Results from the 2014 Canola Performance Trials are being checked and approved for posting at www.canolaperformancetrials.ca and in the CPT 2014 booklet. This will be an important tool when making seed decisions for 2015, and will help balance coffee shop discussions and results from field to field comparisons. Many variables from field to field — including soil characteristics, seed date and rate, moisture, frost, residual fertilizer, weed competition and insects — can distort yield and profit comparisons, even if the same grower managed each field.
Listen to a podcast on CPT 2014 with CCC agronomy specialist Warren Ward.
Trying something new for 2015? Growers who test new varieties on some of their acres each year achieve two goals: (1) They can assess the potential agronomic benefits of new technology, such as yield advancements or improved disease tolerance, while (2) maintaining some performance predictability by seeding the rest of the farm to varieties known to work well for them.
In addition to CPT results, here are some other sources for variety performance information:
WCC/RRC. Seed registration trial data from the Western Canada Canola/Rapeseed Recommending Committee compares yield, maturity, lodging, height and blackleg ratings. Growers can get a summary based on first year private and second year public data. Contact Raymond Gadoua of the Canola Council of Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-683-2403 and he can email the summary. Gadoua reminds growers that rarely would any of these cultivars have been tested in the exact same set of head to head trials.
Crop insurance. Ask your crop insurance agency for summaries of crop insurance yield reports by variety and zone. These provide average yields over all acres of each variety grown. Note that insurance results are based on grower responses, are field by field, and do not include other data such as maturity, lodging and disease resistance. Annual summaries usually come out in February or March.
Local research groups. Some provincial commodity groups or local grower-directed research groups do variety comparisons. Check if yours conducted any trials that would be relevant to your typical growing conditions.
Seed company data. Seed companies often run their own variety trials and will post results on their own websites.
Retail trials. Many independent and line companies run their own yield trials. See your local retailer for results.