Legume Crops to Improve Soil Fertility for Enhanced Canola Production
Principal investigator: John O’Donovan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB
Co-principals: Robert Blackshaw, AAFC, Lethbridge, AB, and Cynthia Grant, AAFC, Brandon, MB
Collaborators: Michael Edney, Eric Johnson, Yantai Gan, Neil Harker, Guy Lafond, Newton Lupwayi, William May, Elwin Smith and Kelly Turkington
Growing legume crops in rotation with canola and barley can provide a viable alternative to inorganic nitrogen. Legumes can provide a nitrogen benefit to the following crop, but a consistent, measurable benefit does not extend to crops grown two and three years afterward.
John O’Donovan with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) led this study to see whether legume crops (fababean, pea and lentil, specifically) in the rotation can provide a practical alternative to inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Legumes, with their ability to fix nitrogen, have the potential to reduce the requirement for inorganic N in subsequent crops. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of growing canola on various legume crop residues compared to growing canola on wheat or canola residues, and to find out if growing a legume crop to supplement the nitrogen requirements of canola is economical and could reduce the amount of inorganic nitrogen required to optimize yield.Open the PDF to read the entire research summary from the 2013 Science Issue of Canola Digest
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