Oklahoman's New Canola Book Puts a Wealth of Information at Producers' FingertipsWed, 28 Aug 2013 09:15:02 CDT
The canola industry is growing rapidly across the Southern Great Plains. Exploding may be a more apt way to describe it. As more and more producers seek to add it to their rotations, Fairview producer Matt Gard says there's one thing that hasn't kept pace: information.
"Being a canola producer myself, I've noticed the difficulties in trying to find accurate yield data and have it right underneath your fingertips. So my company, we pulled together all the information from the Oklahoma Oilseed Commission, the national canola yield trials, from Oklahoma State University, and from our good friends up north, the Kansas State University people. And we put all our yield data all in one book so it's one-stop shopping for all the yield data for our producers to be able to read."
As an entrepreneur, Gard said he saw the need to bring together all the formation from all varieties which are acclimated to the Great Plains into one resource. He produced a book containing all of the information available about each specific variety. Gard's book contains a write up about each variety describing the traits and characteristics each exhibits. It contains over 25 pages of tables and several guest editorials from producers, canola extension specialists, and certified crop advisors.
Gard says producers started out with a couple of varieties made available by Kansas State University and Dekalb. Now there are over half a dozen seed companies with a variety of different cultivars available for sale in the region. Those selections now include Roundup-ready varieties as well as more conventional varieties.
Seed companies have responded to the demands from growers and are coming out with an ever-growing number of new varieties
"We have a lot of high-yielding hybrids coming in, but the newest--and it's amazing--we have a clear-field variety called Eddy Max. And that gives us some new herbicide options when Round-up isn't quite taking care of everything we need it to do.
Gard sees canola production increasing rapidly from here on out. He said he believes total acreage will eventually top out somewhere in the two-million-acre range.
The seed companies are interested in the potential of the Great Plains as an area to grow canola as a rotational or companion crop for wheat, Gard said. Interest among producers is growing just as rapidly as about 300,000 acres were planted to canola last year and projections are for 500,000 acres to be planted this year.
Along with those projections are two seed crushers under construction in the area. Producers Cooperative Oil Mill is adding a facility in central Oklahoma and NorthStar is building a plant in Enid.
"With two large crushers coming to the area, their crystal ball is showing large amounts of canola production coming in our future," Gard said.
To get a copy of Gard's book go to canolaofthegreatplains.com. Or send a check or money order to Canola of the Great Plains, P.O. Box 299, Fairview, OK 73737.
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