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6 April 2017 In-field film antitranspirant application shows potential yield protection from flowering-stage drought periods in winter canola (Brassica napus)
Michele Faralli, Ivan G. Grove, Martin C. Hare, Peter S. Kettlewell
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Abstract

Crop-management solutions that simulate plant water-saving strategies might help to mitigate drought damage in crops. Winter canola (Brassica napus L.) is significantly drought-sensitive from flowering to mid-pod development, and drought periods lead to significant yield losses. In this study, the drought-protection efficacy of different chemicals with antitranspirant activity applied just before key drought-sensitive phenological stages was tested on field-grown canola in two years. Drought was artificially imposed with rain shelters. The results suggest that in-field application of 1 L ha–1 of antitranspirant (Vapor Gard (VG), a.i. di-1-p-menthene) at GS6.0 (BBCH growth scale, initiation of flowering) mitigated drought-induced yield loss leading to a 22% seed-yield benefit on average over 2 years of experiments compared with the unsprayed unirrigated plots. No significant yield responses were found from application at GS7.0, with increasing VG concentrations (i.e. 2 and 4 L ha–1), or with an antitranspirant with short-lasting effectiveness. The data suggest that in field conditions where drought occurs during the flowering stage, application of 1 L ha–1 of VG just before the drought event can reduce yield loss. This result should encourage further work on water-saving management strategies during key drought-sensitive phenological stages as drought mitigation tools in canola and under different environments.

© CSIRO 2017
Michele Faralli, Ivan G. Grove, Martin C. Hare, and Peter S. Kettlewell "In-field film antitranspirant application shows potential yield protection from flowering-stage drought periods in winter canola (Brassica napus)," Crop and Pasture Science 68(3), 243-253, (6 April 2017). https://doi.org/10.1071/CP16427
Received: 12 November 2016; Accepted: 1 March 2017; Published: 6 April 2017
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