Field Days Focus on Oilseed Crops throughout Pacific Northwest

PULLMAN, Wash. – Bright yellow flowering fields of winter canola are more prevalent in the Pacific Northwest this spring, and national statistics indicate that winter and spring canola acreage is expected to increase more than 50 percent in Idaho and Washington compared to last year. Several Washington State University and other university field days and tours throughout the region this summer will feature canola, rapeseed, mustard, camelina and sunflower. All events are free and open to the public. Flyers and complete information are available at

“Enthusiasm and interest in oilseed crops is definitely on the rise, and there is a multi-stakeholder involvement fueling that interest,” said Bill Pan, professor and scientist with WSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. “We are seeing growers as well as ag industry, university and agency folks coming together as the value of the entire supply chain of oilseed crop production is realized. Growers are telling us about higher wheat yields, improved weed and pest control, and more efficient use of water and nutrients with an oilseed in rotation. High demand by local processors coupled with a strong canola market is resulting in a positive bottom line for oilseed growers. ”

AgVentures NW Winter Canola Variety Trial tour
Thursday, May 24, 10 a.m. Paul & Lorri Williams farm north of Reardan
This tour will begin with walking through and comparing large-scale strip trials of six winter canola varieties followed by a canola market update, WSU and USDA-ARS research and outreach update and a discussion of winter canola seed available for 2012 plantings. Lunch is included with RSVP.
Contact: Paul Porter, AgVentures NW; (509) 348-0060

Western Whitman County Research Tour
Thursday, June 7, 8 – 11:45 a.m.
WSU Extension is hosting this annual tour that begins with coffee and donuts at 8 a.m. at the Lacrosse McGregor Plant. The first stop is at Bob Morasch’s farm for the Uniform Cereal Variety Testing plots. The second stop will be at camelina and legume variety trials on Mud Flat Road, and the tour concludes with an 11 a.m. stop at Steve Camp’s farm to observe oilseed biodiesel processing and use.
Contact: Steve Van Vleet, (509) 397-6290

Oregon State University Pendleton Agricultural Research Center Field Day
Tuesday, June 12, 7:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Registration begins at 7:45, and tours begin at 8:25 a.m. Presentations during the tours will be by university and ARS scientists, including one stop at an early-planted winter canola study. Other topics include soil microbiology, downy brome control, nematode management in wheat, barley varieties, club and common wheat varieties, stripe rust management, in-season nitrogen management on wheat, and more. A hosted lunch is provided, and tours conclude at 2:30 with an ice cream social.
Contact: (541) 278-4186 or

WSU Lind Field Day
Thursday, June 14, 8:30 a.m. WSU Dryland Research Station north of Lind.
Registration for the annual Lind Field Day begins at 8:30 a.m. with the field tours starting at 9:00 a.m. Producer Steve Camp will demonstrate crushing camelina seed to extract oil and meal as well as discuss his on-farm use of camelina oil to fuel his tractors and the value of camelina meal as cattle and poultry feed. A complimentary lunch and program will follow the field tour.
Contact: Bill Schillinger, WSU research agronomist, (509) 235-1933 or

Canola Seeding Workshop and Field Tour
Late June (date TBD), Cherie Moomaw farm near Omak
Presentations will cover the basics of how to seed canola from variety selection to drill calibration. More information will be available in a couple of weeks.
Contact: Linda McLean, WSU Extension Educator, Colville Reservation-Ferry County, (509) 634-2305,

WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm Field Day
Wednesday, June 20, 10 a.m.
Presentations will include information from a new oilseed-wheat rotation study, herbicide carryover effect on oilseed growth and development and a comparison of nitrogen cycling in canola-spring wheat vs. legume-winter wheat rotations. Lunch is complimentary. Pre-registration is requested for an accurate lunch count.
Contact: Aaron Esser, WSU Lincoln County Extension, (509) 659-3210 or

Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) summer field tour
Tuesday, June 19, 11:30 a.m. and Wed., June 20, multiple locations
The public is welcome to join all or part of this two-day tour. Tour stops on Tuesday include St. John and the WSU Cook Farm. On Wednesday, the first stop is the Wilke Farm field day (see above), followed by the Ron Jirava farm near Ritzville, where the tour will include a look at long-term crop rotation experiments, crop diversification with oilseeds and legumes and more. The final stop will be at Curtis Hennings’ farm near Ralston. The future of oilseed production will be one of several topics discussed, and the day will end with a social and picnic at the Hennings’ farm.
Contact: Dianne Laursen, REACCH Project Manager, (208) 885-1231 or

University of Idaho 10th Annual Canola, Rapeseed and Mustard Field Day
Tuesday, July 10, 7:30 a.m., Parker Farm, Moscow, Idaho
The “10th on the 10th” celebration will feature presentations about the many research projects involving oilseed crops at the University of Idaho. There will be morning refreshments, field tours and a hosted BBQ lunch at noon. Tours and demonstrations will include research results of canola, sunflower, mustard and biodiesel.
Contact: Jack Brown (208) 885-7078, or Jim Davis

Croplan Genetics/Winfield Solutions cereal grain and spring canola Answer Plot® tour
Thursday, July 12, time TBD
This is a tour of the first Answer Plot® location in the Pacific Northwest, near Pullman. The test plots serve as an outdoor classroom to provide those attending with production results and help make planning decisions for their next crop. More information will be available soon.
Contact: Beau Blachly, (509) 843-7334 or

Western Society of Crop Science, Western Wheat Workers and the Western Education/Extension Research Activities Joint Annual Meeting
July 11-13, WSU Pullman campus
WSU is hosting this annual meeting that will include a regional field trip on Wednesday afternoon, a plenary session, followed by invited and volunteer oral and poster presentations starting on Thursday morning through Friday morning. Stephen Guy, WSU Extension agronomist, and Karen Sowers, extension and outreach coordinator with the Biofuels Cropping Systems Research and Extension Project, will give presentations during the meeting.