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By Meghan Moran, OMAFRA Canola and Edible Bean Specialist

Planting corn after a crop of canola is generally not recommended, and the reason why has to do with beneficial fungi living in the soil. However, some studies and anecdotal experience in Ontario have shown that this rotation is not always problematic.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)

Many crops we grow, including corn, have a symbiotic relationship with AMF in the soil. AMF colonize plant roots and form an extensive network of hyphae (thread-like filaments) that transports nutrients to the plant.

The hyphae explore much more soil volume than plant root systems can, and mycorrhizal plants can absorb more phosphorous at lower concentrations in soil solution than nonmycorrhizal plants.

In exchange for this vast nutrient highway, AMF depend on plants for their carbon nutrition. AMF are abundant in most soils, although cropping practices such as tillage and rotation can impact their associations with crops.

The complete article is available at Field Crop News.com.