Canola Conference 2014- Planting Decisions with Mike StammFri, 08 Aug 2014 16:59:11 CDT
Farmers and researchers alike learned a lot about growing canola during the trying year of 2014. Speaking at the recent 10th Annual Canola Conference, Kansas State University Canola breeder Mike Stamm said this past year presented a unique challenge with one of the coldest winters on record along with extreme drought conditions. He told Farm News Director Ron Hays of the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network that he believes there is enough winter hardiness already bred into varieties, but farmers will be have to be more selective in choosing varieties that have proven winter hardiness.
"I am pretty confident that we do have levels of winter survival that will get us through the winter, we just need the moisture in addition to the hardiness when we have years like we just had," Stamm said.
Conditions at planting and in the early part of the growing season are critical to the crop. Fall rains are imperative to the shallow seeded crop in getting the crop established. You can listen to all of Mike's comments with Ron by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
"Soil moisture in the planting zone is very important," Stamm said. "For canola to get through the winter it needs six to eight inches of top growth and six to eight true leaves that help it store up carbohydrates within the plant tissue and those carbohydrates help it get through the winter months."
With variety trails across Kansas and Oklahoma, Stamm noticed virtually every location had some level of winter kill. This allowed researchers to collect data on winter survival of the different varieties. In working with winter canola as a plant breeder for the past eight years he said this was a unique opportunity to collect a vast amount of data over a wide geographical region which will guide the K-State winter canola breeding program. Stamm said its in these years of extreme cold that they see the value of having breeding programs located in the region where the crop is grown.
"We did see improved survival in the varieties that we are developing and that's a good thing," Stamm said. "We've made some strives over the last 20 years that we have been working with this crop and that's really important for this region."
There is no environment that is more challenging than the Southern Great Plains for growing canola. Stamm said the region does not receive guaranteed moisture before planting or through the winter, along with a wide fluctuation of temperatures. In developing new varieties for the region, Stamm said they aim to have those inherit benefits of drought tolerance and winter hardiness.
To date Kansas State University has predominately released conventional varieties. Stamm said their latest release Riley produces more oil content and its the first variety out of their program to produce 40 percent oil. That's two percent greater than Wichita, which was the first variety released for the Southern Great Plains.
K-State will release one new Roundup Ready variety this fall. The variety DKW4525 will be commercially available through Monsanto under Dekalb. Stamm said recommends farmers contact their seed representative about seed availability. He expects this seed to be limited this year and it will be more widely available in the future. K-State has at least three to four other Roundup Ready varieties that very close to being approved for release. Stamm said looks for these varieties to be available commercially in the next one to two years.
In making seed decisions for this fall, Stamm recommends farmers consider two to three years of variety trial data from Oklahoma State University. He said farmers should be looking at variety performance at a nearby location and he believes farmers shouldn't make their decision based on one trait alone. Farmers have lots of different options, so it comes down to an individual producer's management.
"If you are interested in pushing the yield envelope and you want to produce high oil you should definitely consider a hybrid variety, cause hybrids will give you those two traits," Stamm said.
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