Canola U to address winter canola planting under no-till conditions
Direct seeding of winter canola into wheat stubble has been a challenge to some Southern Plains farmers in recent years due to winter stand loss. For many growers, preplant tillage is not an option due to conservation programs or simply the desire to not disturb surface residue.
Getting around this challenge will be covered at the Canola U event on Feb. 28 at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid, Okla., from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A class on this topic, "Making Winter Canola Work in No-Till and Minimum-Till Systems," will be taught by Mark Boyles, an Oklahoma State University assistant professor who currently manages the OKanola project designed to introduce winter canola as a viable rotational crop for wheat in the Southern Plains, and by Josh Bushong, an OSU winter canola Extension specialist who covers western Oklahoma.
Sponsored by High Plains Journal and DEKALB, Canola U is an educational seminar featuring multiple presentations in a classroom format. Each class is taught by highly experienced growers, academic and industry experts.
According to Boyles, research has demonstrated that winter canola stand establishment does not contribute to winter kill as long as equipment is set properly at planting. "In some cases, we often get a higher rate of emergence in a no-till system due to higher soil moisture content near the soil surface," Boyles explains. "Achieving a good winter canola stand in no-till is not difficult--keeping that stand throughout the winter is the challenge."
Based on OSU studies, Boyles says that winter survival of canola seems to be more affected by the following factors in no-till: seed placement and residue thickness, crown height of plants going into winter dormancy, soil temperatures in the fall and the bulk density of the soil.
Boyles and Bushong explain that producers can be successful when planting no-till winter canola, but careful attention to details must be paid at planting time. In their Canola U presentation, the two canola specialists will cover the following topics--and others--in detail:
--The importance of proper seeding depth and how to achieve good seed-to-soil contact.
--How to properly distribute wheat residue at harvest, and how to handle high-residue situations at planting.
--How to choose a winter canola variety that offers excellent winter hardiness and low crown development.
--How increasing seeding rates can contribute to winter survival.
--What to do to ensure you have sufficient down force on planter or drill row units so they function correctly.
--How to determine optimum planting dates to minimize winter kill.
--The importance of planting into "mature" no-till fields versus young fields less than three years old.
--The role that soil structure and soil bulk density can play in planting decisions.
There is no charge to attend Canola U, and lunch is provided. To register, RSVP at 1-855-4CANOLA (1-855-422-6652) or register online at www.canolau.com.