Canola showcased at College Station field day
“I have seen it handle heavier soils, but I would not pick low-lying areas.”
Neely gave a presentation on insects and diseases affecting canola production in Texas. Aphids can be a problem, particularly the cabbage aphid. Farmers are advised to scout fields often and to open buds when scouting, he said.
The diamondback moth is another pest to be aware of, he said. The three-quarter-inch green larvae often appear in the fall and are found crawling on the canola leaves. They later mature into a moth with a diamond pattern and are easy to spot.
Canola field trial varieties at the Texas A&M University farm, serve as a teaching and research platform for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin)
“The diamondback moth is a very common canola pest,” he said. “In the fall, they mostly eat holes in leaves and generally have little impact on yield; however, during winter months they migrate down into the crown and can reduce stands if plants are stressed by cold or drought.”
If using an insecticide, Neely recommended treating at the high end of the labeled insecticide rates as diamondback moth larvae are known for developing insecticide resistance.
Heath Sanders, canola agronomist with the Great Plains Canola Association, Stillwater, Okla., kicked off the program with an overview of basic canola agronomics and life cycle. He said canola was developed in the 1970s.
“Canola is one of the healthiest oils you can get,” he said.
Sanders said canola is a special type of oilseed from the rape plant that has less than 2 percent erucic acid and contains 6 percent saturated fat. There is market demand for healthy oil and profitability as prices have remained steady.
There are also rotation benefits when incorporating canola production in with winter wheat, he said.
“We are growing winter canola (in Oklahoma), but for portions of South Texas spring canola may be a better fit,” he said.
Before planting canola, Sanders advised producers to take a soil sample and have a soil test completed.
“Optimal yields can be achieved when soil pH is between 6 and 7,” he said. “Yield may be reduced by pH below 5.5.”
Sanders said canola thrives on nitrogen and the influence of fertility is an important factor.
Gene Neuens, a field representative from Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in Oklahoma City, also spoke about canola marketing at the field day. The Oklahoma City Co-op, along with ADM in Lubbock, will serve as the two closest oilseed crushers for Texas canola.
Other speakers included Mike Stamm, Kansas State canola breeder; Josh Bushong, Oklahoma State University, canola Extension specialist; and Eric Castner, DuPont Representative.
For more information on canola, visit http://varietytesting.tamu.edu/oilseed.