Idaho Grower Tries New Canola Production Method


by John O'Connell, Capital Press

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho — Kamren Koompin is taking a new approach to raising canola this season, which he believes will increase profits while significantly reducing the odds of crop losses.

The Koompins have planted canola in southeast Idaho about six times during the past two decades, finding winter crop yields can nearly double spring canola production.

In the past, however, they’ve had trouble with snow mold and winter kill with fall-seeded canola.

Koompin believes new products on the market should alleviate snow mold problems. And he hopes to reduce winter kill by following University of Idaho canola breeder Jack Brown’s advice and planting his winter canola in the spring, nearly four months early.

Because winter canola requires a vernalization period to flower and go to seed, thereby completing its life cycle, Koompin plans to take three cuttings of canola this season as a high-quality hay. By winter, the root system should be fully developed, helping the crop to better withstand harsh conditions that might kill less mature plants. During the following season, he’ll let the canola bloom and harvest the oil seeds, currently worth about 22 cents per pound.

“You’re getting kind of a double whammy off of one crop,” said Koompin, who learned about the concept in January, when Brown made a presentation to growers and grain elevator personnel in Grace, Idaho.

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Source:  Capital Press


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