Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2001
Publication Date: 3/13/2002
Citation: Johnston, A.M., Tanaka, D.L., Brandt, S.A., Nielsen, D.C., Lafond, G.P., Miller, P.R., Riveland, N. 2002. Oilseed of crops for semiarid rotations in the northern great plains. Agronomy Journal. Interpretive Summary: Cereal grains dominate the semiarid region of the northern Great Plains of North America. Acceptance and production of another crop requires that the crop have both an agronomic benefit to the cropping system and improve producers' economic returns on their investment. Better cultivar development and improved agronomic management techniques have made oilseed crop production successful and provided cropping system options for cereal based systems. Oilseed crops such as canola (Brassica sp.), mustard (Brassica sp. and Sinapus alba), and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) are better adapted to the cool-short season areas found on the Canadian Prairies and northern portion of the United States. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and safflower (Carthamus tintorius) are better adapted to the areas that have a longer growing season and warmer temperatures, which are found in the northern and central Great Plains. Management practices such as no-till have improved establishment of canola, mustard, and flax. Producers need to be aware of theability of agronomic practices to manipulate a crop's fit into a region's environment. These crops add diversity and economic enhancement to cropping systems.
Technical Abstract: Oilseed crops, for human consumption, wildlife and industrial use, have been grown for a number of years in certain parts of the Northern Great Plains. Crops such as canola, flax, mustard, sunflower, and safflower have been found to be adapted to the region, with crop performance varying with local environmental conditions. Crop water use, rooting depth, and tolerance to mid-season heat and moisture stress generally controls the adaptation of a specific oilseed crop. Through increased surface soil moisture storage, conservation tillage has improved the adaptation of many small seeded oilseed crops in semiarid regions. In general, canola (Brassica sp.), mustard (Brassica sp. and Sinapus alba), and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) are better adapted to the cool-short season areas, while sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and safflower (Carthamus tintorius) are better adapted to warmer-long growing season areas. Agronomic practices can manipulate a crop's fit to the environment of a particular region to enhance the sustainability of cropping systems that include these crops.