Nutrient Management Practices for the Optimization of Organic Milling Oat (Avena sativa)
Milling oats are a valuable organic crop in Western Canada. Saskatchewan alone accounts for almost half of Canada’s total organic oat acreage. This two-year cropping sequence study investigates the impact of previous-year stubble (PS), animal manure (AM) type, and manure application timing on subsequent organic oat yields and quality. Two trials were established from 2019 - 2020 in a lattice design at the University of Saskatchewan’s Kernen Research Farm and Goodale Research Farm, outside of Saskatoon, SK. PS crops consisted of fababean, fababean green manure plough down (PD), fallow, and wheat. Composted cattle manure (CM), fresh laying hen manure (HM), and no manure (control) were applied either prior to PS crop (Yr0) or prior to oat crop (Yr1). PS crop type was observed to have a significant effect on oat yields. Compared to yields following wheat stubble (2243-3941 kg ha-1), fallow increased yields by 26% and 50% at Kernen and Goodale, respectively. Oat yields following fababean PD stubble were comparable to fallow at both locations. A PS by AM interaction was present only at the Kernen site. Fababean PD “ HM resulted in yields comparable to fallow applied with either AM. Application timing of manures did not influence oat yields. The preliminary results of this study suggests that PS crop type strongly influences oat yields, more so than manure and its application timing. Furthermore, growing a fababean crop for green manure can be an effective alternative to fallow for the improvement of subsequent organic oat crops.
Milling Oats, Organic, Cropping System, Fababean
Soils and Crops Workshop