More Washington State Growers Choose Canola, Seek Advice on Blackleg
By Karen Sowers
Interest in canola as a rotation crop in the cereal-dominated cropping systems of the Pacific Northwest continues to increase, particularly with depressed wheat prices, and with steady demand from the Pacific Coast Canola processing facility in Warden, Wash. The Crucifer Quarantine enacted last fall, however, has prompted many questions and requests for advice about blackleg from growers and industry. In response to concerns, faculty at the Washington State University-based Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems Project developed a handout to distribute at field tours. The guide includes concise information about the current status of blackleg in Washington, the Crucifer Quarantine requirements, scouting for blackleg, and photos of blackleg symptoms from fields in Idaho and Oregon.
The handout was distributed at three tours in late May in eastern Washington, which were attended by more than 150 growers, crop consultants and university faculty and students. Aside from discussing blackleg, topics presented at the tours included winter canola variety trial results, spring canola planting method comparisons, infrared drone technology and tissue testing for in-crop nutrient management, cover crops and weed control technology.
Karen Sowers is an extension and outreach specialist for oilseeds in the department of crop and soil sciences at Washington State University.