Genetics will reduce harvest losses

December 1, 2014

KEY PRACTICE: Canola varieties with pod shatter tolerance have arrived. Pod shatter tolerance adds more flexibility for harvest timing, allowing crops to stand longer with fewer losses.

KEY RESEARCH: Cavalieri, A., University of Manitoba, et al. “Pod Drop and Pod Shatter Are Not Closely Related in Canola.” Crop Science (2014).

Gan, Y., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), et al. “Assessment of Seed Shattering Resistance and Yield Loss in Five Oilseed Crops.” Canadian Journal of Plant Science (2008).

Holzapfel, C., Indian Head Agricultural Research Federation. “Cultivar Considerations for Straight Combining.” Canola Agronomic Research Program (CARP) project, 2014.

Shan, S., Alberta Innovates and Rahman, H., University of Alberta. “Developing Brassica napus Lines With Reduced Pod Shattering.” CARP project (2013).


New pod shatter tolerance traits make the variety decision an even bigger part of harvest management.

Despite being considered together as harvest loss, pod shatter and pod drop are not closely related in canola. A recent study from Andrea Cavalieri found that pod shatter is primarily impacted by genotype, while environment is the dominant driver for pod drop. The fact that pod shatter tolerance is largely genetic makes variety selection even more critical, especially for those considering the straight combining method. This study also discovered that despite greater hybrid seed size, openpollinated varieties actually had higher pod drop than the hybrid counterparts.

Open the PDF to read the entire research summary from the 2014 Science Issue of Canola Digest

You can also read the 2014 Science Issue of Canola Digest as a flipbook

Visit the Canola Research Hub website to search the database of grower funded research

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