Ron Sholar Makes Case for Canola, as Planting Window Soon to OpenThu, 03 Sep 2015 21:52:19 CDT
The canola planting season is about to get underway in Oklahoma. While farmers have some soil moisture this year, lower commodity prices across the board have taken away some of the enthusiasm in planting for another year. That has been seen with the state’s canola industry, which had a very tough year in 2014 due to the drought. While the 2015 growing season was better- fewer acres were planted and harvested. Great Plains Canola Association Executive Director Ron Sholar believes it is important that everyone interested in canola being a viable cropping option work hard to build a “canola culture”. He said farmers can’t be in one year and out the next.
“You're either a canola grower or you’re not,” Sholar said. “So, you don’t get to sit one out, if we’re going to grow this industry.”
Prices aren’t as good as they were during the peak commodity price years. Like other crops, canola prices are about half of what they were a few years ago. Sholar wants farmers to be fair and recognize that prices have come down for everything. He believes there is still an excellent case to be made for growing canola. He said those benefits haven’t gone away and the industry is much more aware of those benefits today, then 15 years ago. In comparing the price of canola to wheat, he said it’s not as good as it was, but he encourages farmers to remember the original reasons why canola was brought into the state. That was the benefits offered to the following wheat crop.
“We know we get a ten to 20 percent yield bump with wheat following canola,” Sholar said. “We know we can clean up the grassy weeds in canola, that we can’t clean up in wheat and we know we will produce cleaner wheat, which has been one of the issues here in our state, as our quality hasn’t been as good as our markets wanted. So, we still have those benefits.”
In looking at the price outlook, Sholar said prices are stronger than indicated by today’s local cash price. In looking at how canola prices perform, he said historically the best prices have been at harvest, right off the combine. He said canola prices look stronger for 2016. Currently, new crop canola is being price- basis Enid- at $6.90 a bushel. That's well above the expected harvest time price for wheat in the state- based on current market conditions.
According to crop insurance dictates, the canola planting window will begin on Thursday, September 10th. Farmers have until October 10th to get their 2016 canola crop planted. This makes canola one of the tightest planting windows. As farmers make those planting choices, Sholar is still optimistic Oklahoma will be able to maintain acres from last year. While there is still some sub-soil moisture, Sholar said the Southern Plains region will need to get some rain to get this crop off to a great start.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Ron Sholar. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to hear the full interview. He will be visiting with Ron Sholar this Saturday morning during our In the Field segment that will be seen on KWTV News9 in Oklahoma City- at about 6:40 AM as a part of their Saturday morning news block.
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