Rankins Springs: burnt and cultivated treatments with yields of (1.23 t/ha) and (1.2 t/ha) respectively yielded significantly higher than the mulched treatment (1.02 t/ha) and standing (1.02 t/ha) treatments.

CWFS leaves the reader with the following take home messages:

  1. During 2013, The canola crops that were sown on time and met target plant populations it appeared that late burning and/or cultivation of the previous crops stubble improved yield.

  2. The cost of burning stubble’s needs to be considered when making the decision to burn. Burning stubbles may have a fit in paddocks  where windrows are being burnt for weed seed control or stubble’s are to heavy for seeders to get through.

  3. The cost of cultivation needs to account for both the cost of the operation as well as the risk of soil erosion. The risk of producing a drier seed bed at sowing time should also be considered.

Read ArticleSave For Later

Related Resources