Camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) is an oilseed crop with the potential for dryland crop production in the Great Plains. However, pod shattering may cause significant yield losses. We determined the impact of different harvest times on camelina seed yield (SY), water use efficiency, protein and oil content, and estimated biodiesel yield. Spring (Blaine Creek) and winter (BX WG1) camelina cultivars were harvested at three different stages, corresponding to the three-digit Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und Chemische Industrie (BBCH) scales of 805 (early harvest; 50% ripe pods), 807 to 808 (mid-harvest; 70–80% ripe pods), and 809 (late harvest; >90% ripe pods). In addition, different harvest methods were assessed to identify and quantify other sources of yield loss. Seed moisture contents at early, mid, and late harvests were 14.2, 9.8, and 6.8%, respectively. On average, the SY of early harvest was 9.5 and 23.6% greater than the mid- and late harvests, respectively. Total seed loss incurred during direct-combine harvest was 11.7%, which was attributable to the mechanical disturbance imposed on the pods and the combine settings. Camelina seed oil content was greatest at mid-harvest, but the estimated biodiesel yield was not significantly different between the early and mid-harvests. In general, direct combining when 75% of camelina pods are ripe will provide a balance between SY loss and the seed protein and oil contents.
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© 2016 American Society of Agronomy 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711 USA.