Monday, November 13, 2006

Strategies for High Yielding Winter Canola in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Perry Miller, 334 Leon Johnson Hall, Montana State University, Montana State University, Box 173120, Bozeman, MT 59717-3120 and Duane Johnson, Montana State Univ, Northwestern Ag Research Center, Kalispell, MT 59901.

Along the northern Rocky Mountain Front, winter canola is expected to have a major yield advantage over spring canola due to the improved synchrony of plant growth with evapotranspirative demand. As such, high yielding winter canola will be a critical component of the bio-oil industry in this region. Winter canola has been investigated since 2001 in southwestern (Bozeman) and since 2002 in northwestern (Kalispell) Montana. Major uncertainties were revealed that relate to winterhardiness, yield potential, and weed management. Timely rainfall or irrigation during the fall establishment phase (September) is critical to winter survival in this region. Further, genetic screening trials have shown that germplasm from Kansas State University has winterhardiness superior to European and Russian genetic lines. However, in 2005, following a low mortality winter environment, it was evident that commercial European winter canola cultivars yielded much greater than genetic lines from Kansas State, yielding as great as 5.6 Mg/ha in a rainfed trial at Kalispell, MT. Herbicide-tolerant genetics offer the best weed management strategy, and is commercially available only in European cultivars at this time. Winter canola will fit best in no-till systems where winter survival is enhanced, but fall irrigation may be required to ensure establishment of viable stands. To minimize risk to growers, it would be valuable to combine ‘Kansas’ winterhardiness with ‘European’ yield potential, in herbicide-tolerant cultivars.

Handout (.ppt format, 1140.0 kb)