Measuring the contributions of non-crop areas to precision canola yield: Phase 2
Canola growers recognize that the beneficial arthropods that live in natural habitats and non-crop areas may play an important role in augmenting and stabilizing crop yields. These bees, flies, beetles, spiders and other arthropods may spill over into the crop, and through pollination or pest control, help to improve yields, decrease inputs, and increase profitability. A postdoctoral fellow will assess the relationship between natural habitats and canola yield that may result from these spillover effects, or other ecosystem services. Their task will be to use precision yield data collected by sensors on the harvesting equipment of grower-cooperators. These data will be applied to build spatial statistical models relating yield hotspots with non-crop areas in at least 60 fields. The partner organization, Canola Council of Canada, will receive an assessment of the potential for non-crop areas (which are very common in prairie canola fields) to contribute to yield, as well as advice which it can disseminate to canola growers about how to leverage any effects of non-crop areas effectively.