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Sowing date and tillage effects on fall-seeded camelina in the northern Corn Belt
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Camelina (Camelina sativa L.), a member of the Brassicaceae family, can potentially serve as a low-input alternative oil source for advanced biofuels as well as food and other industrial uses. Winter annual camelina genotypes may be economically and environmentally advantageous for the northern Corn Belt, but little is known about their agronomic potential for this region. A 2-yr field study was conducted in western Minnesota to determine optimum fall sowing time for yield and oil content of two winter camelina cultivars in a no-tillage (NT) and chisel-plowed (CP) system. Seeding dates ranged from early September to mid-October. Plants reached 50% flowering as much as 7 d earlier in the NT than the CP system. Plant stands were generally greatest in the NT system, but yields were only greater than those in the CP system during the second year of the study, possibly due to differences in water logging of soil between tillage systems. Seed yield and oil content increased with sowing date up to early October. When sown in October, seed yield and oil content ranged from 419 to 1317 kg ha−1 and 282 to 420 g kg−1, respectively. Results indicate that camelina is a viable winter crop for the northern Corn Belt and that seed yields and oil content tended to be greatest when sown in early to mid-October. Moreover, fall-seeded camelina offered good weed suppression without the use of herbicide, supporting the contention that it can be successfully produced with low agricultural inputs.
Agronomy journal 2011 July, v. 103, no. 4
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