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Oilseeds News & Updates

2020 Field Day Abstracts

Every year WOCS project researchers design and carry out research activities focused on  improving oilseed production in Washington state. Every year these projects are summarized in the Field Day Abstracts. This years abstracts include research on canola fertility, camelina breeding, and much more. Check out Part 1. Oilseeds and Other Alternative Crops for abstracts about our research!

Soil Science Alumnus Isaac Madsen Chosen to Lead WSU Oilseed Research

Developing improved crops and practices for the Inland Northwest’s growing oilseed industry, alumnus and soil scientist Isaac Madsen is Washington State University’s new extension agronomist for the Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems program.

Hired Sept. 1, Madsen is based in Pullman, and leads WSU’s field-based testing program for oilseed crops, including canola, camelina, safflower, and sunflower. He will work alongside WSU scientists, Extension experts and Northwest growers to test and improve oilseed varieties and production methods that help diversify dryland farming in eastern Washington.

Canola & Oilseed Production Information at Your Fingertips!

Did you know there are presentations from growers, researchers, and ag industry reps from around the PNW, U.S., and world right here on the WOCS website? Check out the Conference Presentations tab on the menu and discover the wealth of information in video, powerpoint, and poster formats from WOCS workshops, conferences, and annual research reviews since 2010.

WOCS-funded Canola and Wheat Rhizosphere Study Results Published

An ongoing collaborative research project between USDA-ARS and WSU Crop & Soil Sciences faculty is producing some interesting results, some of which were recently published in the journal Applied Soil Ecology. Two of the five researchers, Dr. Tim Paulitz and Dr. Bill Schillinger, are part of the WSU-WOCS team who authored Common and unique rhizosphere microbial communities of wheat and canola in a semiarid Mediterranean environment. The project will continue to receive partial funding from WOCS as the researchers generate more data from samples collected at the long-term cropping systems site at the Ron Jirava farm near Ritzville.

Winter Canola Variety and Seed Supplier Information Available

Winter canola harvest is upon is in the PNW, and planting is around the corner for many.  If you are still making variety selection decisions check out the updated winter canola and rapeseed supply list on our Production Information page and contact the vendor of your choice.  Check back often for updates! If you have questions about variety selection feel free to email Isaac Madsen

Spring Canola Variety Trials Underway

We have spring canola variety trials up and growing at three locations this year:  Cook Farm in Pullman, Brunner farm north of Almira, and Wilke Farm in Davenport. The Cook Farm trial features four Roundup Ready varieties; Brunner’s has five entries including a conventional hybrid, Clearfield, and Liberty Link; and the Wilke Farm trial has a total of 8 different entries that represent conventional and all herbicide tolerant traits.

Membership available for PNW Canola Association

Producers, industry, and agencies who have an interest in canola and the betterment of the canola industry are all eligible for membership in the Pacific Northwest Canola Association.  For more information email the Association.

The ‘4Rs’ of Nitrogen Management of Canola in a Wheat Rotation

Check out this great paper “4R nitrogen management when integrating canola into semi-arid wheat” about nitrogen management of canola in a wheat/cereal rotation, published recently in Crops & Soils Magazine. WSU-WOCS, OSU and UI faculty and grad students are the authors, and the information is based specifically on PNW canola research.

Seeding rate and plant density calculators

The Canola Council of Canada has developed calculators to help growers set seeding rates and plant stands that match seed size, risk factors and estimated seed survival.  Check out the calculators on the Canola Council of Canada site.

Enterprise budget for intermediate and low rainfall region

The Extension publication “Enterprise Budgets: Wheat & Canola Rotations in Eastern Washington Intermediate Rainfall (12-16″) Zone (Oilseed Series)” is available. This budget and the accompanying low rainfall version of the bulletin are powerful tools to calculate and compare the short and long-term economics of including canola in a cereal rotation. For the accompanying Excel spreadsheet for either rainfall zone, please email Isaac Madsen.

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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Spotlight on 2021 Oilseed Field Day Abstracts

Plant Density and Pod Count Variation Within Large-Scale Variety Trials (pdf)

Isaac Madsen

Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, WSU

In addition to yield data, large-scale variety trials can be utilized to improve out understanding on a variety of other yield related variables. During the summers of 2019 or 2020 plant counts were collected at all the large-scale variety trial locations for a total of five site years. Additionally, pod counts were collected at two locations in 2019 and two locations in 2020 for a total of four site years of data. The importance of stand and pod count have been discussed previously and various research has sought to form connections between stand count and yield as well as the pod count and yield. In five site years stand count data was not correlated with yield at the field scale (figure 1). The average stand count within each strip ranged from 1-7 plants ft-2. These results indicate that spring canola yield is stable over a wide range of stand densities. The branching architecture of canola allows it to develop a full canopy when plant density is low. A clear example of this is in the Cloverland 2020 data. Over the five stie years Cloverland was among the lowest plant densities and had the highest yield. Untimely frost, inappropriate nitrogen applications, low moisture, and insect pressure may all result in poor stands. However, no clear guidance for replant decisions can be found in the regional literature. Our future research will focus on developing decision support for replant. In light of the weak correlation between stand count and yield, some have hypothesized a correlation between pod count and yield. However, in our research no inter year correlations between pod count and yield have been achieved. Future research will focus on a more robust spatial analysis of plant density and pod count.

PDF Accessibility

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Samantha Crow
Administrative Assistant