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 Season

Less than two-thousand acres of canola were planted in Georgia in the fall of 2001. Lack of farmer interest in producing canola in the Southeast can be largely attributed to the absence of a market for the crop.

Monthly rainfall amounts recorded at the five test locations during the 2001-2002 season are presented in the table below. Total seasonal rainfall amounts were well below normal at all five locations.

2001-2002 Rainfall1

Month Year Calhoun2 Griffin Midville Plains Tifton
----------------------------------- inches -----------------------------------
October 2001 1.52 0.52 0.25 0.12 2.49
November 2001 2.32 1.29 1.22 2.21 0.80
December 2001 2.82 1.59 0.69 1.99 0.72
January 2002 5.36 3.54 3.01 2.43 3.22
February 2002 1.81 2.12 2.33 2.62 1.65
March 2002 6.68 5.19 5.00 5.03 5.16
April 2002 0.99 3.07 1.61 2.44 2.62
May 2002 4.82 3.33 1.49 1.09 0.78
June 2002 1.66 3.56 2.32 2.64 0.60
Total (9 months) 27.98 24.21 17.92 20.57 18.04
Normal (9 months) 41.90 37.68 32.11 36.27 32.51
1. Data collected by Dr. G. Hoogenboom, Georgia Station, Griffin, GA.
2. Floyd County location.

The 2001-2002 canola growing season was characterized by a warm and dry fall, a mild and dry winter, and a warm dry spring. Soil conditions were extremely dry during September and October. This made land preparation difficult and in some cases delayed planting. All test locations required irrigation to establish stands.

High temperatures during the fall and winter promoted vegetative growth and stimulated earlier than normal flowering of many spring-type varieties planted at the three southern locations. A cold blast at the end of February forced air temperatures into the teens statewide. This late spring freeze devastated the variety trials at Plains that were nearing full bloom at the time and severely damaged early flowering varieties at Tifton. The trials at Griffin and Calhoun were not yet in bloom and experienced very little cold injury even though temperatures reached the low teens at these locations.

Many varieties in the trials at Plains and Tifton recovered during March when mild temperatures stimulated re-growth. This recovery was cut short by hot and dry conditions during April. Seed fill was poor at all locations due to the hot and dry finish and seed yields and oil contents were adversely impacted. Average seed yields ranged from 15 to 30 bushels and were disappointing at all locations.

Aphids were a problem during the warm fall and winter at most locations and required treatment with insecticides for control. Cabbage seedpod weevils were again a problem at the Griffin and Calhoun locations and required treatment to prevent excessive seed damage.

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