Table of Contents
Starner, D.E., H.L. Bhardwaj, A.A. Hamama, and M. Rangappa. 1996. Canola
production in Virginia. p. 287-290. In: J. Janick (ed.), Progress in new
crops. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
Canola Production in Virginia*
David E. Starner, Harbans L. Bhardwaj, Anwar A. Hamama, and Muddappa Rangappa
- Cultivar Evaluations
- Date of Planting/Seeding Rate
- Fertility Evaluations
- Table 1
- Table 2
- Table 3
Use of canola (Brassica spp.) oil is increasing steadily among
health-conscious consumers due to its lowest content of saturated fatty acids
(5 to 8%) among edible oils (Downey 1990; Sovero 1993). The United States is
dependent upon imported canola oil to meet the consumer demands. During
1993-94 and 1994-95, approximately 409,508 and 425,852 t, respectively, of
canola oil were imported. The imports of canola oil during 1995-96 are
expected to be approximately 500,000 t (Foreign Agricultural Service, 1995).
Domestic production of canola would offset costly imports, enhance the
productivity of American farms, and diversify agriculture.
Evaluation of rapeseed as a new crop has been continuing since 1982 at the
Northern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Orange,
Virginia. Spring and winter types were evaluated for their yielding potential
by planting during both fall and spring seasons from 1983 to 1986 at Orange,
Virginia. The spring types planted during fall did not survive due to lack of
winter-hardiness whereas the yield of spring-types planted in the spring was
very low as compared to winter types.
Commercial canola production in Virginia has been declining since 1990-91 when
canola was planted on about 600 ha. During 1991-92 and 1992-93, approximately
300 and 200 ha were planted with canola. Production during 1994-95 was
practically non-existent. This situation, however, is changing due to
considerable positive interest on the part of local marketing concerns and some
producers who are planning to install small crushers.
In order to develop an agronomic system for canola production in Virginia,
research was initiated during 1992-93 at three locations: Orange (Northern
Piedmont region), Petersburg (Southern Piedmont region), and Suffolk (Coastal
Plain region), to identify suitable cultivars and ideal agronomic practices
(planting dates, seeding rates, and fertility requirements). The main
objective of this research, is to establish canola as an alternate cash crop
Many cultivars have been evaluated under the National Winter Rapeseed and
Virginia State Canola Variety Evaluation programs. These evaluations were
conducted at Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk as replicated experiments with
three-row plots at Orange and four-row plots at Petersburg and Suffolk with a
row spacing of approximately 30 cm. These plots received 100 kg/ha of nitrogen,
44 kg/ha phosphorus, and 80 kg/ha potassium.
During 1993-94, replicated experiments with four canola cultivars ('Cascade',
'Ceres', 'Cobra', and 'Doublol') were conducted at Orange, Petersburg, and
Suffolk to determine ideal planting time. These experiments were planted on
four dates at Petersburg and Suffolk, and on three dates at Orange. The
experimental plots consisted of three rows at Orange and four rows at
Petersburg and Suffolk with a row spacing of about 30 cm. During 1994-95,
three planting times were evaluated at each location but the first and second
planting experiments at Petersburg and Suffolk were unsuccessful. However, the
third planting (Nov 8, 1994 at Suffolk and Dec 9, 1994 at Petersburg) was
successful. In this planting, four seeding rates (approximately 4.5, 9.0,
13.5, and 18.0 kg/ha) were evaluated for each of the four cultivars. Three
seeding rates (approximately 4.5, 9.0, and 13.5 kg/ha) were evaluated at Orange
in a separate experiment. These plots received 100 kg/ha of nitrogen, 44 kg/ha
phosphorus, and 80 kg/ha potassium.
Replicated experiments, using 'Ceres', were conducted at Orange, Petersburg,
and Suffolk during 1993-94 and 1994-95 to determine the effects of 50, 100,
150, and 200 kg/ha of N on canola yield. In experiments at Petersburg and
Suffolk, three N application times (all applied in fall as top-dress, all
applied in spring as top-dress, and half applied in fall and the other half
applied in spring) were also evaluated with 'Ceres'. Calcium nitrate (15.5%)
was used as the nitrogen source at Petersburg and Suffolk. At Orange, ammonium
nitrate (34% N) was used as nitrogen source. All plots received 44 kg/ha
phosphorus and 80 kg/ha potassium.
Plot yields from all experiments were converted to t/ha with a moisture of
8.5%. One t/ha is approximately equal to 18 bushels/acre.
Mean canola yields (t/ha) during the 1992-93 season varied from 1.7 to 2.2 at
Orange, 1.7 to 2.5 at Petersburg, and 2.4 to 4.0 at Suffolk (Table 1). During
1993-94, the mean canola yields (t/ha) varied from 1.5 to 2.3 at Orange, 1.6 to
2.5 at Petersburg, and 1.7 to 3.1 at Suffolk (Table 1). During 1994-95, the
mean canola yields (t/ha) varied from 1.4 to 2.8 at Orange, 1.0 to 1.9 at
Petersburg, and 1.1 to 3.0 at Suffolk (Table 1). These results indicate that
canola yields in Virginia can be competitive with yields from other states
where canola yields generally average 2.0 to 2.2 t/ha. The average state
yields in Virginia during 1992-93, 1993-94, and 1994-95, were 2.1, 2.1, and 1.8
t/ha, respectively, however, yields of two highest yielding cultivars in each
year averaged to be 2.7, 2.4, and 2.2 t/ha for 1992-93, 1993-94, and 1994-95,
respectively. Based on these yield levels, canola can successfully compete
with winter wheat production which has an average yield of 3.7 t/ha ($367/ha)
(Virginia Agricultural Statistics, 1993). Based on canola yields of 2.7, 2.4,
and 2.2 t/ha, the returns will be $605, $531, and $483/ha, respectively. The
oil content of canola seeds varied from 32 to 49% with a mean of 40% during
1993-94 season. The bird damage to maturing canola has been observed at
research farms at Orange and Petersburg due to proximity to trees and small
plots but has not been an economic problem in commercial canola fields or at
the research farm located in Suffolk.
Based on the results in Table 2, the ideal planting time for canola is late
Sept. or early Oct. Since a delay in canola planting beyond the first week of
Oct. resulted in significant yield loss, it may be suitable for planting only
in rotation with early maturing crops other than soybean. The results
presented in Table 3 indicate that under Virginia conditions canola needs
approximately 100 to 150 kg of N/ha. The residual N approximates 14 kg/ha at
Petersburg and Suffolk indicating that in most situations application of 100
kg/ha of nitrogen should be optimum. The results from application time
experiments indicated lack of differences when nitrogen was applied in fall,
spring, or split into fall and spring. The experiments at Petersburg and
Suffolk with four seeding rates (approximately 4.5, 9.0, 13.5, and 18.0 kg/ha)
each with 'Ceres', 'Cascade', and 'Cobra' and three seeding rates with 'Ceres'
(4.5, 9.0, and 13.5 kg/ha) at Orange (results not presented) indicated that
seeding rates did not affect canola yield.
Even though canola has been shown to have potential as an alternative cash crop
in Virginia, lack of crushing facilities and/or marketing outlets have been a
limitation in its development as a viable crop. This situation, however, is
changing for the better. A farmer in Eastern Virginia installed an extruder
type crusher that is capable of crushing canola produced on approximately 150
to 200 ha during 1995-96 season. Some other individuals in Virginia are also
planning to establish such small crushers with an approximate cost of less than
$100,000 each and market the oil rather than the whole seed. Such endeavors
might prove to be a boost in establishing canola in Virginia.
These studies have identified suitable cultivars and optimum cultural
practices. The yield potential of Virginia-grown canola compares favorably
with that of other states. The only hurdle in the way of canola becoming a
successful cash crop in Virginia is the availability of market access.
- Downey, R.K. 1990. Canola: A quality brassica oilseed. p. 211-215. In: J.
Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland,
- Foreign Agricultural Service. 1995. Oilseeds world market and trade bulletin.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
- Sovero, M. 1993. Rapeseed, a new oilseed crop for the United States. p.
302-307. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, New York.
- Virginia Agricultural Statistics. 1993. Virginia Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services. Richmond.
*This research was supported by a project funded by U.S. Department of
Agriculture/CSREES/National Canola Research Program.
Table 1. Performance of canola cultivars during 1992-93, 1993-94, and 1994-95 in Virginia.
|Cultivar ||Orange ||Petersburg ||Suffolk ||Mean|
|NPZ-01 ||-.- ||2.5 ||3.3 ||2.9|
|HN120-91 ||2.2 ||1.7 ||4.0 ||2.6|
|HN057-92 ||2.2 ||1.8 ||3.7 ||2.6|
|HN031-91 ||2.1 ||2.0 ||3.0 ||2.4|
|Ceres ||2.2 ||1.9 ||2.8 ||2.3|
|Falcon ||2.2 ||1.9 ||2.6 ||2.3|
|Accord ||-.- ||1.8 ||2.7 ||2.2|
|HN029-91 ||2.1 ||1.8 ||2.6 ||2.2|
|HN020-91 ||1.8 ||1.9 ||2.4 ||2.0|
|NPZ-101 ||1.7 ||-.- ||-.- ||1.7|
|Mean ||2.1 ||1.9 ||3.0 ||2.1|
|LSD(.05) || 0.5 || 0.8 ||1.0 ||0.5|
|Jetton ||2.3 ||2.5 ||2.5 ||2.4|
|HN057-92 ||2.0 ||2.1 ||3.1 ||2.4|
|HN9324 ||2.3 ||2.0 ||2.3 ||2.2|
|HN090-91 ||2.0 ||2.0 ||2.3 ||2.1|
|A731 ||2.1 ||1.7 ||2.2 ||2.0|
|Accord ||1.5 ||1.6 ||1.7 ||1.6|
|Mean ||2.1 ||2.0 ||2.4 ||2.1|
|LSD(.05) || 0.4 || 0.3 || 0.6 || 0.4|
|Jetton ||2.4 ||1.3 ||3.0 ||2.2|
|HN031-91 ||2.7 ||1.9 ||1.8 ||2.1|
|HN074-91 ||2.5 ||1.3 ||2.4 ||2.1|
|HN020-91 ||2.4 ||1.9 ||1.6 ||2.0|
|HN120-91 ||2.8 ||1.6 ||1.4 ||1.9|
|HN042-92 ||2.4 ||1.2 ||2.1 ||1.9|
|Falcon ||2.4 ||1.2 ||1.9 ||1.9|
|Casino ||2.2 ||1.3 ||2.1 ||1.8|
|HN033-91 ||2.0 ||1.4 ||2.0 ||1.8|
|Cobra ||2.6 ||1.4 ||1.1 ||1.7|
|Cascade ||2.0 ||1.6 ||1.1 ||1.6|
|Pendleton ||1.8 ||1.1 ||1.7 ||1.6|
|Ceres ||2.0 ||1.0 ||1.7 ||1.6|
|Onyx ||1.4 ||1.2 ||1.3 ||1.3|
|Mean ||2.3 ||1.4 ||1.8 ||1.8|
|LSD(.05) || 0.5 || 0.6 || 0.9 || 0.6|
Table 2. Effects of planting time on canola yield in Virginia.
zMeans separation within locations by Duncan's Multiple Range Test
|Location ||Planting date ||Yield (t/ha)|
|Petersburg ||Sept. 29 ||1.6az|
| ||Oct. 6 ||1.6a|
| ||Oct. 13 ||1.2b|
| ||Oct. 20 ||0.4c|
|Suffolk ||Oct. 1 ||2.4a|
| ||Oct. 8 ||2.0b|
| ||Oct. 15 ||1.8b|
| ||Oct. 22 ||1.2c|
|Orange ||Oct. 4 ||0.8a|
| ||Oct. 15 || 0.2b|
| ||Oct. 26 || 0.0b|
|Orange ||Sept. 13 ||2.5a|
| ||Sept. 28 ||2.4a|
| ||Oct. 7 ||1.6b|
Table 3. Effects of nitrogen rates on canola yield in Virginia.
zMeans separated within locations and years by Duncan's Multiple
Range Test (5% level).
|Treatment rate (kg/ha) ||Orange ||Petersburg ||Suffolk ||Mean|
|50 ||1.2bz ||1.6c ||1.7b ||1.5b|
|100 ||1.6a ||1.8b ||2.1a ||1.8a|
|150 ||1.6a ||2.0a ||2.1a ||1.9a|
|200 ||1.5a ||2.0a ||2.4a ||2.0a|
|50 ||2.7a ||2.5b ||1.7b ||2.3b|
|100 ||2.5a ||3.0a ||1.9ab ||2.5a|
|150 ||2.2a ||2.4b ||2.3a ||2.3b|
|200 ||2.3a ||2.4b ||2.2ab ||2.3b|
Last update June 10, 1997