Oklahoma and Kansas Canola Harvest Wrapping Up
Great Plains Canola Association
July 3, 2015—Oklahoma
The 2015 winter canola harvest in Oklahoma is winding down with harvest reaching more than 95% completion.
Dry planting conditions in the fall of 2014 were a problem for growers in trying to get a stand established and prevented some planned acres from going in. Dry weather continued to be a problem as the crop went into winter dormancy as well as during the early months of 2015. The canola growing areas began receiving rain in May which was too late to produce maximum yields but in time to have a significant positive effect on the crop. Disaster was averted as the canola crop was still blooming and setting pods at that time.
Due to abnormally wet conditions during May and June, growers had to deal with significant harvest delays. The extremely wet conditions complicated and extended the harvest season for most growers. Many growers had to rethink their plans for canola harvest with some direct cutting at least a portion of their crop. Prior to the start of harvest, most intended to swath all their acres but because of muddy fields they were unable to follow through with those plans.
Excessive and in some parts of the state, record amounts of rainfall, wasn’t the only problem growers faced. A series of severe storms with high winds caused harvest problems and some crop loss.
With all of this adversity, Oklahoma growers have reported widely varying canola yields ranging from 700-800 pounds per acre to more than 2000 pounds per acre. The highest yield reported was almost 3000 pounds per acre. While many growers have been very pleased with their yields, others have been less fortunate. Lower yields were usually the result of some combination of the winter drought and harvesting delays and loss due to excessive rainfall.
Canola grain quality is still being evaluated with some of the crop just now being delivered to the buying points. Oil content has been ranging between 37 and 39%. Green seed content has been running 2-3% with very little sprouting observed. This was a huge concern earlier on in the harvest and especially with all the rainfall received. Canola variety trial information is still being processed and results will be available soon at www.canola.okstate.edu.
Most Kansas producers were able to get canola seeded last fall into adequate soil moisture. As a general rule, stands and top growth were good to excellent as the winter months were on the horizon. In mid-November, a rare drop in temperatures negatively affected survival because the crop had not properly hardened off. Prior to this event, only a brief period of acclimating temperatures had occurred. In combination with fluctuating winter temperatures, the November cold snap caused significant stand losses in central and northern Kansas. If the crop would have been hardened off, the effects of the cold snap would have been far less damaging. Canola in south central Kansas was less impacted by the November cold period resulting in better canola survival in that part of the state.
On a positive note, spring rains came at an opportune time for flowering and grain fill. The surviving crop recovered and average yields have been running from 750 to 2500 pounds per acre. Oil content has been holding steady at about 38%.
Heath Sanders, GPCA Canola Field Specialist and Mike Stamm, Canola Breeder at Kansas State University provided input for this report.