Weather Confusing Oklahoma Canola Crop, OSU's Josh Bushong Offers Crop Management OutlookFri, 19 Feb 2016 17:31:15 CST
Oklahomaís canola crop looks to be in great condition as the crop comes out of winter. Thatís according to Oklahoma State University Winter Canola Extension Specialist Josh Bushong. He said the crop looks much improved over the last few years. With a mild winter, he said the crop wasn't fully dormant. The crop started to go into dormancy with the freezing weather, then warmer temperatures returned and the crop started to grow again. He said the weather has confused the crop, thatís why there are some fields of purple canola.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Bushong at Canola College in Enid on Thursday. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview.
While the crop has good stands and yield potential, it will need some help from Mother Nature to finish strong. Bushong said the top couple of inches of soil has dried out, so rain is needed. Rain is also needed to top dress fields with nitrogen fertilizer. He said now is also the time to scout fields for weeds and pests. Bushong has seen diamondback moth larvae and aphids, so farmers may consider applying an insecticide and herbicide at the same time to save a trip across the field.
In looking ahead to harvest, Bushong said every year is different, so the right decision isnít the same every year. He recommends swathing the crop in a timely fashion and get it out of the field as soon as possible. If the spring monsoon rains return, he said that may require having custom harvest help for direct harvesting. Last year, a lot of farmers couldnít get the crop swathed before the rain. But most importantly, he recommends farmers be flexible and adaptable with the harvest situation.
As the price of wheat and canola is comparable, Bushong said a lot of farmers are watching this canola crop closely. He thinks with a good crop and decent prices, that will help canola acres rebound next fall.
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