Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and soil sustainability in canola production across Canada

Project Summary

Purpose

The study includes two field experiments at eight locations across Canada and laboratory analysis. Objectives are to (1) assess agronomic and economic responses of canola to nitrogen (N) fertilizer management in terms of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), yield and crop standabilty, (2) improve NUE, crop productivity and lodging resistance through management practices under different soil and cropping system conditions, (3) identify root architecture traits for efficient N acquisition and strong anchorage strength, and (4) investigate the taxonomic and functional response of the soil microbiome to N management.

Progress

The project goes until 2023, but early results showed, at most sites, a positive response of canola yields to N application rates, and at some site-years, a better response to the split (base fertilizer plus top dress at the four- to six-leaf stage) compared to the same amount of N applied only at preplant. The estimated most economic rate of nitrogen (MERN) appears to indicate the need for region-specific recommendations.