AGRI-BRIEFS
  AGRONOMIC NEWS ITEMS
From Agronomists of the
Potash & Phosphate Institute
655 Engineering Drive, Suite 110
Norcross, Georgia 30092-2837
Phone (770) 447-0335

Fall 1999, No. 7

PROFIT FROM CANOLA IN THE SOUTHEAST

What is canola? Canola is the third most important oil seed crop in the world. It is a type of rapeseed which has oil suitable for human use and meal suitable for animal and poultry feed. Specialty canola oils have been grown in the Southeast U.S. They can be used for making high value products such as...cosmetics, hand and face creams & suntan lotions...marine and industrial lubricants...diesel fuel substitute...pest control products...inks...and paper products. As a bonus, the seed meal contains about 35 percent protein and is used for poultry and livestock rations.

Why is canola important? Because it is one of the few crops today that offers strong profit potential for farmers in the Southeast. It yields well, equipment for wheat fits canola needs, crushing facilities need the production, and canola fits into Southeast cropping rotations as a winter crop. New varieties have improved disease resistance (black leg) and respond very well to fertilizer, lime, and other good management practices.

What is canola’s yield potential? Farmer yields of 50 to 65 bushels per acre have been measured in the Southeast. Research yields have exceeded 100 bushels per acre. In general, economic break-even yields range from 35 to 40 bushels with production costs being slightly higher than for wheat.

Will canola fit Southeastern crop rotations? Certainly. It is a winter crop that can benefit from the more dependable winter rains. It matures in time for planting a second crop such as cotton or soybeans. Ten years of university and agribusiness research and development have made canola a producer-friendly Southeastern crop with profit potential.

Can canola be grown and marketed profitably? Yes. But, like peanuts and cotton, it will take fertile soils and first-class production and marketing practices. The following suggestions focus on the production/marketing practices which most often limit canola’s yield and profit potential.

The economic and agronomic outlook for canola in the Southeast U.S. remains strong. Consider canola as a part of your farming operation this fall.

—NRU—

For more information, contact Dr. Noble R. Usherwood, Southeast Director, PPI, 233 Kenilworth Circle, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. Phone: (404) 294-0137. E-mail: usherwood@ppi-far.org.
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