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Evaluating agronomic responses of camelina to seeding date under rain-fed conditions – H.Y. Sintim, V.D. Zheljazkov, A.K. Obour, A.G. Garcia, and T.K. Foulke – Agronomy 2016

Summary: The potential to use camelina (Camelina sativa L.) as a bioenergy crop has increased the need to develop management practices that would improve sustainable production. This study evaluated the effects by cultivars (Blaine Creek, Pronghorn, and Shoshone) and three spring seeding dates on the performance of camelina grown under rain-fed conditions in northern Wyoming. Results showed significant effects of cultivar and/or seeding dates on camelina establishment, phenology, yield, seed protein, oil content, and estimated biodiesel yield. Growing degree-day (GDD) requirements for plant emergence, flowering, and maturity were 34, 417, and 998, respectively. Among the three cultivars studied, Blaine Creek and Pronghorn had better establishment and subsequent seed yield in both years. Averaged across the 2 yr, seed yield of Blaine Creek and Pronghorn were 931 and 963 kg ha–1, respectively, greater than that of Shoshone (826 kg ha–1). Seeding date had no effect on seed yield in 2013. However, in 2014, early seeding increased camelina seed yield. Early seeding in 2014 resulted in a general increase in plant height, harvest index, protein yield, oil content, and estimated biodiesel yield, but reduced protein content. Our findings showed seeding camelina early resulted in good plant establishment, increased seed yield, oil content, and the estimated biodiesel yield. Nonetheless, early seeding could be restrained by wet field conditions prevalent in the spring in most regions of the Great Plains. Hard frost can also be problematic for young spring camelina seedlings.