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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE DRYLAND CROPPING SYSTEM FOR THE CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS

Location: Central Plains Resources Management Research

Title: Simulating the production potential of dryland spring canola in the Central Great Plains

Authors
item Nielsen, David
item Saseendran, S -
item Ma, Liwang
item Ahuja, Lajpat

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2012
Publication Date: June 7, 2012
Citation: Nielsen, D.C., Saseendran, S.A., Ma, L., Ahuja, L.R. 2012. Simulating the production potential of dryland spring canola in the Central Great Plains. Agronomy Journal. 104:1182-1188.

Interpretive Summary: Spring canola has potential to be grown as a dryland crop in rotation with winter wheat in the Central Great Plains region. Field studies have not been conducted across the region to assess average canola yields and variability of yield due to variable weather conditions. This study used a crop simulation model and weather data to predict canola yields at 9 locations in western Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and western Kansas. Production was simulated under four levels of plant available soil water at planting. Average yield with 75% plant available water at planting was highest (1725 kg ha-1) at Champion, NE in the northcentral part of the region and lowest (975 kg ha-1) at Walsh, CO in the southcentral part of the region. Yield variability was lowest at Sidney, NE, Stratton, CO and Walsh, CO and highest at Akron, CO, Tribune, KS, and Garden City, KS. Calculated average net returns indicate profitable canola production is possible over a large portion of the Central Great Plains when plant available water at planting is at least 50%.

Technical Abstract: Canola (Brassica napus L.) has potential to be grown as dryland crop to diversify the winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-fallow production system of the semi-arid Central Great Plains. Extensive regional field studies have not been conducted under rainfed conditions to provide farmers, agricultural lenders, and crop insurance providers with information about the production potential and expected yield variability of canola in this region. The purpose of this study was to use an agricultural system model to simulate canola production under rainfed conditions in the Central Great Plains and to determine the economic viability of canola Canola (Brassica napus L.) has potential to be grown as a dryland crop to diversify the winter wheat production. The CROPGRO-canola model was used within the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM2) with weather data (1993-2008) to simulate canola yield for nine Central Great Plains locations under four plant available water (PAW) contents at planting. Average yield with 75% PAW was highest (1725 kg ha-1) at Champion, NE in the northcentral area and lowest (975 kg ha-1) at Walsh, CO in the southcentral area. Simulated yields increased with increasing PAW at planting at an average rate of 5.31 kg ha-1 mm-1. Yield variability was simulated to be lowest at Sidney, NE, Stratton, CO and Walsh, CO and highest at Akron, CO, Tribune, KS, and Garden City, KS. Yield variability did not consistently change with amount of PAW across the region. Calculated average net returns indicate profitable canola production is possible over a large portion of the Central Great Plains when PAW at planting is at least 50%.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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