Study rates canaryseed response to nutrients

WHITE CITY, Sask. — Researchers know that canaryseed responds to chloride more than other cereal crops and advise growers to apply it as potash to give the crop what it needs.

However, questions remain about whether canaryseed responds differently to other macro and micronutrients.

Bill May, an Agriculture Canada researcher at Indian Head, Sask., ran the first year of a new trial in 2014 to examine applications of nitrogen, chloride, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, copper, boron and manganese at six sites.

The results showed a nitrogen response at all six locations.

“The optimum rate ranged from 15 to 90 (lb. per acre) and normally I’m recommending 30 to 40 pounds per acre of nitrogen,” he said.

“Chloride response was three out of six locations. We had a phosphate response at Indian Head and a zinc response at Scott.”

Saskatchewan research foundations in Indian Head, Swift Current, Redvers, Yorkton, Melfort and Scott all participated in the study, which was funded by the Sask-atchewan government’s ADOPT program.

The 10 treatments ranged from no fertilizer up to 90 lb. per acre of nitrogen before adding chloride at 18 lb. per acre, then phosphorus at 30 lb. per acre and sulfur at 15 lb. per acre. May also removed the chloride for one of these treatments.

Three lb. of copper were added for one treatment and three lb. of zinc for another. Two treatments contained copper, zinc, boron and manganese at the highest levels of nitrogen.

May said the micronutrients were placed in the seed row at seeding.

“That way we could be more accurate and uniform across all our sites,” he told a recent Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation crop seminar.

May said soil test results still have to be incorporated in these early findings.

There were some challenges.

At Indian Head the results were more variable than he expected because of high and low areas in the field.

“When we separated the plots out to high areas and low areas, you can see that we had a fairly large response to chloride at Indian Head on the loam soil,” he said.

“That’s what we would expect. Chloride moves with water, so I’m not surprised that in the low areas we did not see much of a response, especially with all the water we had this year from our excess moisture. In the higher elevations we saw a fairly marked response to the chloride.”

The chloride responses were also seen at Swift Current and Yorkton.

However, the nitrogen responses varied.

Swift Current needed 15 lb. per acre at the most, while Scott responded to all nitrogen rates.

May said canaryseed does respond to lower levels of chloride of 20 lb. per acre, but he recommended 35 to 40.

“If your equipment is off in your calibration, you still have enough chloride,” he said.

May has reapplied for funding to continue the study this year.

This year’s canaryseed work should include a crop sequencing project, and May plans to apply this spring for a 2016 project on aphids.

As well, a project that looked at plot size and fungicide application to control septoria leaf mottle in canaryseed finished its second year in 2014.

“One thing I’m frustrated with is our field scale tests always could detect a statistical difference much easier than my small plots could,” he said.

The project used six plot sizes: 13, 26 and 39 feet by 35 feet each and the same widths by 70 feet long.

The fungicide treatments were a check, Tilt, Twinline, Prosaro and a late application of Prosaro after optimal timing.

The fungicides were applied at early to full heading. May said he isn’t quite as aggressive when applying fungicide to canaryseed because septoria develops late when the canopy fills and closes.

“Currently, after the two years, the 70 feet plot length seems to be the most consistent way of increasing our ability to detect differences from septoria leaf mottle,” he said.

Funding through the Agriculture Development Fund continues for this project this year.

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