2001-2002 Canola Performance Tests
The Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
The University of Georgia

Research Report Number 683
August 2002


The term canola refers to varieties of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) that produce high quality, edible oils with less than 2% erucic acid and defatted seed meals with less that 30 micromoles of aliphatic glucosinolates/gram. Canola seeds contain about 40 percent oil by weight. The oil is used primarily as a salad or cooking oil and in processed foods. Canola oil contains less than half the saturated fat of any other vegetable oil, has a favorable mix of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and like other vegetable oils contains no cholesterol. The seed meal produced after oil extraction is approximately 35 percent protein and is used as feed for poultry or livestock.

In 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed its regulations to allow the use of low erucic acid rapeseed oil (canola oil) for human consumption in the U.S. The U.S. food industry quickly recognized the nutritional benefits of canola oil and began to market canola oil as a cooking oil and to utilize it in a growing number of processed foods. Rapid and widespread acceptance of canola oil by health-conscious American consumers has dramatically increased the demand for domestically grown canola. Domestic production of canola, however, has not been able to kept pace with this escalating consumer-driven demand.

Georgia farmers are in an excellent position to profit by supplying these expanding markets. Mild winters, adequate winter rainfall, the potential to double-crop, and the availability of local oilseed processing facilities make the southeastern U.S. a promising site for canola production. Research conducted at the University of Georgia indicates that canola can be grown successfully in this region as a fall-planted winter annual. Machinery required and production costs for canola are similar to those for wheat and profit potential is equal or better than that of wheat.

In 1993 The University of Georgia's canola breeding program undertook a major breeding effort to further improve the quality of canola oil for edible uses by developing Superior Edible Oil (SEO) varieties. Breeding goals were to develop adapted varieties that produced oils with reduced amounts of linolenic acid and increased amounts of oleic acid. Such oils will provide for longer shelf-life and enhanced frying characteristics. Our breeding program is now nearing the release of its first SEO variety. This publication reports the results of field trials comparing SEO lines to the best adapted commercial canola cultivars.

This report summarizes the results of the 2001-2002 Georgia variety performance trials for commodity canola and advanced SEO lines. Because this is a new crop in this region, a large number of experimental lines are included in efforts to identify those well adapted here. Only a few of the varieties tested are currently available to producers in the southeastern U.S. Inclusion in these trials does not imply recommendation for use in Georgia. For additional information on varieties and suggested production practices, contact your local county Extension agent or the nearest College of Agriculture Experiment Station.

Variety evaluation trials were conducted at five locations in 2001-2002. Locations were Tifton in the Lower Coastal Plain region, Midville, and Plains in the Upper Coastal Plain region, Griffin in the Piedmont region, and Calhoun in the Limestone Valley region. For identification of the trial locations, see the map below.

Yields are reported in pounds per acre at 8.5% moisture. Yields may be converted to bushels per acre by dividing by 50 (50 lb/bu). Additional data such as oil content, beginning bloom date, maturity date, plant height, lodging, seed shatter, winter survival, and disease incidence are included when available. Information on cultural practices is presented in footnotes.

The least significant difference (LSD) at the ten percent level has been included in the tables to aid in comparing entries within trials. If the yields of any two entries differ by the LSD value or more, they may be considered different. Bolding is used in the performance tables to indicate entries with yields statistically equal to the highest yielding entry in the test. The standard error (Std. Err.) of an entry mean is included and provides a general indicator of the level of precision of each experiment. The lower the value of the standard error of the entry mean, the more precise the experiment.

This report is one of five publications presenting the performance of agronomic crops in Georgia. For information concerning other crops, refer to one of the following research reports: 2001 Corn Performance Tests (Report 675), 2001 Soybean, Sorghum Grain and Silage, Grain Millet, and Summer Annual Forages Performance Tests (Report 676), 2001 Peanut, Cotton and Tobacco Performance Tests (Report 677), and 2001-2002 Small Grain Performance Tests (Report 682).

This report, along with performance test information on other crops, is also available at our web site www.griffin.peachnet.edu/swvt. Additional information may be obtained by writing to Mr. J. LaDon Day or Dr. Paul L. Raymer, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Georgia Station, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223-1797.

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