Canola School: How varieties are tested in-field


You may not have heard of the Western Canada Canola/Rapeseed Recommending Committee (WCCRRC), but the organization is responsible for setting the framework for canola variety recommendations and the testing system for varieties for western Canada.

“Their job is to provide guidance and oversight to the program that I administer on behalf of the WCCRRC as a Canola Council employee,” says Raymond Gadoua, coordinator with the Canola Council of Canada.

Gadoua joins Kara Oosterhuis in this Canola School episode to talk about how the committee determines the varieties that get approved.

The testing system is comprised of two years of testing. The first year is carried out by the individual variety developers and the second is by public co-op testing. Results are submitted to the WCCRRC and this year’s meetings reviewed 1100 research trials at 32 locations across Western Canada.

Candidate canola cultivars are reviewed based on quality — fatty acid content, oil, protein, and glucosinolates in canola meal. Agronomic data is also collected: yield, lodging, days to flowering, and days to maturity.

“We have a good sense of what’s coming through the system,” says Gadoua. “Whether the material is late, or early, or typically in the middle of that.”

The WCCRRC also has 40 blackleg disease reaction trials across western Canada at 10 locations. These trials give a good sense of what’s happening with blackleg, and of what the blackleg races are out there, adds Gadoua. A pathology sub-committee can determine the nature of blackleg infection in response to these blackleg disease reaction trials.

Watch the full conversation to hear about any surprises in the results of this year’s trials and just how many varieties have to go through the program:

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