Lydia Akot-Kuel, Thandiwe M. Nleya, Kathleen Grady and Sandeep Kumar, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
The U.S.A.’s over-dependence on foreign oil threatens national energy security and the country’s economy. Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-based fuel, and is produced from renewable sources such as oilseed crops. The introduction of non-food oilseed crops can aid in diversifying biofuel sources and lessen the demand of producing biofuels from food-based crops such as corn and soybean. Oilseed crops such as camelina (Camelina sativa L.) and Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata) have been identified as potential non-food crops suitable for production in semiarid environments in South Dakota. However, best management practices for these crops are yet to be developed. This study evaluated the response of two camelina and two Ethiopian mustard varieties to four rates (0, 28, 56, and 84 kg/ha) of nitrogen fertilizer at two locations (Brookings and Pierre) in South Dakota. Camelina plants grew taller and lodging increased as N fertilizer rates increased. Nitrogen fertilizer application increased seed yield for both camelina varieties at both locations but with no statistical differences in yield between the two top fertilizer rates. Ethiopian mustard performed poorly at the Pierre location due to herbicide injury. At the Brookings location, greater seed yield was observed with higher nitrogen fertilizer rates for both varieties of carinata.