Have You Considered Canola?
Last week I had the opportunity to tour the new Pacific Coast Canola Processing facility in Warden. Very impressive and I’ll report more on that visit later this week.
Today we will visit with Washington State University Extension and Outreach Specialist Karen Sowers. I asked about the advantages of growing canola in the Pacific Northwest. She says
Sowers: “A simple answer to that is that it is a rotation crop. A broadleaf crop versus wheat which is a grass crop. When you rotate a different type crop you will get rotational benefits such as breaking disease and pest cycles. Canola has a deep tap root that helps soil -- water infertiliation and soil friability and soil structure. Another huge benefit we’ve heard antidotal from a lot of growers is a yield boost in the following wheat crop. After canola whether you are in a wheat-fallow-wheat-canola system or annual cropping whatever it is -- there is typically a yield boost in the following cereal crop.”
Sowers says it is critical to examine your herbicide application history if you’ve used group two herbicides you need to know what the plant back restrictions are before planting canola.
Sowers says it is important to visit with current canola growers to learn from them and adds
Sowers: “By and large the majority of first time growers become experienced growers of canola.”
To learn more, there is a two day Oilseed Conference being held in conjunction with the Northwest Direct Seed Association on January 20-22 of 2014 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Washington.