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Oilseeds News & Updates


Spring Canola Nitrogen Rate Calculator Release

The N rate calculator uses estimated yield and soil N supply to determine the amount of N fertilizer required. The estimated yield is used to determine the total amount of N required to achieve a particular yield goal. The soil N supply is determined using the soil organic matter content, the soil mineral N amount from a soil test, and the proceeding crop. The proceeding crop can serve as a N debit that removes N from the system or a N credit that adds to the total supply. Legumes serve as a credit, whereas winter wheat serves as a debit. The soil organic matter content and tillage method are used to calculate N mineralization. Nitrogen mineralization is the process during which soil organic matter is converted to plant-available N. Mineralization depends on the microbes present in the soil and varies depending on soil moisture and temperature. The soil mineral N is the total plant-available nitrogen in the forms of nitrate and ammonium in the soil at the time of the soil test.

How Deep is Too Deep to Plant Winter Canola?

Winter canola establishment has always been a challenge in Washington. Canola prefers to be seeded shallow (0.5-1.5”) and in good moisture. The dry summers of the inland Pacific Northwest that cause moisture to recede deeper into the soil profile can lead to poor germination and emergence. One strategy for improving stand establishment is to target early seeding dates. However, early seeding dates can increase the susceptibility of the canola to fall drought and winter kill. When considering later seeding dates, the challenge is to put the canola seed into moisture without going too deep.


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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Samantha Crow
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