Department of Crop & Soil Sciences

Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems

2015 PNW Oilseed & Direct Seed Conference

Conference Presentations

Research Projects

Update from Pacific Coast Canola

The status and future of Pacific Coast Canola has been the subject of many conversations recently, particularly with PNW growers making decisions about whether or not to plant canola this fall or next spring. The facility in Warden, Washington is operating steadily, crushing daily, and selling meal and oil.  Joel Horn, president and CEO of Legumex Walker, added that “we will be coming out soon with new production contracts to grow specialty canola that will provide growers the opportunity to net higher returns, and help supply the growing demand for non-GMO and non-GMO high oleic oils.”  It was incorrectly stated in the September issue of the U.S. Canola Association Canola Quick Bytes that PCC had ceased operation; that error has since been corrected. For the most current information about PCC please visit their website.

Oilseed breakout session video available

Take a few moments and peruse the videos of the oilseed breakout sessions from the 2015 PNW Oilseed & Direct Seed Conference.  There is a wealth of information from the 12 PNW crop and livestock producers, 11 ag industry representatives and 17 faculty and students from four universities who shared their experiences and knowledge.  Marketing strategies, managing chem fallow, water and nutrient management, forage and meal use, and variety performance are just a few of the many topics presented.

Final public hearing for Crucifer Quarantine

Due to changes to the language of the Washington Crucifer Quarantine rules in early July, there was a filing of a continuance and the scheduling of a second public hearing.  The hearing will be held on September 14th at 11 a.m. at the WSDA building in Yakima.

Creditors demand repayment from Pacific Coast Canola

Legumex Walker, majority owner of PCC, announced Friday that PCC had received a demand from AgCountry Farm Credit Services, agent for a syndicate of lenders, for repayment of “all amounts” they were due, estimated at $54.6m. Read the full news release here.

Fall-planted Canola and Rapeseed Insurance Deadline

USDA-RMA reminds Pacific Northwest and Alaska producers of the fast approaching 2016 sales closing deadlines for federal crop insurance.  August 31 is the sales closing date for fall-planted canola and rapeseed in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Read the full news release here.

2015 Conference Video now available online

Video from all keynote and general session presentations from the 2015 PNW Oilseed & Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference is available, with oilseed breakout session videos posted shortly.  A wide range of topics were presented in the general sessions by innovative growers, industry reps and university faculty from across North America.  Topics include high residue irrigated farming, Ice Age Geology and PNW agriculture, transgenic crops, soil health, and more.  Click here for a listing of all videos and presenters.

PNW Winter Oilseed Supply locations

An updated list of winter oilseed supply (canola and rapeseed) from seed dealers and retail outlets in the PNW is now available.  Note the wide selection of conventional and herbicide tolerant varieties to address specific rotation and field situations, i.e. residual herbicides.

PNW Canola Cash Bids

Click here to check on local cash bids for canola and other commodities at a location near you.

*** Crucifer Quarantine – Eastern Washington Update ***

Following the July 7 public hearing in Yakima, two major changes occurred in regards to the Crucifer Quarantine Rule change.  First, seed produced within the regulated areas (both Eastern and Western Washington) to be planted in the Eastern Washington regulated area does not have to be treated, while seed originating elsewhere will need treated. Secondly, with the potential threat of blackleg to Crucifer production, a request was made for an emergency rule to be enacted as soon as possible. To that end, the Director signed the emergency rule effective on Thursday July 16th.  As of that date all Crucifer seed to be planted in Eastern Washington must be quarantine compliant. Read the latest amended document here.  The WSDA has added a page to their website with more details about the quarantine as well.

Rubisco Seeds posts variety trial results from two locations

Rubisco Seeds conducted winter canola variety trials with seed from several sources in large-scale strip trials near Wilbur and Bridgeport, WA.  See the preliminary yield results from Wilbur here, and Bridgeport here.

Winter canola harvest update

As of this writing, growers in eastern Washington are reporting average to below average yields of winter canola, while Willamette Valley producers experienced near-record yields. Canola in north central WA is yielding 900-1100 lbs/acre, while the few irrigated fields only managed 1,725-2,700 lbs/acre. Higher yields were reported in the Pomeroy area at 4,000′ elevation, coming in at 1,900-2,500 lbs/acre. Harvest wrapped up in late June in the Willamette Valley with more positive results of of 4,000-4,800 lbs/acre. WSU and UI variety trial plots are currently being harvested and yield data will be posted as it becomes available.

Irrigated canola tour recap

Thirty-five dryland and irrigated growers, industry and university folks took part in a 4-stop irrigated canola tour that began southwest of Odessa and ended south of the Schrag Elevator.  Discussion was lively at all stops with attendees exchanging information about winterkill, varietal differences in freezing and hot temperature survival, crop insurance, spring canola seed production, disease management, crop rotation, fertilizer, spring canola viability in the region, deficit irrigation management, and of course the weather.  The WOCS project team would like to thank Jeff Schibel, Keith Schafer, Dennis and JR Swinger, Greg Reimer, Jim Davis, sponsors Bayer CropScience and Gavilon Grain, Lind, and all who attended the tour.

Winter canola twilight tour near Pomeroy attracts 75

Beautiful weather and continued interest in canola as a rotation crop attracted 75 attendees to a tour June 4 south of Pomeroy at 4,000′ elevation. “This tour was the best one I’ve attended with a lot of great information,” commented a grower from Walla Walla.  A grower from Lind added “It was a great tour – just when I thought I knew everything about winter canola production I ended up learning even more!”  One highlight of the tour was hearing from two canola producers (Mansfield and Pomeroy area) about how winter canola production has greatly improved their cereal production and weed control.  A soil pit was dug adjacent to the canola variety trials so attendees could view canola rooting patterns and soil horizons, and an additional tour stop was at a bulk canola production field to see and hear about specific planting, fertilizer and pest control management. Complete information and data presented at the tour can be viewed here. Thanks to Croplan by Winfield for co-hosting the tour with USDA-ARS and WSU, and co-sponsoring the bbq after the tour along with Pomeroy Grain Growers.

Big crowd for Douglas County winter canola tour

Despite chilly, wet, windy conditions near Mansfield yesterday (May 13), 75 people turned out to learn more about winter canola production and cover crops.  At the first canola field Howard Nelson (CWGG) provided a summary of a fertilizer timing and placement study as well as discussing variety performance. The next stop provided attendees with information about and a look at large-scale winter canola variety strip trials.  The final stop included presentations by WSU/WOCS grad students and faculty about ammonia fertilizer toxicity to canola roots, water use of canola, soil compaction effects on roots and an overview of blackleg.  The tour concluded with a discussion and field visit with Leslie Michel (Okanogan CD) of ongoing cover crop studies in the area.

The information packet from the field tour can be viewed here.  Thanks to the field day sponsors, Ag Enterprise, Boulder Park and North Cascades National Bank.

Winter canola field tour near Okanogan – recap

The first winter canola tour of the season attracted nearly 35 people to see winter canola variety trials that included significant differences in winter survival between varieties, differences in response to fertilizer timing and amount, and weed control. Attendees also learned about nitrogen and water use efficiency, ammonia toxicity, soil compaction, and cover crops.

An information packet from the field tour can be viewed here.

Update on blackleg field scouting

As of April 17, more than 30 fields scouted in eight eastern Washington counties had no signs of blackleg.  The fields included winter and spring canola residue from 2014 harvest, live winter canola, and residue from 2014 cover crops. Scouting will continue in the coming weeks; please contact us if you would like us to speak about blackleg, scout a field on your farm, or if you find anything you think may be an indication of blackleg.  Here is a brief overview and FAQs about blackleg from WSU.

Blackleg confirmed in Idaho canola fields

As of April 2, blackleg has been confirmed in 10 of 11 winter canola fields from Moscow to Grangeville, ID.  Infestations have ranged from 1% of the plants to 30-40% of the plants. It was also found in residue of a 2014 spring canola field on the southern Winona Butte east of Greencreek, Idaho. If you have any live canola or other Brassicas, winterkilled canola residue, live cover crops or cover crop residue, 2014 spring Brassica residues, or Brassica or mustard family weed species in or near fields, take a few minutes to get a close up look at the leaves and stems for any sign of blackleg. As mentioned previously, the best defense is scouting, crop rotation (4 years between Brassica crops), buying certified blackleg-free seed, selecting blackleg resistant varieties, and making sure there is seed treatment applied.  Other information: image 1

Prospective Plantings estimates released

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service release prospective plantings data today (March 31, 2015).  Canola acreage is down 41% in Washington from a high of 51,000 acres in 2014 to an estimated 30,000 acres for 2015. Overall PNW acreage is down 25% with Montana being the only PNW state without reduced acres.  Major factors contributing to the decline include the severe winter cold events in November and December that decimated many fields of winter canola, and the recent low market prices for canola affecting spring plantings as well.  View the canola report here, and the entire crop report here.

2015 PNW Oilseed & Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference

THANK YOU!!!!  Another great conference has come and gone, and on behalf of the planning committee, many thanks are in order for the 60 sponsors and exhibitors, 85 speakers, more than 500 attendees, convention center staff, and local musicians Blue Mt Spanish Sound.  

Research posters and powerpoint presentations from the conference are now available.

Video of presentations will be posted as they become available. In the meantime check out videos from the 2014 Oilseed and Direct Seed Conference

University of Idaho winter canola data

The University of Idaho has updated their website, including new field trial results for spring canola, winter canola and mustard.  See complete data here.


Recent Publications from WOCS Scientists:

———————————————————————————————- The Washington State University Oilseed Cropping Systems Research and Extension Program, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, is committed to supporting the grower and industry-based movement to diversify cropping system agronomics and markets through increased adoption and production of oilseed crops.

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