What is in this article?:
- Canola a growing alternative crop
- Aphid watch
- Canola acreage is increasing across much of Oklahoma.
- Farmers search for alternatives to winter wheat and a rotation crop.
- Oklahoma harvest will likely begin in late May and continue into June.
CANOLA’S YELLOW COLOR is unmistakable as it blooms in the spring. More Southwest famers are turning to canola as a profitable rotation crop with winter wheat.
Neuens says farmers should be scouting for aphid and other insects. Aphids and diamondback moth larvae “can do some damage, so growers need to be ready to control them,” he says.
Jeff Scott, a Pond Creek, Okla., grower, is GPCA president. He and Scholar helped host a “Canola College” in March in Enid. Some 300 farmers attended. In his presentations, Scott stressed the need to manage wheat residue when planting canola in the fall. Keeping wheat residue away from canola seed at planting will help maximize yields, he says.
Enid is expected to be a larger player in canola in 2015. That’s when Northstar Agri Industries, headquartered in Fargo, N.D., is projected to complete a new canola processing facility in Enid, says Neil Juhnke, company president.
The facility will have the capacity to process 2,200 tons of canola per day or 760,000 tons per year. Juhnke says the plant will include a full refinery capable of producing 580 million pounds of food grade refined canola oil and 450,000 tons of canola meal annually. “The plant will produce a 38 percent protein meal for dairy cattle, as well as beef cattle, poultry and swine rations,” he says.
“The Enid plant will be a good fit for that region,” Juhnke tells Farm Press. “We think the stage is set for some rapid expansion of canola production and the potential for 1.5 million to 2 million acres in North Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas.”
Northstar offers premium high oil contracts in North Dakota and Minnesota. “We anticipate a contracting program in Oklahoma,” Juhnke says. “However, the high oil option will depend on the availability of high oil varieties in the region.”
Meanwhile, growers are hoping good spring rains continue to help promote the best possible crop. “We’re more optimistic about the crop than we were,” Sholar says. “But we need rains to continue.”