Canola Crop Off to Good Start, Considering Drought LingersWed, 05 Nov 2014 17:04:34 CST
No two years are the same for Oklahoma canola farmers. In anticipation of heavy rains from Hurricane Odile many canola farmers stopped planting in September, but the rain never arrived. Farmers ended up planting until the end of the planting window without any moisture. Great Plains Canola Association Canola Field Specialist Heath Sanders said a lot of the crop was dusted in or planted down to the moisture.
"We're seeing a mixed bag of fields out there," Sanders said. "You can definitely tell which ones were planted early and got up to a good start. We got a lot of foliage, canola is getting up to a good size. The canola that came up after the October tenth-eleventh rain is a little smaller, of course, but I think we're getting to the size where it should be ok."
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Sanders about the start of the growing season. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview.
With this week's rain, Sanders said the crop is in pretty good shape considering the hand farmers have been dealt. Last year there was no transitional temperature to prepare the crop for winter in going from 80 degrees to 14. Sanders said as long as the there isn't a drastic plunge in temperatures this crop will be fine.
While its too early to know exactly how many acres was planted to canola, Sanders estimates 150 thousand acres of canola has been planted in Oklahoma. Last year Oklahoma farmers planted a record amount of canola. With the tough growing conditions a year ago due to the ongoing drought, many farmers became skeptical of the crop.
Canola acres are growing in Kansas, he estimates approximately 70 thousand acres of canola have been planted in southern Kansas. Sanders said he still believes in the crop and what the crop offers to farmers.
"I know what canola can do for the rotation," Sanders said. "I know if things are right we can make money growing canola."
Sanders said farmers need to look at growing canola as an investment of a systems approach. While farmers may not as much money as what they would have liked to this past year, he said there is an opportunity to take advantage of that wheat following canola.
Before cooler temperatures arrive, Sanders recommends canola farmer take care of any weed pressure in their fields. This will be especially important with the recent rains there will be more germination of weeds. Sanders also recommends farmers scout the Diamondback Moth larvae. By tank mixing a insecticide and a herbicide, farmers can take care of both issues in a one trip application.
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