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Ag Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: March 23, 2018

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Yesterday I had a chance to talk about Winter Canola with WSU’s oilseed specialist Karen Sowers who recently visited a canola field south of Ritzville.

I asked Karen how the crop looks coming out of winter:

Karen: They were digging up some plants. The roots look healthy, that’s one thing to be able to do when you are a grower, when you are questioning, “is this stuff alive?”…Should have some new growth coming from the crown…and also if you dig up any of the plants and cut through that root and it’s nice and white, a pretty good indication it’s healthy and growing.

Comparing this winter to last winter Karen said:

Karen: Survival is pretty good, whether it was snow cover that helped that or just again no crazy cold temperatures. Each year, the varieties that are coming out, that’s a top priority, in all breeding programs, is improved winter survival.

Over this next month, growers will be watching for cold temperatures.

Karen: I would say in the 20s for a sustained period of time. When the low is 27 and it’s at that low for 30 minutes, that a totally different ballgame than if it’s 25 for 6 or 8 hours.

Extreme heat can also be a problem for canola, especially at bloom.

Karen: Last year we can some variety trials north of Walla Walla, Washington and there were two or three, 100 degree days…the flowers that are open that day will probably not make a pod.

My Thanks to WSU’s Karen Sowers for an informative visit about Canola which had a record acreage in 2017.

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