Winter Canola offers some Southern Plains farmers a promising option for winter wheat and helps clean up weed problems. Insurance deadline for 2013 planting is Aug. 31.
Oklahoma farmers intending to plant winter canola this fall should remember the following important dates for obtaining crop insurance.
Final date for obtaining winter canola crop insurance is August 31, 2013, according to USDA's Risk Management Agency. To be eligible for crop insurance and to establish a good stand, winter canola should be planted between September 10 and October 10. Canola planted earlier in this 30-day period usually gets off to a better start, according to research conducted by Oklahoma State University agronomists.
Production reporting deadline for the 2013/14 canola crop is 45 days after August 31, 2013.
More than 300,000 acres of winter canola were planted in Oklahoma in 2012, according to the Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is estimated that over 300,000 acres of winter canola will be planted this fall.
The 2013 canola crop had good yields where sufficient rain fell. North of Interstate 40, canola yields ranged from 1,500 to more than 2,500 pounds per acre. Winter canola acreage in the Southern Plains has doubled each year since farmers started planting the crop a decade ago.
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Current price paid for winter canola seed August 9, 2013, is $9.73 per bushel. Winter canola usually brings from $3 to $4 more per bushel than winter wheat.
Winter canola production was promoted in the early 2000s by Oklahoma State University agronomists seeking ways to combat perennial weeds growing in a continuous cycle of winter wheat. Weed seed in winter wheat sold at grain terminals at harvest causes serious dockage. Continuously growing wheat in the same fields without rotating with a different crop caused a serious buildup of weeds like cheat and wild rye.
Dr. Tom Peeper, OSU emeritus agronomy professor, coordinating with Kansas State University agronomists, changed spring canola to a winter-grown crop like winter wheat. Canola has a large taproot to reach existing soil moisture. The taproot also helps to break up compacted subsoil structure to give crops a better opportunity to become established after planting.
Winter canola acreage has tripled in less than a decade in the Southern Plains states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Canola seed is small, black and contains up to 41 percent oil. It used for production of nutritious cooking oil, biofuel production and animal feed.
Producers planting winter canola for the first time can contact PCOM for timely texts and emails concerning planting dates and rates, insect problems, crop management and harvesting methods. For more information on winter canola production, contact Gene Neuens, PCOM oilseed field representative, at 405-232-7555. Neuens' cell number is 405-760-4205 and his email is email@example.com. Brandon Winters handles PCOM oilseed procurement and risk management. He can be reached at 405-232-7555 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.