The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 6, 2013

Enid, Altus conferences to provide canola info


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Producers interested in learning how to maximize their canola crop should plan now to attend one of two Oklahoma-Kansas Winter Canola Conferences taking place July 17 in Enid and July 18 in Altus.

“Think of the conferences as one-stop shopping, wherein a participant can get the latest science-proven information about what it takes to raise the most successful canola crop possible relative to local conditions,” said Rick Nelson, Garfield County Extension agricultural educator.

There is no charge to attend either of the conferences being put on by cooperating partners Oklahoma Oilseed Commission, the Great Plains Canola Association, Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The July 17 conference will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Convention Hall, 301 S. Independence. A meeting of the Great Plains Canola Association will follow the meeting.

The July 18 conference will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. for both conferences, with programs kicking off just before 9 a.m.

“Conference materials, refreshments and lunch will be provided free of charge to participants thanks to the generosity of numerous donors,” said Ron Sholar, OOC executive director. “Participants also will be eligible for door prizes.”

Conference sessions will focus on lessons learned from the past year, cultivar selection and performance, the economics of wheat and canola rotations, insect and disease management, a weather outlook for the region and updates from U.S. Canola Association and Great Plains Canola Association.

Sessions will be led by experts from Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and industry.

Continuing education units will be available to conference participants who are certified pesticide applicators from Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Certified crop adviser CEUs also will be available.  

“If properly managed, canola can yield as many bushels as wheat in this area, and given recent market prices, it becomes obvious that canola has great potential to yield high returns,” said Josh Bushong, OSU Cooperative Extension canola specialist. “Canola provides other benefits as well.”

OSU data suggest that wheat following canola can increase wheat grain yields by approximately 15 percent, and more in some areas.

“Even though conditions were less than optimal this past year, the canola crops of Oklahoma and Kansas demonstrated resilience in the face of drought in the fall and late freeze damage and storm-related challenges in the spring,” Bushong said. “Whether you’re a producer thinking about raising canola or a veteran looking to fine-tune your operation, these conferences represent a good investment; it’s where you want to be in July.”

For information about the upcoming canola conferences, contact Bushong by email at josh.bushong@okstate.edu or by phone at (405) 744-9600, or Sholar by email at jrsholar@aol.com or by phone at (405) 780-0113.