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19th Annual Canola Expo hosted by Northern Canola Growers Association

The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) held their 19th Annual Canola Expo at the Langdon Activity Center.

canola expo booths

Posted on 12/12/15

By Melissa Anderson

A crowd of almost 100 area producers were present for the morning session of speakers and many more were checking out the over 40 booths of agronomy and agricultural related businesses and organizations.

The morning session of presentations began with NCGA President Jon Wert giving the welcome and sharing with the group that the canola industry enjoyed the 2nd highest canola acreage in history and had a record breaking production this year.

Bryan Hanson of the Langdon Research Extension Center (LREC) was the first presenter and informed the gathering about his findings regarding his study of canola/soybean/wheat rotation as well as a study on row spacing and seeding rate.

Hanson’s conclusions regarding the rotation of canola/soybean/wheat was the result of a three year study. Hanson’s research showed that there was no real benefit in planting canola, soybeans, or wheat in any specific rotation.

“It is good news for the canola and soybean industry as it shows there is no detriment or hindrance in rotation series for these two crops,” Hanson said.

Hanson then went on to discuss the study regarding row spacing and seeding rate. The study’s purpose was to help with the expansion of canola crops across the state of North Dakota.

Hanson has been working on this type of study in various forms for a number of years, and this year’s study focused on combination of row width and seeding rate to find the best combination for optimal yield.

The results of Hanson’s study showed that the yields were higher with 6 and 12 inch row spacing, with the 12 inch being the highest. The  seeding rate showed that the 6 to 9 seeds per square foot were the best.

The total combination showed that the industry standard of 12 inch row spacing with 6 to 9 seeding rate had the most successful return in regards to yield and net weight.

Following Hanson’s two presentations was Louis del Rio, also of LREC. del Rio gave a presentation on the results of the canola disease survey that was conducted at the end of the harvest this year.

del Rio and his teams visited 81 fields in 14 counties in North Dakota. From those fields that the teams visited, they collected 50 plants per field from 10 various areas within the fields.

The teams did visual disease identification for common canola diseases at that time and also swept the fields for flea beetle identification and prevalence. The flea beetles had average numbers for the time of year that the survey was conducted.

The results of the survey were that club root of canola is being managed  with no new fields being identified as having the pathogen. Aster yellows were almost non-existent in fields this year and sclerotinia stem rot was also very low.

“The producers are doing a good job of managing their fields,” del Rio said.

It was not all good news, however, the worst canola disease problem for the northeast region is blackleg. On average, there was a 35 percent severity with every field visited in the region showing a consistent severity.

“When the research team visited the northeast region, they found almost every field they visited had blackleg with a greater than  30 percent severity,” del Rio said.

del Rio believes that the blackleg problem will be the most pressing issue for the growers in the area. Fungicides are an option for control and management of blackleg, and del Rio advised the growers for next year to inoculate at the two leaf stage to help their canola crop thrive and give better seedling protection.

The final presenter for the morning session was Clint Dotterer of Cibus. Cibus is a leader in precision gene editing in agriculture. Cibus uses a new non-transgenic method of breeding called gene editing to improve plants and other organisms

Gene editing changes the genetic make-up of plants and organisms without integrating foreign genetic material, making the resulting organisms  non-transgenic or not genetically modified (GMO).

Cibus launched its first crop, SU Canola, in North America in 2015 and expects to develop non-transgenic traits in every major crop. For area growers, SU Canola is a new option of sulfonylurea herbicide tolerant canola.

“This is a economical and easy to use one-pass weed control solution with excellent weed control and crop safety,” Dotterer said.

Dotterer explained that the non-transgenic canola is a response to the backlash that GMO crops are receiving from consumers.

“The demand for non-GMO ingredients is growing. Cibus will enable the canola industry to supply what the customers are requesting,” Dotterer said.

The afternoon session kicked off with concurrent presentations. Eugene Graner of Heartland Investor Services gave an informative presentation on the oil seed markets and Sheri Coleman gave a presentation on the culinary uses of cold-pressed canola oil.

Following the Expo, NCGA President Jon Wert had the following to say,”I thought the show went well, and the meetings went well. The research and reports were good.”

Wert explained the importance of the Expo as giving canola growers the chance to keep up with the latest research and what companies have to offer.

“Eugene Graner gave a good speech on the oil markets,” Wert said, “ and Cibus offers one more option for the industry. Right now, we just have three different modes of action for chemical options. Cibus, with the SU Canola, offers a fourth option. Its always good to have more options for the portfolio.”

The importance of protecting crops from diseases as highlighted by del Rio in his presentation was reinforced by Wert following the closing of the Expo.

“We are really encouraging growers to stay on top of the diseases especially the club root which was held in check this year. It can really take off if we are not careful,” Wert said, “Black leg is also a serious disease. We have to be diligent in research and management practices.”