The University of Adelaide
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Optimising Plant Establishment 2018-2019 Narraport Canola Experiment

posted on 2023-12-11, 07:24 authored by Glenn McDonaldGlenn McDonald, Jacky Desbiolles, Sarah Noack, Stefan Schmitt, Claire Pickles, Genevieve Clarke, Rebekah Allen, Ashley Amourgis, Jon Midwood, David Minkey

Data from the 2018-2019 crop establishment trial at Narraport, VIC. The trial compared the establishment of Canola 44Y89 at different densities, under a conventional cone seeder and under a precision seeder, and at two row spacings (a narrow row spacing of 22.9cm, and a wide row spacing of 30.5cm). The experiment was run under the UOA1803-009RTX GRDC project led by the University of Adelaide, with the experiment management and data collection handled locally in Narraport by the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG).

Files:2018 Birchip Canola.xlsx, 2019 Birchip Canola.xlsx

Experiment setup:The experiment was managed locally by the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG). The trial was organised as a split split plot with 6 treatments of target plant densities (15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 plants/m2), with two different row spacings (narrow 22.9cm row vs wide 30.5cm row), and two different seeders used (conventional cone seeder vs precision seeder). This design was embedded in a spatial grid with 16 rows (not including the two bordering buffer plots on either side), 6 ranges and 4 replicates, for 96 plots total. The variety used for these Narraport trials was Canola 44Y89. The trial randomisation differed between 2018 and 2019, but the experimental design stayed the same.

Variables recorded:

  • 2018:establishment count (plants/m2), interplant distance (cm), seed bed moisture (%), NDVI, Anthesis dry matter (t/ha and also per-plant), yield (t/ha, and also corrected to 8% moisture), test weight (kg/hL), oil (%), protein (%), moisture (%).
  • 2019:establishment count (plants/m2), interplant distance (cm), NDVI, flowering biomass (t/ha), harvest biomass (t/ha), yield (t/ha), oil (%), test weight (kg/hL).

Data collection and assessment:

  • 2018:The paddock was sown on 15/05/2018 with the cone seeder, and on 16/05/2018 with the precision seeder. Fertiliser and chemical application was applied between 15/05/2018 and 02/12/2018 according to the schedule included in the '2018 Birchip Canola.xlsx' spreadsheet. Date of emergence was 31/05/2018. Plant establishment was recorded six times between 31/05/2018 and 26/06/2018, counting emerged seedlings in 3m marks across two rows. Soil moisture probes were used to take 4 sets of measurements between 31/05/2018 and 15/06/2018 during the establishment. Interplant distances were measured by paddock survey on 09/07/2018. NDVI measurements were recorded 4 times between 26/06/2018 and 24/08/2018 using the handheld GreenSeeker. Biomass cuts were made at anthesis on 28/10/2018, with 2 cuts/plot minimum using a ruler and the dry mass recorded. Harvest and grain assessments were made on 08/12/2018, with the yield, test weight, oil, protein and moisture content recorded.
  • 2019:The '2019 Birchip Canola.xlsx' spreadsheet contains mostly just the recorded values for the variables measured during the second year of the experiment. NDVI were recorded 7 times between 11/06/2019 and 26/08/2019. The interplant distance (in cm), plant establishment, flowering biomass, harvest biomass, grain yield and oil content were recorded for the trial.


GRDC contract code


GRDC project title

Optimising plant establishment, density and spacings to maximise crop yield and profit in the southern and western regions

Contact email address

Start date for this data collection


End date for this data collection


Spatial coverage

Narraport experiment site, VIC.

Access rights type

  • Open

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