Canola School: Farmers and Canola Proved to be Resilient in 2015


The Canola Council of Canada’s Curtis Rempel on some of the key take-aways from the 2015 growing season.

canola in bloomA misleading start to the 2015 growing season had many canola producers hopeful of record-breaking crops. But, as we know, drought took hold of much of the prairies, and challenge ensued. Farmers were left wondering whether to re-seed and put an early end to their crop or attempt to manage variability.

For those who stuck it out, many saw shocking results. Thanks to canola’s high plasticity, crops adjusted fairly well, given their poor circumstances.

Plasticity refers to an organism’s ability to change its phenotype, or observable characteristics, in response to a change in environment.
“As geneticists we’ve known that canola is a very plastic, resilient plant and crop,” said Curtis Rempel, vice president of crop production and innovation with the Canola Council of Canada, at the Canola Discovery Forum in Canmore. “We saw that manifest itself in a number of different instances this summer in terms of response to abiotic stress factors.”

And many farmers proved their resiliency as well, demonstrating that “very variable stands” can still see potential at harvest.

“It’s not easy, you’re going to have a very intense summer,” said Rempel, “but that variability can be managed.”

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