Economics of preceding crops and nitrogen application rates for canola and barley production in western Canada
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic effects of a range of legume and non-legume preceding crops and N rates on costs and net revenue (NR) of canola (Brassica napus L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and canola-barley rotation under various environmental conditions. Legumes such as field pea (Pisum sativum L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) as preceding crop generated higher net revenues for the following crops canola and barley than when wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and canola were the preceding crops. Although faba bean (Vicia faba L.) grown as a green manure produced the highest annual net revenues for the following crops canola and barley, this contribution was not enough to compensate for the loss of income during the green manure production year. Therefore, growing faba bean as a green manure was not economical. Response of net revenue to N rates was mainly linear or quadratic, and N was optimal at 60 to 90 kg ha-1 at most sites. The results indicate that growing legumes for seed prior to canola can increase net revenues of canola and subsequent barley.
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