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Large-scale spring canola trials showcase options for farmers

Posted by | July 1, 2016
Representatives from several canola seed companies as well as WSU’s Aaron Esser, Dennis Roe, and Karen Sowers presented information about spring varieties during the WSU Wilke Farm Field Day June 23.
Representatives from several canola seed companies as well as WSU’s Aaron Esser, Dennis Roe, and Karen Sowers presented information about spring varieties during the WSU Wilke Farm Field Day June 23.

The WSU-based Washington State Oilseed Cropping Systems (WOCS) project has partnered with Viterra, Inc., to conduct large-scale spring canola variety trials at three locations in eastern Washington.

Emtman Brothers Farms, east of Fairfield, Wash.; Eriksen Farm, west of St. John; and the WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm at Davenport are hosting the trials with a range of soil types, soil pH, rainfall, and elevation between the farms.

There are six canola varieties entered in the trial: Bayer CropScience LL140P, Caldbeck Consulting NCC101S, Croplan by Winfield HyCLASS 930, Dow Nexera 2020CL, BrettYoung 5535CL, and Spectrum Crop Development ‘Early One.’ The varieties represent the options available to growers, depending on specific needs for residual herbicide tolerance, weed control, or a change in herbicide chemistry.

Plots range in size from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, and are replicated four times at each farm.

Nearly 60 people attended the WOCS spring canola tour at St. John June 8.  Dennis Roe, WSU and Nate Clemens, Croplan by Winfield, discuss varieties with one group on the tour.
Nearly 60 people attended the WOCS spring canola tour at St. John June 8. Dennis Roe, WSU and Nate Clemens, Croplan by Winfield, discuss varieties with one group on the tour.

WOCS project team members, including Aaron Esser, Adams County Extension Director;  Crop and Soil Sciences Professor and Extension Specialist Bill Pan; Crop and Soil Sciences faculty member Dennis Roe; and Karen Sowers, research associate in Crop and Soil Sciences, are gathering data throughout the season, including plant population, days to flowering, yield, weed and pest pressure, and oil content and quality.

Tours of the variety trials were held in June at all three large-scale spring canola variety sites and attendees were treated to readily apparent differences in flowering, plant height, weed control, and height between the varieties.

Darrell Kilgore with WSU CAHNRS Communications will be gathering aerial and ground video and photo footage at the three locations in early July to develop into a video about the project.