Pre-harvest Herbicide and Desiccation Options for Straight-combining Canola: Effects on Plant and Seed Dry-down, Yield, and Seed Quality

Agronomic Practices 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Chris Holzapfel - Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation (IHARF)
Stewart Brandt - Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation, Jessica Weber - Western Applied Research Corporation, Ken Coles - Farming Smarter, Kabal Gill - Smokey Applied Research and Demonstration Association, Nirmal Hari - Prairies East Sustainable Agriculture Initiative
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners

Research Objective

  • To evaluate potential pre-harvest herbicide and desiccant effects on crop and seed dry-down and seed quality when straight-combining canola
  • To provide guidelines for growers regarding potential benefits of pre-harvest herbicide/desiccant applications when straight-combining canola and make produce recommendations tailored to their specific needs and expectations

Project Description

This project aims to quantify the potential benefits of various pre-harvest herbicide/desiccant applications with a focus on crop/seed dry down, yield and seed quality. More producers have been straight-combining their canola each year and it is important to evaluate if using a pre-harvest herbicide/desiccant is worth the input cost in terms of harvest. To test this, a three-year study at six different locations will replicate a straight-cut harvest with ten different pre-harvest treatments (five Liberty Link, five Roundup Ready) four times. Six locations were chosen to represent the major agricultural soil zones of Western Canada and will provide varying yield environments and weather. The canola cultivars grown will be those that have proven resistance to pod shatter and all other variables will try to have maintained uniformity. This is important for the grower because many choose to use a pre-harvest herbicide/desiccant but there needs to be justifiable cause in the form of earlier harvest, easier harvest, less potential for spoilage, and/or improved weed control yet little research has been done in these areas. This project will fill the gap and provide a good framework for whether it is beneficial to have a pre-treatment before straight-cutting canola.

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