Canola Research in North Dakota Grows Strong

Posted: 7/30/2017

By Barry Coleman

The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) has been hard at work over the past few years to expand research and initiatives supporting canola in the Northern Plains. It allocates a significant portion of its funds to public research in canola in areas of highest importance to growers.

Most notably, the NCGA has funded studies revealing that canola can grow successfully in a rotation with soybeans and small grains with no increased levels of disease or insect pressure. This is significant because it will allow for the production of both oilseed crops in a sustainable rotational system.

There’s also been ongoing interest and private research in the region to plant canola in 15-inch rows with planters while reducing seeding rates per acre. Since many emphasize looking at seed size in canola and not necessarily pounds of seed per acre, many growers have had success in reducing the number of canola plants per square foot from the recommended 9-12 inches. Many newer models of seeding equipment designed to obtain an optimum number of canola plants to achieve the highest yields are also achieving seed singulation. Other NCGA projects funded for 2017 include:

  1. Canola Disease and Flea Beetle Survey for North Dakota
  2. Fine Mapping Molecular Markers in Canola 
  3. Adaptability of Canola Breeding Lines in ND
  4. Canola Production Under Saline Conditions
  5. Development of High Oil Canola Utilizing Double Haploid Breeding Technique
  6. Increasing Freezing Tolerance in Canola
  7.  Evaluation of Chemicals and Canola Cultivars to Manage Clubroot in Canola
  8.  Rotational Crops Effects on Potato Production in the Red River Valley

Moreover, the NCGA held its 10th annual fall research conference last November with around 40 attendees. Researchers with projects funded directly through the NCGA reported on their results and received feedback from canola growers and industry representatives from North Dakota and Minnesota. Strategies to address blackleg and clubroot were discussed, focusing on best management practices growers need to follow to prevent disease infections. Other topics were progress of canola breeding as well as introducing canola in rotation with sugar beets and potatoes in the eastern part of North Dakota.

Barry Coleman is executive director of the Northern Canola Growers Association in Bismarck, N.D.

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