Submitted by Dr. Tarlok Sahota, Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station
Virtually any crop till the first week of June; provided you grow short duration varieties of soybean and corn! In 2015, our canola growers and even we at TBARS had seeded canola during the first week of June and we had bumper crops. In 2013, we seeded canola at TBARS on June 12 and still got reasonably good seed yield (4.6 MT/ha). Last year, seeding canola in mid June was a failure; but then we had over 200 mm rain in June last year. Which crops would be suitable for seeding as late as mid June? Last year, wheat (Sable) seeded on June 14 gave 95 % of grain and 96 % of straw yield of its seeding on May 17; Barley (Encore) seeded on June 14 resulted in 14 % higher grain, but 33 % lower straw yield than its seeding on May 20; and Oat (AC Rigodon) seeded on June 14 recorded 31 % lower grain and 27 % lower straw yield than its seeding on May 17. Thus among the three cereals, barley was the most suitable and advantageous crop for late (mid June) seeding. Wheat too could be seeded in mid June without any significant loss in grain/or straw yield. There was no success with flax and peas when seeded in mid June last year.
Which other crops could be suitable for seeding after first week of June? Annual (berseem clover-alone or in mixture with barley or oats, MasterGraze corn, sorghum Sudangrass and ryegrass) and perennial (alfalfa, Galega, red, white and other perennial clovers, temperate grasses) forages will grow well when seeded after first week of June under good soil moisture conditions. As far as possible, try to grow perennial forages alone (without any companion crops). Forage yield loss in the seeding year, will be more than compensated in the next year(s). Among grain legumes, edible beans could be well suited for seeding after first week of June; variety Earlired has given consistently good grain yield (3.5 MT/ha or more) at TBARS for the past several years. Including grain/or forage legumes into the cropping systems could lower input costs (nitrogen fixation by legumes), improve soil heath (easily decomposable nitrogen rich crop residues)/and fertility and the yield of proceeding crops in the rotation. Research at TBARS has indicated that legumes in rotation could lower nitrogen requirements of spring wheat by half. Elsewhere, research evidence shows that wheat following legumes gave up to 30 % higher grain yields. Therefore, make legumes an integral part of your cropping systems.
Package of cultivation practices of some of the new crops, such as MasterGraze corn and Galega, may be seen at TBARS website (www.tbars.net); by clicking at Extension articles or going straight to http://www.tbars.net/extension.shtml. Any questions? Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 807-475-8404.