Seeding rate and cultivar effects on canola (Brassica napus) competition with volunteer wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Deirdre Lemerle, David Luckett, Eric Koetz, Trent Potter, Hanwen Wu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Canola (Brassica napus L.) is an important rotational crop in the temperate cropping zone of southern Australia. Herbicide-resistant weeds are rapidly spreading and reducing canola grain yield and quality. Crop competition is a useful tool for reducing weed costs and dependence on herbicides, and retarding the spread of herbicide resistance. The potential interaction of canola seeding rate and cultivar for weed management has not been quantified in Australia. A field experiment was conducted in three environments to examine the impact of two contrasting canola cultivars (a low vigour type and a high vigour hybrid) at four seeding rates (10-100plants/m2) on volunteer wheat (∼50plants/m2). Significant but variable effects of crop seeding rate, cultivar and weed were detected on canola density and grain yield, and on the suppression of volunteer wheat. The canola hybrids suppressed volunteer wheat more than the less vigorous cultivars in all the experiments. There was no benefit of increasing canola seeding rate above the normally recommended rate of 40plants/m2 for weed suppression. The seed production of volunteer wheat on average doubled when canola density dropped from 40 to 10plants/m2. Treatment effects on canola grain yield losses from weeds were less than those on weed suppression. The grain yield of both cultivars was reduced between 30% and 40% with weeds at a canola density of 40plants/m2 and plateaued above this density in weedy conditions. Maintaining canola plant establishment and using competitive cultivars is critical to avoiding weed seedbank replenishment, and reducing canola yield losses from weed competition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)857-863
    Number of pages7
    JournalCrop and Pasture Science
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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