The Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
The University of Georgia

Research Report Number 689
August 2003

2002-2003 Canola Performance Tests

Edited by J. LaDon Day, Paul L. Raymer, Anton E. Coy, and Paul A. Rose

The Season

Less than two-thousand acres of canola were planted in Georgia in the fall of 2002. 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 2002-2003 season are presented in the table below. Total seasonal rainfall amounts were well above normal at all five locations.

2002-2003 Rainfall1
Month Year Calhoun2 Griffin Midville Plains Tifton
---------------------------------------- inches ----------------------------------------
2002 7.11 7.72 3.66 4.63 6.06
November 2002 5.08 4.67 4.86 5.23 4.90
December 2002 8.43 5.19 4.98 4.97 3.66
January 2003 2.59 1.85 1.61 1.01 0.28
February 2003 7.80 5.83 4.69 4.56 4.26
March 2003 4.90 6.98 8.44 4.85 >8.22
April 2003 4.80 5.60 5.41 5.39 3.47
May 2003 11.75 8.36 8.33 6.77 1.26
June 2003 3.64 10.37 6.01 4.64 6.51
Total (9 months) 53.10 56.57 47.99 42.05 38.62
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 2002-2003 canola growing season is best described as late and wet. Soil conditions were extremely wet during September and October. This made land preparation difficult. Wet field conditions prevented planting at the Calhoun location and severely delayed planting one to two weeks beyond the optimum planting period at the Plains, Midville, and Tifton locations.

As a result of delayed planting and cool fall temperatures, vegetative growth was very slow and plants were generally very small going into the winter. In spite of the delayed planting and lack of vegetative growth, trials were able to withstand temperatures below 15o F with very little winter injury. During the spring, cool temperatures and frequent rains were ideal for plant growth and the trials recovered rapidly. Cool conditions continued throughout late April and early May allowing for adequate seed fill.

Several early varieties in the trials at Tifton had severe lodging scores as a result of stem damage from a late spring freeze that occurred when these varieties were bolting. The Midville trials struggled all season long and were extensively shattered by a severe thunderstorm after maturity but before harvest. Although the trials at Midville were harvested, the data are not presented in this publication due to extremely low and variable seed yields.

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 location and required treatment to prevent excessive seed damage.