By RUTH CAMPBELL
K-State Research and Extension's Bi-annual Wheat School is getting some company this year — canola.
More than 100 people are expected to attend the "Wheat and Canola In-Depth Diagnostic School," set for May 8 and 9 at K-State's Southwest Research-Extension Center, 4500 E. Mary St. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 8 and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 9. Class will be held outside, K-State Research and Extension Cropping Systems Agronomist John Holman said.
Previously, the school had been devoted to wheat.
Canola seed can be crushed for cooking oil and the leftover meal makes for high-quality feed for feedlots and dairies. "It's a nice crop to be grown here," he said.
"In years past this was a wheat-only school," Holman said. "This year, we have added topics on canola production since canola acres in the region have rapidly increased in recent years. This will be a great opportunity for crop advisors and growers to view topics first hand in the field. This is a chance to learn and refresh advisors' and producers' field skills and visit one on one with the specialists."
Canola also offers options for weed control for winter annual grass weeds such as downy brome, jointed goat grass and cheatgrass, Holman said.
"Those are difficult to control in wheat," but easier with canola, he said.
In this area, Holman said canola fits in well under an irrigated production system or a limited irrigation system. Farther east, it's used in dryland farming.
A few years ago, Holman said, hardly any acreage was devoted to canola. Now it can be found in Oklahoma, south-central and western Kansas. In 2008, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas had less than 40,000 acres of canola. In 2013, there are almost 350,000 acres of the crop. "We've seen about a 300,000 acre increase since 2008. Oklahoma is the bulk of that, but Kansas is rapidly increasing," Holman said.
Approximately 3 million acres worth of canola is imported from Canada and Holman said that could be grown in the United States. The interest in it from a health standpoint has increased demand for the crop "a lot," he said.
Canola is typically grown in the spring and progress has been made in its genetics so it can survive winter.
There are also regional buyers who want the product such as ADM in Goodland and Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in Oklahoma City. There also are local delivery points taking the crop, which is then shipped by train or truck to ADM or Producers Cooperative.
Breakout sessions will be in the field on topics including crop growth, development and staging; weed control; crop herbicide injury; crop herbicide injury; aerial imagery and crop scouting; canola production; commercial pesticide license recertification core hour; weed identification; enhanced efficiency fertilizers and methods; entomology; fertilizer rate and placement; wheat and canola diseases; and wheat and canola seeding management and tillage.
Professional development credits or hours are available including commercial crop advisor (11), commercial pesticide applicator credits (5), and commercial pesticide applicator core hour (1).
Presenters include Randall Currie, weed scientist, K-State Research and Extension in Garden City; Erick De Wolf, plant pathology with K-State in Manhattan, Stewart Duncan, K-State extension agronomist northeast, Jeanne Falk, K-State multi-county agronomy specialist, Dave Mengel, K-State agronomist, J.P. Michaud, entomologist, K-State, Hays, Dallas Peterson, K-State professor extension weed management; Kevin Price, K-State, Kraig Roozeboom, K-State assistant professor state crop production, cropping systems specialist; Dorivar Ruiz-Diaz, K-State assistant professor soil fertility and nutrient management; Doug Shoup, extension agronomist, assistant professor southeast area; Mike Stamm, K-State associate agronomist, canola breeder; Curtis Thompson, K-State professor, extension weed management; and Sarah Zukoff, entomologist, K-State, Garden City.
The fee, which includes refreshments and lunch both days, is $100 if paid by May 1. The fee after that date and at the door is $125. To register, contact Ashlee Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 276-8286.