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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354501

Research Project: Replacement of Petroleum Products Utilizing Off-Season Rotational Crops

Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: Effect of seeding rate on pennycress agronomic performances across contrasting environments

item ZANETTI, FEDERICA - University Of Bologna
item Isbell, Terry
item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item Evangelista, Roque
item VECCHI, ANGELA - University Of Bologna
item MONTI, ANDREA - University Of Bologna

Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2018
Publication Date: 9/23/2018
Citation: Zanetti, F., Isbell, T.A., Gesch, R.W., Evangelista, R.L., Vecchi, A., Monti, A. 2018. Effect of seeding rate on pennycress agronomic performances across contrasting environments [abstract]. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Annual Conference, September 23-26, 2018, London, Ontario, Canada.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Among emerging non-food oilseed species, pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) has attracted considerable attention in the scientific community since it possesses many traits that can easily support its integration in existing rotation systems. Pennycress is highly cold-tolerant and provides a living cover over winter, reducing soil erosion and nutrient leaching; furthermore, the shortness of its cycle easily allows double cropping. Due to the presence of seed dormancy, accompanied by very slow growth during winter months, the definition of an effective seeding rate allowing optimal stand establishment and guaranteeing good competition against weeds still remains an open question for pennycress. At this scope, similar field experiments to identify the optimal seeding rate for pennycress were established under contrasting environmental conditions at Bologna, Italy (44°30’ N, 11°21’ E) and at Morris, Minnesota, USA (45°35’ N, 95°54’ W). Despite similar latitudes, the two locations are characterized by diverging climatic conditions: the mean annual temperature is 5.6°C in Morris and more than double in Bologna (13.4°C). Annual precipitation is similar (~650 mm year-1); but, in Italy, the majority of rainfall occurs during winter, while in Minnesota it occurs during the summer months. Five different seeding rates (250, 500, 750, 1000 and 1500 seeds m-2) were tested in Bologna during the 2017-2018 growing season. In Morris, three increasing seeding rates corresponding to about 300, 600 and 900 seeds m-2 were tested during the 2014-2016 growing season. In Italy, the pennycress line Elisabeth, supplied by USDA-ARS, was tested, while in Minnesota the lines MN-106 and Beecher were compared under the different seeding rates. Sowing was performed in September in both locations. Winter survival was satisfactory in both environments, and generally better stand establishment was associated with increased seeding rate. Plants in Bologna were much taller at harvest than those in Morris (91 cm vs. 57 cm), probably in relation to milder temperatures, allowing unhindered growth of pennycress during the entire winter. Pennycress seed yield in Morris was highly influenced by environmental conditions, reaching on average of all treatments, 0.6 Mg DM ha-1 in the 2014-2015 growing season and only 0.2 Mg DM ha-1 in the 2015-2016 growing season. In Bologna, seed yield, on average of all treatments, was slightly higher (0.7 Mg DM ha-1), but differences among seeding rates became evident at densities >1000 seeds m-2 which had significantly higher seed yields. The full characterization of seeds in terms of oil content and fatty acid composition will also be performed with respect to the effect of seeding rate and environment on the potential productivity of pennycress.