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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361454

Research Project: Enhancing Cropping System Sustainability Through New Crops and Management Strategies

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Agronomic performance of Brassicaceae oilseeds in multiple environments across the Western USA

item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item Long, Daniel
item Palmquist, Debra
item Allen, Brett
item Archer, David
item BROWN, JACK - University Of Idaho
item DAVIS, JIM - University Of Idaho
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Jabro, Jalal "jay"
item Kiniry, James
item Vigil, Merle
item Oblath, Emily
item Isbell, Terry

Submitted to: BioEnergy Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2019
Publication Date: 7/2/2019
Citation: Gesch, R.W., Long, D.S., Palmquist, D.E., Allen, B.L., Archer, D.W., Brown, J., Davis, J.B., Hatfield, J.L., Jabro, J.D., Kiniry, J.R., Vigil, M.F., Oblath, E.A., Isbell, T. 2019. Agronomic performance of Brassicaceae oilseeds in multiple environments across the Western USA. BioEnergy Research. 12(3):509-523.

Interpretive Summary: Oilseed crops belonging to the mustard family provide rotational benefits to wheat and are being targeted for biofuel feedstock production in the western U.S. wheat-growing regions. Several different mustard species can be used for biofuel feedstock such as “green” renewable jet fuel. However, little is known about which species produces the greatest yield or is best suited for a given region across the dryland wheat producing area of the U.S. Therefore, a team of scientists from USDA-ARS and one university collaborated to determine the productivity and drought tolerance of 12 modern mustard varieties from six different species across eight different environments spanning four ecoregions within the U.S. The objective was to explore how various environments affect their agronomic performance and identify the greatest yielding species/variety for a given region. Environment greatly affected oilseed performance. Both seed and oil yields increased with increasing seasonal rainfall. Generally, commercial varieties of canola (Brassica napus) and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) produced the greatest oil yields, in part, because of their high seed oil concentration. However, some species such as Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata) performed very well in certain environments but poorly in others. Results indicated that out of the six species tested, camelina (Camelina sativa) possessed the greatest degree of drought resistance. Research identified varieties well suited for certain environments but also showed that more work is needed to improve the oil concentration of some high seed yielding varieties to make them more useful as biofuel feedstock. This information will benefit producers interested in incorporating oilseeds into their rotations, extension specialists working with farmers to adopt oilseeds, the biofuel industry, crop breeders, and agronomists.

Technical Abstract: Brassicaceae oilseed crops can provide rotation benefits to dryland wheat and supply feedstock for production of biofuels. However, growers face decisions about what oilseed crop is best suited for a particular environment. The objective of this study was to determine how varying production environments affect the agronomic performance of modern cultivars of six Brassicaceae crop species and identify ideal genotypes for eight growing environments spanning four different ecoregions. A field experiment was replicated across eight different environments (Akron, Colorado; Moscow, Idaho; Ames, Iowa; Morris, Minnesota; Sidney, Montana; Mandan, North Dakota; Echo, Oregon; and Temple, Texas; USA) between 2013 and 2016 to measure seed and oil yields and delta 13C signature of seed for four cultivars of Brassica napus, two of B. carinata, two of B. juncea, two of Sinapis alba, one of B. rapa, and one of Camelina sativa. Environment greatly impacted performance. Generally, across all genotypes, seed and oil yields increased with increased growing season precipitation. Modern commercial cultivars of B. napus and B. juncea had the highest seed oil contents and generally produced the greatest oil yields across most environments, although they were not always the highest seed yielders. For instance, B. carinata over six site-years in North Dakota and Minnesota yielded greater than B. napus producing as much as 2471 kg ha-1 in Minnesota. Camelina produced competitive seed yields in some of the drier environments and its delta 13C signature indicated that it had the greatest drought resistance. However, seed oil content of some of these high yielding genotypes may need improvement before they are viable as biofuel feedstock.