Penny Riffkin1, Brendan Christy2 and Garry O’Leary3
1 Agriculture Victoria, Hamilton Centre, Private Bag 105, Hamilton, Victoria, 3300, Penny.Riffkin@ecodev.vic.gov.au, 2 Agriculture Victoria, Rutherglen Centre, 124 Chiltern Valley Road, Rutherglen 3685 firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Agriculture Victoria, Horsham Centre, 110 Natimuk Rd, Horsham 3400 garry.o’email@example.com
Pod numbers are a major component of yield in canola and therefore improvements in pod development and survival will help maximise yields. Field experiments were conducted in the high rainfall zone (HRZ) of southern Australia to determine if the physiological processes of pod development and survival are different between varieties with vastly different maturities and when supplied with different amounts of water post flowering. Varieties showed considerable plasticity and adopted different strategies for pod development depending on maturity type and water supply. Environments with high yield potential such as the HRZ will need different maturity types and strategies to increase yields than those where yields are severely limited by water and heat stress. To sustain very high pod and seed numbers in high yielding environments it may be necessary to alter the canopy and spread the duration of pod set over a longer period to better match crop demand and assimilate supply. New types of crop simulation models should be developed to better account for different physiological strategies of pod development and survival to design canola ideotypes and optimise management for high yielding environments.