Winter canola production in the southern Great Plains has come a long way in just six years.

From developing new varieties and production methods to finding a reliable, lucrative market, much has been accomplished in a short time.

With the 2010/11 crop planting nearly completed, reliable estimates say more than 100,000 acres, maybe as much as 115,000 acres, have been put into the ground in Kansas, Oklahoma and North Texas.

Last spring, following a favorable winter growing period, winter canola farmers harvested from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of canola per acre.

These yields, with $7.80 plus per bushel, sparked a lot of interest among prospective growers attending summer production meetings throughout the area.

Growers with winter canola recently planted in their fields have a lot going for them this coming crop year as well.

Information disseminated by Land Grant universities, seed companies and marketing entities continue to provide pertinent production information. This evolution of information is particularly important to growers planting their first canola crop this fall.