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Quantifying the economic and soil quality benefits of long- term no-till using a canola-spring wheat rotation

Lead Researcher Christopher Holzapfel
Co-Researcher(s) Fran Walley, Guy Lafond
Start Date April 2012
End Date March 2015
Funding Partners ACIDF
Status Complete

The Challenge

Bumper yields are continually being achieved in canola and other crops, but high yields can change the soil environment over time, negatively affecting productivity.

The Project

Improve the productivity in soils to meet the challenges of higher grain yields by understanding soil-building and determining if a surplus of nitrogen is required compared to plant removal. Soil and crop management approaches between long term no-till operations and recently converted no-till management will also be analyzed.

The Results

Long term no-till management has been shown to convert nitrogen into higher crop yields for more than 10 years, minimizing soil disturbances to enable soil-micro flora. Early season plant nitrogen availability was greater in long term no-till systems than short-term, and plant-available nitrogen in the early season also increased with past nitrogen application rates.

Grower Benefits

Long-term use of appropriate nitrogen fertilizer rates along with no-till management has shown to increase soil productivity economically while reducing the impact on the environment.

Keywords: No-till, Rotation, Fertility, Nutrients, Soil quality, Soil health

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