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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 2020 Oilseed Field Day Abstracts

Managing Nitrogen for Winter Canola (pdf)

Marissa Porter, William Pan, William Schillinger, Isaac Madsen, Karen Sowers, and Haiying Tao
Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, WSU
Currently, the yield-goal method is used to estimate nitrogen (N) rates for canola. In another words, N rate is determined based on unit N requirements (UNR), which is N requirement for a unit yield. A 12 site-year research study conducted across rainfall zones in WA found that approximately 7 to 17 lbs N per 100 lb seed yield is required for spring canola (UNR=7 to 17). In general, the higher the yield potential, the lower the UNR. When spring canola is grown in higher yield potential areas, it develops more vigorous root systems that allow greater access to soil nitrogen and water. Since winter canola yield
potential vary substantially across rainfall zones, it is important that we provide the right UNR for farmers for winter canola.

We conducted a N response study on 7 site-years across rainfall zones of WA and OR in 2016-2018. The treatments included N rates from 0 to 200 lbs/acre and N application timing including spring, fall, and split (50% in spring and 50% in fall). A uniform rate of ammonium sulfate was applied for all treatments. We found that approximately 5 to 7 lb N per 100 lb seed yield is sufficient for winter canola across all rainfall zones (UNR=5 to 7). Notably, however, when soil test N is higher than 100 ppm in the 6-foot depth, yield response to additional N fertilizer application is unlikely in winter canola, and this agrees with the study for spring canola. Therefore, farmers should determine N rate based on yield goal, UNR, and soil test.

Timing of N application affects N use efficiency, N availability to winter canola, and yield (Fig. 1). Spring application is a better practice than fall application in areas with high leaching potential, such as fields located in intermediate and high rainfall zones and sandy soils. In the high rainfall zone, if soil test N is higher than 100 ppm in fall, no fertilizer N application is needed; if soil test N is low, 30 lbs/acre N as starter is recommended and apply the remaining N in spring. Fall or splitting N applications between fall and spring in the low rainfall zone are good practices. Split application results in better yield in irrigated systems.

Canola seed quality is significantly affected by N management. Higher N availability leads to higher seed protein concentration. Typically, the higher the seed protein concentration, the lower the seed oil concentration (Fig. 2). Timing of N application also affects seed oil concentration, mainly as a result of the timing effect on N availability. For example, in the 7 site-year research, we found that winter canola seed oil concentration was lowest with spring N application in a field located in the high rainfall zone. For that same field, the next lowest oil concentration was the split applications between fall and spring, followed by fall application.

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Samantha Crow
Administrative Assistant