Region 2: Low to Intermediate Rainfall, Eastern Washington
Currently, oilseed crops have the best likelihood to be adopted in Washington state by dryland producers since they are relatively competitive with other alternative crops in the region. Yet the lack of fundamental information on variety performance and best agronomic management practices for this agroclimatic zone limits the economic viability of these crops. For example, a number of dryland producers have already at one time or another attempted to produce either canola or mustard in spite of variable yields and economic performance. Despite investments in development of canola and mustard varieties in the region by the University of Idaho, successful farmer production of oilseeds has thus far been limited primarily to the higher rainfall and cooler micro-climates of the Palouse near Pullman to the Camas Prairie of Idaho. It has only been recently acknowledged that more suitable varieties and appropriate agronomic practices for both canola and camelina still need to be identified for the low and intermediate rainfall regions that dominate the majority of Eastern Washington’s dryland production region.
Canola in Cereal-Based Rotations: Agronomy and Soil Microbiology Update from Ritzville