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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 838903, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/838903
Research Article

Abiotic Factors Affecting Canola Establishment and Insect Pest Dynamics

1Department of Entomology, Texas AgriLife Research, 1102 East FM 1294 Lubbock, TX 79403-6603, USA
2The University of Western Australia, School of Animal Biology, The UWA Institute of Agriculture, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
3Texas AgriLife Extension, 1102 East FM 1294, Lubbock, TX 79403, USA
4Sciences and Agricultural Science Center, 2346 State Road 288, Clovis, NM 88101, USA

Received 17 June 2011; Revised 3 October 2011; Accepted 3 October 2011

Academic Editor: Rodomiro Ortiz

Copyright © 2012 Christian Nansen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Canola is grown mainly as an oil-seed crop, but recently the interest in canola has increased due to its potential as a biodiesel crop. The main objectives of this paper were to evaluate effects of abiotic factors and seed treatment on canola plant establishment and pest pressure in the Southern High Plains of Texas. Data was collected at two field locations during the first seven months of two field seasons. Based on multi-regression analysis, we demonstrated that precipitation was positively associated with ranked plant weight, daily minimum relative humidity and maximum temperature were negatively associated with plant weight, and that there may be specific optimal growth conditions regarding cumulative solar radiation and wind speed. The outlined multi-regression approach may be considered appropriate for ecological studies of canola establishment and pest communities elsewhere and therefore enable identification of suitable regions for successful canola production. We also demonstrated that aphids were about 35% more abundant on non-treated seeds than on treated seeds, but the sensitivity to seed treatment was only within four months after plant emergence. On the other hand, seed treatment had negligible effect on presence of thrips.