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Special field day at NMSU Clovis science center addresses forage potential of winter canola

"Can canola be grazed?" and "What canola varieties are good for the region?" are some of the topics to be discussed at a free field day and tour April 16 at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis.

Two men in canola field
New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis is hosting a free field day to address forage potential of winter canola April 16 (Submitted photo)

"Declining irrigation resources and extended dry conditions have regenerated interest in alternative crops that are well adopted and economically viable in the region," said Sangu Angadi, crop stress physiologist at the center. "Winter canola is a potential crop in New Mexico and West Texas with many benefits including better grassy weed management in our cropping systems."

Collaborating with Kansas State University and funded from the USDA-Alternative Crops program, NMSU research has been conducted at the science center for the last few years to improve winter canola adoptability. The field day and tour will be a good opportunity to learn the benefits and challenges of growing winter canola in the region.

The winter canola breeder from Kansas State University, Mike Stamm, will talk about dual purpose canola, which can be grazed like winter wheat and then carried to seed formation. His tour will cover Kansas farmers' experiences in grazing, forage quality, suitable varieties for grazing and potential yield loss. Results from his National Winter Canola Variety Testing program will also be presented.

How late can producers plant winter canola? This is an important question and Sultan Begna, agriculture research scientist from the center, will summarize the results of the ongoing project on optimum planting date and role of plant size on winter survival.

Can it be grown with limited water? Angadi will discuss comparing water use patterns and water use versus yield relationships of it with winter wheat. He will also discuss stubble effect on canola production.

Mark Marsalis, Extension agronomist at the Clovis center, will talk about winter wheat variety and winter grain forage trials.

Registration for the field day starts at 9 a.m. and the field tour will start at 9:30 a.m. The science center is located 13 miles north of Clovis and the map to the center can be accessed at http://clovissc.nmsu.edu.

For additional information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Angadi (angadis@nmsu.edu) or Marsalis (marsalis@nmsu.edu) at 575-985-2292.