Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 9:30 AM

Influence of Flowering and Maturity Dates on Yield among Winter Canola Cultivars.

Ernst Cebert, Rufina Ward, and Udai Bishnoi. Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences, Alabama A&M Univ, PO Box 1206, Normal, AL 35762

Flowering and maturity among canola (Brassica napus) cultivars greatly influenced seed yield. Selecting winter canola for earlier maturity will produce crop that will flower before the onset of mid-spring heat, diseases and insect pests, which may give desirable yield and facilitate double cropping. To accomplish these objectives, nineteen winter canola cultivars: 10 from the National Winter Canola Variety Trials and 4 from advanced breeding lines from Alabama A&M University breeding program were evaluated. During 2005-06 growing season, this evaluation was carried out in 1.8 x 6 m plots, planted in 6 rows with18-cm row spacing in three replications. Cultivars were categorized at anthesis as being early, medium and late, if 50% flowering occurred before Mar 18, between Mar 19-27 and from Mar 28 and beyond,  respectively. Agronomic data on fall stand ranged from 20 – 95% showed significant differences among the cultivars, while 100% winter survival was registered for all entries. Number of days to 50% flowering ranged from 150 - 179 indicated significant differences among cultivars. Highly significant differences (P<0.0001) for frost damage, as determined by death of the apex panicle, occurred only among cultivars categorized within the early flowering group. Five plants selected from each cultivar were used to collect data for yield components analysis: on plant height, branches pods plant-1, seeds pod-1 insect damage, lodging, shattering, test weight, moisture and seed yield. The analysis of differences on flowering, maturity date and seed yield may help in the identification of more desirable types of winter canola cultivars.