Quantification of loss in oilseed rape yield caused by delayed sowing date in a Mediterranean environment uri icon


  • Rapeseed acreage has been increasing fast in the last few decades and cultivated areas have expanded into lower latitudes because of the high value of its seed. This work evaluates the effect of date of sowing and nitrogen (N) fertilization on crop productivity and N use efficiency in a Mediterranean environment. The experiment was arranged in a split-plot design with the dates of sowing as the main-plots and N rates the sub-plots. Rapeseed recovered 128 to 212 kg N hm-2 before top-dress N application in late winter if sown before the last week of September. Seed yield was very dependent on the date of sowing, varying from 3.4 to 6.2 Mg hm-2 on the first sowing date in September to 0.3 to 1.0 Mg hm-2 on the last sowing date in November. The daily loss in seed production was 68.9 kg hm-2 (or 482.3 kg hm-2 per week) or 1.53 % (or 10.7 % per week). N rate significantly increased seed yield within each sowing date but did not allow late-sowed plants to regain the productivity levels of those sown earlier. Apparent N recovery and agronomic N efficiency were particularly dependent on the growing conditions associated to different sowing dates.
  • The authors are grateful to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) and FEDER under Programme PT2020 for financial support to CIMO (UID/AGR/00690/2013).

publication date

  • January 2019