Eastern Washington farmers may pick up a new practice for their operations at a field day later this month.

Washington State University Extension will offer a winter canola field and variety plot tour 7:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Jim Nollmeyer's farm, 53450 Farwell Road E., Reardan, Wash.

Extension offers tours for farmers interested in direct seeding and conservation tillage, WSU Spokane County Extension Agronomist Diana Roberts said. She recommended attendance to those considering growing canola or looking to direct-seed in a rainfall area similar to Reardan, about 15-17 inches per year.

Direct-seeding canola into chemical fallow ground, as Nollmeyer did in July and August, is unusual, Roberts said. Typically, farmers follow a fallow year with winter wheat, as it is the primary moneymaker in a crop rotation in the Reardan area.

Following chemical fallow with winter canola works better to spread out operations, get canola planted at a good time and have a good amount of stubble left over, Roberts said. Some farmers hope use of the canola in their rotations will improve wheat quality.

"We always hope canola helps break disease cycles, but we're learning more and more some of the soil-borne pathogens are pretty ubiquitous," she said.

-- Matthew Weaver

WSU and University of Idaho researchers will also discuss their canola and mustard variety plots.

-- Matthew Weaver


Diana Roberts, 509-477-2167 or e-mail robertsd@wsu.edu

WSU Spokane County Extension: www.spokane-county.wsu.edu

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