Twenty-three years ago, my family grew canola for the first time on our farm in central North Dakota. On a drizzly late-summer morning, my father got on the swather to cut canola. I was skeptical: swathing in the rain? Well, my dad said, that’s what the experts recommended. (They were right; the job went smoothly.)
I’ve learned a lot about canola since then, but there’s always more to learn. The crop continues to evolve, particularly on the Southern Plains, where it’s increasingly popular as an alternative to winter wheat.
The crop’s future is bright, as a source of both vegetable oil and biodiesel. Read my cover story on canola in the May 21 issue of Agweek.