Growing Canola Turns Producers Into Better Farmers, Jeff Scott SaysFri, 14 Feb 2014 15:11:25 CST
Participation at Thursday's Canola College event in Enid surpassed the organizers' expectations with a mixture of farmers new to the crop as well as old hands. About 400 farmers with varying exposures to growing canola attended.
Jeff Scott, president of the Great Plains Canola Association, has first-hand experience with growing canola for several years and he brought this experience to bear during his presentation for veteran growers.
"We're trying to look at the next five bushels, ten bushels of yield by using precision ag as Dr. Godsey has been discussing, do some things, pay attention to details, proper stand establishments, the little things you can do to increase production, but it's for your more seasoned growers. Beginning growers need to stick with the basics. We've got experts in the field teaching that. Your more advanced guys are looking for that next yield bump. This is what we're trying to help with."
Stepping up to that next level, Scott says, revolves around one thing: "It basically boils down to management and allocating resources. Be a good manager. Be a good crop scout. There are some practices I use like a boron application. I run two of those a year. It helps with winter hardiness and pod retention in the spring. And, of course, like I said, paying attention to the details with your inputs, do them at the proper timing and things like that."
Scott says that managing canola is more intensive than what most wheat farmers are used to, but the skills developed squeezing extra bushels out of their canola crop will pay dividends in the wheat bin as well.
"That's something that I continue to try to point out to people. As you become a very proficient canola grower, you put the management skills to use, you learn from people, you go out here and be a great crop scout and really pay attention to this crop, you're going to see it pay off in your wheat fields because it's going to make you a better farmer. I'm a much better farmer, I feel like, now that I've been growing canola. I had to force myself to become a better farmer than I was when I was a straight wheat and stocker cattle guy."
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