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Winter canola schools scheduled for August at Lahoma and Weatherford

Southern Plains producers who are interested in learning how to maximize canola crop productivity should plan now to attend one of two early August winter canola schools taking place in Oklahoma.

LAHOMA, Okla. – Southern Plains producers who are interested in learning how to maximize canola crop productivity should plan now to attend one of two early August winter canola schools taking place in Oklahoma.

“Many wheat producers have experienced significant value and benefits by growing winter canola as part of their crop rotation, taking advantage of solid canola prices while also helping to clean up their wheat fields without taking on undue management costs,” said Josh Lofton, Oklahoma State University Cooperative System cropping systems specialist.

Lofton added it is important for producers to stay abreast of the latest information as ongoing research and grower experiences continue to refine the region’s production of winter canola.

There is no charge to attend either of the schools, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to the noon hour. School programs will be the same for both events. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Dekalb Seeds.

OSU’s North-Central Research Station will be the site of the first canola school, taking place on Tuesday, Aug. 2. A part of OSU’s statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system, it is located on State Highway 60 just west of Lahoma, itself situated just west of Enid.

The second canola school will take place at P Bar Farms near Weatherford on Thursday, Aug. 4.  Known regionally as having one of Oklahoma’s oldest corn mazes, P Bar Farms is located on Interstate 40 between Hydro and Weatherford. Take Exit 84 if approaching from the west or Exit 88 if driving in from the east and follow Route 66 (north access road) for approximately 3 miles. Look for the old red barn with the farm logo painted on it.

Lofton said producers attending either school will have the opportunity to learn from and speak with leading winter canola experts and researchers, and interact with new or veteran canola producers and industry members. Sessions will be led by OSU Cooperative Extension personnel and researchers with OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“We will also be providing a planter calibration demonstration at each site, helping producers answers any questions they might have about setting up their planting equipment for the coming season,” he said. “In addition, individuals can earn 2.5 Certified Crop Adviser continuing education units through their school participation.”

Sessions will focus on nutrient recommendations and in-furrow applications, understanding tillage for canola production, insect management, crop disease management and emerging diseases in canola, weed management and herbicide resistance using canola rotations, tips on variety selections for specific locations and production systems, marketing considerations for canola and a grower’s firsthand experience with production inputs and marketing his crop.

Josh Bushong, OSU Cooperative Extension area agronomy specialist for the state’s Northwest District, believes the schools should benefit any producer who has grown canola or who is contemplating growing the crop.

“For more than a decade now, canola has proven to be a profitable crop when properly managed,” Bushong said. “Producers continue to report increased wheat grain yields and improved wheat quality when they include canola in their crop rotations. Growers also have found significantly lower dockage and foreign material levels in harvested wheat when the wheat crop follows canola.”

The 2016 canola schools Aug. 2 at Lahoma and Aug. 4 at Weatherford are being sponsored by DASNR, the Great Plains Canola Association and the Oklahoma Oilseed Commission.

Anyone seeking additional information about the upcoming canola schools should contact Lofton by email at josh.lofton@okstate.edu or by phone at 405-744-3389, or Bushong by email at josh.bushong@okstate.edu or by phone at 580-237-7677.