Canola is currently a minor crop in Georgia, although it was grown on more acres in the past. Its potential profitability compares favorably to wheat, but it has limitations from a cropping standpoint. First, crop rotations must be long, 3-4 years in order to manage soil-borne diseases. They cannot include other brassicas, and wild radish must be controlled in the non-canola years.
Second, canola is very susceptible to carryover from certain herbicide classes, with possible plant-back restrictions of several years. Tolerance to some of the long-carryover classes, but not all, is available in some varieties. Winter canola varieties require cold temperatures for vernalization, and should only be grown in the Piedmont and areas north. Spring canola varieties should only be grown on the Coastal Plain, since they lack winter-hardiness. Canola planting dates are slightly earlier than for small grains. As a result, it best follows corn or sorghum. Lastly, it is essential to confirm that there is a buying point within reasonable distance. The number of these has greatly declined in the last 20 years.
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