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Workshops showcase canola as ‘opportunity crop’

More canola acres are expected in the West following a record crop year. A Washington State University workshop will help Eastern Washington farmers learn more about including the crop in their rotations.
Matthew Weaver

Capital Press

Published on January 4, 2018 8:43AM

Bumble bee and a honeybee pollinate canola flowers. Three January workshops will focus on growing canola.

Lynn Ketchum/OSU

Bumble bee and a honeybee pollinate canola flowers. Three January workshops will focus on growing canola.

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Eastern Washington farmers will get the latest information about adding canola to their crop rotations during workshops sponsored by Washington State University and the Washington Oilseed Cropping System.

The workshops are Jan. 22 in Hartline, Jan. 24 in Richland and Jan. 25 in Colfax. All begin at 7:30 a.m.

Each workshop will be tuned into local growing conditions, said Karen Sowers, extension and outreach specialist for oilseed crops.

“Whether you’ve never grown a canola or an oilseed crop before or you’ve got 10 or 20 years under your belt, there should be information for everybody,” Sowers said.

Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana had record canola acreage in 2017, totaling 221,000 acres. Sowers expects further growth in 2018.

The economics of growing canola are a big focus of the workshops, including planting rates, pest and disease management and loss off the combine during harvest, Sowers said.

The workshop includes an expanded hands-on demonstration of live canola plants with residual and drift herbicide injury symptoms, nutrition deficiencies and stand establishment factors, including seed size, planting depth and the effects of planting older canola seed.

“Canola and other oilseeds are an opportunity crop,” Sowers said.

Speakers will include regional university faculty, local growers and others. Kansas State University winter canola breeder Mike Stamm will speak in Hartline and Richland and Dan Orchard, canola agronomist from the Canola Council of Canada, will speak at all three locations.

Cost is $20 pre-registered or $25 at the door.




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