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Agricultural News

Great Plains Canola Production Grows in Importance to the Industry, Jeff Scott Says

Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:48:08 CST

Great Plains Canola Production Grows in Importance to the Industry, Jeff Scott Says
The canola crop across Oklahoma is looking spectacular going into the winter says Jeff Scott. Scott is a farmer near Pond Creek in north central Oklahoma and he is the current president of the Great Plains Canola Association. He is also a vice president with the U.S. Canola Association which just held its annual Fall conference in Oklahoma City. Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays caught up with Scott at the meeting and talked with Scott about the coming of age of canola production in the southern plains and his take on the prospects for the 2014 crop. (You can listen to the full interview by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.)

Scott said the fact that U.S. Canola held its meeting in Oklahoma City this year reflects favorably on inroads being made by canola producers in the Southern Great Plains.

"I think it's pretty major. This is our opportunity to highlight to a national organization what we've been doing down here. The money that they've put into the programs down here to expand acres--our U.S. Canola Promote Canola Acres program-we have gotten the lion's share of the money out of that. We've made it work. We've taken those funds, leveraged them with other funds and seen real growth, real traction in the region."

And, Scott says, it's not just producers who are taking note of the expansion of the canola industry in the Southern Plains; it's also seed companies, agricultural chemical companies and other allied industries that are also members of the U.S. Canola Association.

"It's really a unique group with the United States Canola Association. We have oilseed crushers, we have chemical companies, we've got seed companies, we have food end-user companies, we've got a plethora of industries coming to the table. And while each one of us may have our own little niche that we are focused on, as a group we're able to come together and look at the big picture and at the expansion of canola across the United States. The bright spot of that canola growth is the Southern Great Plains centered in Oklahoma."

Scott says a couple of the group's current top priorities are the passage of the 2013 farm bill and strengthening crop insurance for canola growers. He says the government shutdown and the RMA's inability to process written requests for crop insurance likely cost the canola industry acres this year, but producers still managed to put in more than 400,000 acres across the region.

The weather is being more cooperative this year, Scott said, and the crop in his neck of the woods is looking far better than it did last year.

"Drought, early freezes and everything took quite a toll on the acreage in north central Oklahoma last year. This year I've got the best stands I've ever had. I think that every seed that we planted came up. We had a lot of small seed size from our production of last year due to the drought and we had some really high seed-per-pound counts and I think every one of them came up. Everybody cut their planting rate, but still we've got a tremendous looking crop out there. And this is probably the best Fall I've seen going into canola establishment and so it looks like a great year coming at us."

Scott said the recent cold snap has come at a perfect time to send the crop into dormancy so it should weather over extremely well.

Scott is set to ascend to the presidency of the U.S. Canola Association a year from next March. He said that is another reflection of how important the Great Plains region is overall to the growing canola industry.


Ron Hays talks with Jeff Scott on the impact canola production in the region is making.
right-click to download mp3


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