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Recent News

North Dakota Canola Variety Trial Results for 2016 and Selection Guide

October 26, 2016 -

Canola is a major oil crop in the northern Great Plains, particularly in North Dakota. In 2016, North Dakota accounted for approximately 82 percent of the canola acreage planted in the U.S. This publication summarizes canola variety performance at the various North Dakota State University Research Extension Centers. The relative performance of the hybrids is presented in table form. Give special attention to yield results of those trials nearest to your production area when evaluating varieties or hybrids in these trials. Also, attempt to view yield averages of several years rather than using only one year’s data as a determining factor. In addition, consider other agronomic characteristics, such as maturity, lodging score and oil percentages, if available. Research specialists and technicians helped with the field work and data compilation. The assistance given by many secretaries in typing respective portions of the document is very much appreciated. A special thank you goes to Lisa Johnson, Extension Plant Sciences secretary, for assisting in the compilation of this publication. 2016 Growing Season UpdateCanola fieldwork began by the end of April. Planting was earlier than normal, and by May 15, 60 percent of the acres had been planted compared with the average of 37 percent on the same date. On May 15, the topsoil moisture was rated at 74 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Early canola stands varied across the region, depending on soil moisture availability and rainfall after planting. Some early planted acres were replanted due to frost damage to the crop during the first half of May. By July 10, 95 percent of the canola crop was flowering, compared with the average of 63 percent on the same day. By the last week in July, the North Dakota office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the canola crop condition as 69 percent “good” and 9 percent “excellent.” Already 82 percent of the canola acres were harvested on Sept. 11. By Sept. 25, 94 percent of the canola was harvested, which was near average. In general, the 2016 season started early and the average yield forecast is 1,770 pounds per acre, a record high for North Dakota.

To read the entire article click this link: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/crops/a1124_15.pdf

USDA October Crop Production Report

October 12, 2016 -

The first canola production forecast for 2016 is 2.99 billion pounds, up 4 percent from the revised 2015 production of 2.88 billion pounds. If realized, this will be the largest production on record for the United States. Area planted, at 1.71 million acres, is up less than 1 percent from the June estimate but down 4 percent from last year. Canola farmers expect to harvest 1.69 million acres, up 2 percent from June but down 1 percent from 2015. Planted area for the Nation is the fourth largest on record, and harvested area for the Nation will be the third largest on record, if realized. The October yield forecast, at 1,768 pounds per acre, is 88 pounds above last year’s yield and will be the second highest on record, if realized.

The yield in North Dakota, the largest canola-producing State, is forecast at 1,770 pounds per acre, down 10 pounds from last year’s yield. Planted area in North Dakota is estimated at 1.46 million acres, an increase of 4 percent from 2015.  Canola production in North Dakota is forecast at a record 2.57 billion pounds, up 3 percent from last year.

Generally beneficial spring weather allowed the planting of the crop to progress well ahead of last year. Maturation of the crop was ahead of normal throughout the growing season and harvest was underway by early August.


June 16, 2016 -

The first Sclerotinia risk map for the 2016 season will be available on June 20th, 2016 at three different websites, the NDSU Canola Pathology program, the Northern Canola Growers Association, and the Minnesota Canola Council. The Sclerotinia risk calculator will be available only at the NDSU canola pathology website. Both, the risk map and the risk calculator were designed to help growers determine if environmental conditions are favorable enough for white mold that a fungicide application is warranted. The risk map and risk calculator are only applicable when canola is in bloom. The user-friendly tools were developed by canola pathologist Luis del Rio at NDSU with funding from the Northern Canola Growers Association.

How they work. Canola petals are necessary for infection by Sclerotinia ascospores to occur. From colonized petals, the fungus spreads to healthy green tissues and eventually, large yield-robbing lesions will develop on the stem and branches (Figure 1). However, infection only occurs if conditions are favorable; adequate rainfall before flowering and cool to moderate temperatures with long wet periods during flowering will promote infection.

The Sclerotinia risk map is created from weather data collected from NDAWN weather stations to determine if conditions are favorable for white mold. Green, yellow and red areas signify areas of low, medium and high risk.

The Sclerotinia risk calculator uses the same data collected from NDAWN, but also takes into account additional data that growers can enter into the site. The additional data adds personalization and precision to Sclerotinia risk forecasts and is especially helpful when fields are in areas of intermediate risk.

Two words of caution. First, canola is only at risk during flowering and consequently the Risk Map and Calculator are only applicable during flowering. Secondly, the maps are only as good as the data received from NDAWN. If you know that your fields have had more (or less) rain that the nearby station your risk may be higher (or lower).

Sam Markell

Extension Plant Pathologist, Broad-leaf Crops

Luis del Rio

Canola Pathologist



Diamondback Moth and Cabbage Moth Found in Canola

June 16, 2016 -

Larvae of the diamondback moth and imported cabbage moth have been observed on canola fields near Langdon in Cavalier County.

Diamondback Moth and Cabbage Moth Found in Canola

Larvae of the diamondback moth and imported cabbage moth have been observed on canola fields near Langdon in Cavalier County. Both larvae feed on the leaves causing defoliation and holes in leaves. Feeding injury by diamondback moth larvae have a characteristic windowpane effect and small, irregular-shaped holes. Larvae of diamondback moth are lime green and about ½ inch long with a forked posterior end. When disturbed, larvae thrash backward violently and often drop from the plant, suspended on a strand of silk. Larvae of the imported cabbageworm also are lime green with a white line down the side and about 1 inch long and larger. It develops into a cabbage butterfly as an adult. Both larvae are cryptic ‘green’ and blend in with the canola leaves making them difficult to see.

It is important to note that these species of larvae are present in the canola crop; however, significant damage is caused by the subsequent generations that emerge later during flowering and pod development. For diamondback moth, larval feeding on flower buds and flowers causes flowers to abort, and can results in the most significant injury and subsequent yield loss, especially during drought (not current conditions in northeast area). There are usually not high enough numbers of imported cabbageworms to cause yield loss in canola in North Dakota. In Canada, they have observed 8-10 larvae per plant without needing to spray, because parasitism rates are usually high in imported cabbageworms.

For diamondback moth, scout fields as we get closer to flowering by pulling up canola plants from a square foot and beat them in a white bucket. Then, count the number of larvae dislodged from plants. Larvae often will dangle from canola plants on a silk thread. Repeat this procedure in at least five locations in the field to obtain an average of the number of larvae per square foot. The economic threshold is based on larval densities of:

  • Flowering: 10 to 15 larvae per square foot;
  • Pod stage: 20 to 30 larvae per square foot.

 Anitha Chirumamilla & Janet Knodel

diamondback moths

Mission Statement

CanolaPlantThe mission of the Northern Canola Growers Association is to promote and encourage the establishment and maintenance of conditions favorable to the production, marketing, processing, research, and use of canola. To promote efficient production through farmer education, public and private research, labeling and registration of crop protection products; to promote uniform seed and product standards; and to work to develop and implement agriculture policies that will enhance development of the industry.