Competitive crops or cultivars can be an important component of integrated weed management systems. A study was conducted from 2003 to 2006 at four sites across semiarid prairie ecoregions in western Canada to investigate the weed-suppression ability of canola and mustard cultivars. Four open-pollinated canola cultivars, four hybrid canola cultivars, two canola-quality mustard cultivars, two oriental mustard cultivars, and two yellow mustard cultivars were grown in competition with indigenous weed communities. Yellow mustard was best able to suppress weed growth, followed in decreasing order of weed competitiveness by oriental mustard and hybrid canola, open-pollinated canola, and canola-quality mustard. Competitive response of cultivars, assessed by weed biomass suppression, was negatively correlated with time to crop emergence and positively correlated with early-season crop biomass accumulation (prior to bolting) and plant height.
Nomenclature: Canola, Brassica napus L., oriental mustard or canola-quality mustard, Brassica juncea L. Czern. & Coss., yellow mustard, Sinapis alba L