Optimal plant populations determined for Invigor hybrid canola
By Top Crop Manager
For those farmers in Western Canada who grow InVigor hybrid canola, a research group from Bayer has been investigatging target plant populations in order to help optimize the yield potential of the hybrid. The Bayer Product Excellence team used plots 15 times the size of traditional plots and used equipment designed to replicate farm conditions as closely as possible. This research has been ongoing for three year.
High plant populations
Plant populations that are seeded above the optimum rate can act as a drain on available resources such as light, nutrients, space, and create unwanted competition between plants. The result of this is higher in-season plant mortality and a high percentage of plants utilizing precious resources without contributing to additional yield. Extremely dense plant stands result in canola with thin stalks and reduced root development, which often makes these plants more susceptible to stressful conditions such as high temperatures and low moisture. Another consideration for canola crops with high plant populations and weaker stems are increased lodging, which can trap moisture and reduce air flow through the canola canopy and lead to an increased incidence of disease such as Sclerotinia.
Low Plant Populations
Optimal plant populations
The research recommends a targeted plant population of 5-7 plants/ft2. Based on a survivability rate of 50-70 per cent, that’s an average of 10 seeds planted per ft2. This population offers the ideal balance of seed bed utilization through efficient use of nutrients, moisture, light and space, while offering sufficient crop competition against weeds and maximizing InVigor yields. The recommended target of 5-7 plants/ft2 is not a bullet proof solution for canola plants to protect themselves against the environment or pests, however it will give your InVigor canola field the best chance for success.