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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #257782

Title: Introducing Winter Canola in the Wheat-Fallow Region of North Central Washington

item Young, Francis
item ROE, DENNIS - Washington State University
item SOWERS, KAREN - Washington State University

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Approximately 60% of the cereal and grain legume production areas of the Pacific Northwest are characterized by the winter wheat/summer fallow system. This system is plagued by winter annual grass weeds such as jointed goatgrass, feral rye, and downy brome. Growers are becoming more interested in producing winter canola in this region to improve pest management strategies, diversify markets, and increase sustainability. However, winter canola stand establishment is a major impediment to growers in the non-irrigated, low- to intermediate-rainfall zones. Objectives of this study are to determine optimum seeding rate and date of winter canola and the effect on seed, oil and meal quality; and explore new planting methodologies to improve stand establishment and seedling survival. Field plots were established in 2007 at two locations in north central Washington with two seeding dates (mid-August and early September) and three seeding rates (2, 4 and 6 lbs/acre), with additional plots using no shovels, 10-inch shovels, or 15-inch shovels. Yield data suggests that doubling the seeding rate is not economically feasible for an August planting, and earlier planting dates produce more consistent stands and yield. Based on yield alone, the data suggests that when the moisture is within 2" of the surface shovels are not needed. However, the crop population was more uniform using shovels, which provides better competition against weeds. Another objective was to create a multi-agency partnership focusing on the Colville Confederated Tribes to improve human and animal health, self-sustainability, and stimulate the local economy by creating jobs locally. The partnership has been very successful, and will be continuing for at least the next several years until the infrastructure for commercial field to fuel and food production of canola is in place.