The objective of the canola breeding program is to advance winter canola as a viable oilseed and/or grazing crop for producers in the southern Great Plains. The program focuses on winter canola variety and germplasm development. Considering there are few public winter canola breeding programs the U.S., a unique opportunity exists to increase production acres and to promote winter canola in the region.
The canola breeding program relies heavily upon U.S. and overseas germplasm sources to increase the genetic diversity of the cultivars grown in the region. Traits of interest include:
- Improved winter survival of adapted canola cultivars
- Tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicide carryover to allow planting after wheat
- Yield potential
- Oil quality
- Glyphosate resistance
- Forage quality
- Disease and pest tolerance
- Shatter resistance.
Coordination of the National Winter Canola Variety Trial (NWCVT) is a significant activity of the program. The NWCVT was established to permit testing of commercial cultivars and advanced experimental lines in a wide range of geographic settings. Information obtained from this trial helps seed developers determine what experimental lines should be released as new varieties and where those varieties can be profitably marketed. Producers use the information to make informed variety selections.
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