Table of Contents
Christmas, E.P. 1996. Evaluation of planting date for winter canola
production in Indiana. p. 278-281. In: J. Janick (ed.), Progress in new
crops. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Evaluation of Planting Date for Winter Canola Production in Indiana
Ellsworth P. Christmas
- 1990 Planting
- 1992 Planting
- 1994 Planting
Winter canola (Brassica napus L.) is a winter annual and as such
is seeded in late summer or fall. When commercial production was first
considered in Indiana, site location and planting date were thought to be the
two most important cultural decisions. Since winter wheat is commonly grown in
Indiana, winter wheat areas were considered most likely to be well suited for
winter canola. This has proven to be the case. Therefore, good sites for
winter canola are easy for producers to identify through their experience with
winter wheat production. The second most important production decision relates
to planting date. Fribourg et al. (1989) reported that Sept. plantings of
winter canola in Tennessee yielded significantly higher than Oct. plantings.
Planting date studies were also conducted in western Kentucky by Herbek and
Murdock (1989) with plantings on Sept. 1, 15, and Oct. 1, 1987 and on Sept. 2,
15, 30, and Oct. 14, 1988. The Sept. 15 planting date in 1987 produced a
significantly higher yield than either the Sept. 1 or Oct. 1 plantings. In
1988, the Sept. 2 and 15 planting dates yielded significantly more that the
Sept. 30 and Oct. 14 planting dates. Teo et al. (1988) reported that early
seeding of spring canola resulted in significantly greater seedling infection
from Rhizoctonia solani. The objective of the study was to evaluate the
effect of planting date on winter survival and yield of selected cultivars of
winter canola when grown under Indiana climatic conditions.
Three sites were selected for the experiment on planting date, each
representing a distinctly different climate in terms of severity of winter
temperatures. The Northeast Purdue Agricultural Center (NEPAC) near Fort
Wayne, was selected as the site representing the most severe winter weather.
The Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center (SWPAC), near Vincennes, represented
the least severe winter weather and the Throckmorton Purdue Agricultural Center
(THPAC), near Lafayette, being intermediate between the other two sites in
terms of winter weather severity.
Four planting dates were selected for each site ranging from mid Aug. for the
initial date at NEPAC to mid Oct. for the last date at SWPAC. The goal was to
plant the first date at NEPAC about Aug. 15 with THPAC one week later and SWPAC
two weeks later. The succeeding three dates were to be planted at 10 to 14 day
intervals following the initial date. The actual date of the initial planting
as well as the number of plantings was dependent upon the soil conditions at
each of the sites.
The experiment utilized a split plot design having four replications with
planting date as the whole plot and cultivar as the split plot. Four cultivars
of winter canola were selected for planting in 1990 and 1992 and five cultivars
The previous crop on the plot area selected was either wheat or watermelons and
was prepared conventionally with a plow or chisel plow and a disc. Prior to
planting 67 kg/ha of P was incorporated and 28 to 34 kg/ha of N was applied in
the fall with an additional 135 kg applied in the spring as a topdress. The
plots were seeded with a drill either 2.1 or 1.5 m wide to a length of 15.3
Stand counts were taken in late fall or early winter and again in Feb. or March
as the plants broke dormancy and began to regrow. The plots were end trimmed
to a length of 12.3 m and harvested when the seed moisture level reached 10% or
less with a Wintersteiger Harvest Master Elite plot combine equipped with a 1.5
m. header. The weight and moisture of the production of each plot was
determined and converted to a kg/ha yield corrected to 9% moisture.
Analysis of the data indicated a significant difference at the 5% level for
planting date at all three sites. The Oct. 15 planting date at SWPAC and the
Oct. 5 planting date at THPAC resulted in total death loss of all four
cultivars. However, the Oct. 2 planting date at NEPAC resulted in a
significant yield reduction even though the spring stand count showed a near
perfect stand. As a result of limited plant growth in the fall, the Oct. 2
planting date (NEPAC) resulted in serious plant heaving which may explain the
The Sept. 6 planting date (NEPAC) and Sept. 4 (THPAC), resulted in a
significantly higher yields at 1957 and 2501 kg/ha, receptively (Table 1). At
SWPAC, the Sept. 13 and 25 planting dates were not significantly different.
There was a significant difference for cultivar at all three sites.
'Winfield', was the overall poorest performer while 'Liborius' gave the best
performance at NEPAC and THPAC, `Ceres' performed best at SWPAC.
The weather conditions for the fall and winter of 1992-93 were near normal.
The last planting dates of Sept. 29 (NEPAC), Sept. 30 (THPAC), and Oct. 1
(SWPAC), each gave totally different results with a 100% death at NEPAC, a 100%
survival at SWPAC, and combination of death and full survival at THPAC
depending on cultivar. The first planting date at each site either gave the
highest yield or was not significantly different from the second planting date.
The yields produced by the three planting dates at SWPAC were not significantly
different, while the NEPAC and THPAC planting dates produced yields that were
significantly different at the 1% level.
'Liborius' was the overall poorest yielder at all three sites in 1992-93.
'Ceres' was the higher yielder at NEPAC and 'Touchdown' at THPAC, with no
significant difference between cultivars at SWPAC.
The fall of 1994 was very warm and considered to be a very late resulting in
temperatures warmer than normal well into November. The first planting dates
in the fall of 1994 of Aug. 18 (NEPAC), Aug. 24 (THPAC) and Aug. 26 (SWPAC)
resulted in significantly lower seed yields than the Sept. planting dates. The
planting dates of Sept. 9 (NEPAC), Sept. 13 (THPAC), and Sept. 21 (SWPAC),
produced the highest yields in 1995.
The weather conditions at the SWPAC site were so mild that all of the planting
dates were negatively impacted. The plant stems of the first planting date
elongated to the point where the terminal bud was about 20 cm above ground
level when the plants became dormant. In 1994-95, there was no consistent
pattern to cultivar performance. `Touchdown' at SWPAC, remained a poor
Each of the three years included in this study exhibited distinctly different
weather conditions. The fall of 1994 was very warm and late resulting in
excessive growth and significant winter injury particularly with the early
planting dates. The late Sept. or Oct. planting dates in 1990 and 1992
resulted in significant death loss and no or greatly reduced yields. From this
study, it can be concluded that winter canola can be successfully grown in
northern Indiana if planted between mid Aug. 25 and Sept. 20. Plantings which
are made after Sept. 20 will result in significant yield reductions or total
loss of the crop. Data from southern Indiana indicate that plantings made
during the month of Sept. are most likely to be successful with both Aug. and
Oct. plantings resulting in death loss or yield reductions.
Cultivar performance varied by site indicating that some cultivars may be more
tolerant to adverse weather than others. `Touchdown' appears to be the best
performer under adverse conditions while `Liborius' was the poorest performer.
- Fribourg, H.A., C.R. Graves, G.N. Rhodes Jr., J.F. Bradley, E.C. Bernard, G.M.
Lessman, M.A. Mueller, R.B. Graves, M.L. Thornton, B.A. Latka, and A.M. Plouy.
1989. Rapeseed: a potential new crop for Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Agr. Expt.
Sta. Bul. 669.
- Herbek, J. and L. Murdock. 1989. Canola production guide and research in
Kentucky. Univ. Kentucky College of Agriculture.
- Teo, B.K., S.M. Yitbarek, P.R. Verna, and R.A.A. Morrall. 1988. Influence of
soil moisture, seeding date, and Rhizoctonia solani isolates (AG 2-1 and
AG 4) on disease incidence and yield of canola. Canadian Plant Path.
Table 1. Yield of winter canola by cultivar, year, and date of planting
at three climatically different sites in Indiana
|1990-91 ||1992-93 ||1994-95|
|Northeast (NEPAC) ||Sept 6 ||Sept 20 ||Oct 2 ||Sept 4 ||Sept 16 ||Sept 29 ||Aug 18 ||Aug 29 ||Sept 9 ||Sept 20|
|Accord || || || || || || ||2711 ||2789 ||2800 ||2873|
|Ceres ||1733 ||1339 ||703 ||3805 ||3498 ||0|
|Doublol ||2073 ||1850 ||945 ||3432 ||2777 ||0 ||2543 ||2623 ||2902 ||2690|
|Falcon || || || || || || ||2601 ||2511 ||2736 ||2752|
|Liborius ||2270 ||1806 ||1114 ||3482 ||2452 ||0 ||2345 ||2474 ||2732 ||2571|
|Touchdown || || || ||3232 ||3518 ||0 ||2560 ||2620 ||2669 ||2644|
|Winfield ||1752 ||1655 ||1023 || || || || || || |
|Mean ||1957 ||1663 ||946 ||3488 ||3061 ||0 ||2552 ||2603 ||2768 ||2705|
|Central (THPAC) ||Sept 4 ||Sept 26 ||Oct 5 ||Sept 3 ||Sept 15 ||Sept 30 ||Aug 24 ||Sept 13 ||Sept 22 ||Oct 3|
|Accord || || || || || || ||2598 ||2910 ||2862 ||1964|
|Ceres ||2559 ||2119 ||0 ||1912 ||2160 ||962|
|Doublol ||2651 ||2385 ||0 ||2601 ||2724 ||0 ||2668 ||2648 ||3252 ||2102|
|Falcon || || || || || || ||2856 ||3264 ||3266 ||2788|
|Liborius ||2693 ||2536 ||0 ||2195 ||2184 ||238 ||2549 ||2984 ||3003 ||2113|
|Touchdown || || || ||2840 ||2664 ||2169 ||2896 ||3270 ||3106 ||2423|
|Winfield ||2104 ||2095 ||0 || || || || || || |
|Mean ||2501 ||2284 ||0 ||2388 ||2433 ||842 ||2714 ||3128 ||3098 ||2278|
|Southwest (SWPAC) ||Sept 13 ||Sept 25 ||Oct 15 ||Sept 14 ||Sept 24 ||Oct 1 ||Aug 26 ||Sept 12 ||Sept 21|
|Accord || || || || || || ||202 ||599 ||1110|
|Ceres ||2042 ||2069 ||0 ||2509 ||2665 ||2668|
|Doublol ||1795 ||1865 ||0 ||2627 ||2651 ||2850 ||243 ||819 ||1206|
|Falcon || || || || || || ||258 ||635 ||1124|
|Liborius ||1901 ||1781 ||0 ||2214 ||3165 ||2435 ||150 ||927 ||1193|
|Touchdown || || || ||2810 ||2423 ||2903 ||623 ||1184 ||2512|
|Winfield ||1443 ||1752 ||0|
|Mean ||1800 ||1867 ||0 ||2540 ||2726 ||2714 ||295 ||833 ||1204|
Last update June 9, 1997