In June of 1990 I had the opportunity to tour Russian and Ukraine winter grain farms and visit with the farm managers. They all said that mono-cropping wheat was not good for the land and that yields could be increased by using crop rotation. My comment was that Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle farmers didn’t have a choice except to mono-crop wheat.

That may have been the case in 1990, but it may not be the case now. Some producers have established a rotation of wheat and canola. Research has shown that wheat yields are increased by 10 percent on a wheat/wheat/canola (canola every third year) rotation system and by 15 percent on a wheat/canola (canola every other year) rotation system.

Weed control is one advantage. Few methods are available to control rye and other weed problems in wheat. Rotating wheat and canola may break weed and disease cycles.

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Negative aspects of raising canola include limited ability to graze cattle and a relatively steep learning curve. Growing and harvesting canola requires additional equipment and possibly more attention than wheat, especially at harvest.