Effect of Harvest Residue Distribution on Subsequent Crop Emergence and Performance

  • Term: 4 years, beginning in 2017

  • Funding Amount: $ 40,796

  • Lead Researcher(s): Greg Nathan, Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI)

  • Funding Partners: Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SCDC)

Project Description

This project involves field-scale trials to determine the effect of poor management of residue of cereal crop on the following year’s canola emergence and yield, and to assess whether post-harvest operations, such as harrowing and high-speed disking (“vertical tillage”), can mitigate the residue management issues.

Residue management is a significant challenge for producers today, especially when growing a canola crop after a heavy cereal crop, which is a common occurrence in Canada due to crop rotation practices. There is relatively a large knowledge base in the literature on the agronomic impacts of crop residues on soil nutrients and organic matter content however, impact of residue distribution is an important gap there. The conditions specific to canola performance as well as regional considerations are making that gap even wider. This project will generate information that can be used as a decision support tool for producers to justify improving their residue management system through residue system component adjustments, repair or replacement, or through conducting additional tillage operations.

The CARP program has indicated that the impact of crop residue (and potentially equipment settings) on seed placement and emergence as a priority. This project aims to address the root of the issue and will help the Canola Council of Canada achieve its goal on yield average by 2025 by quantifying the effect of poor residue distribution and by assessing management practices that can mitigate the issue.