Carrie Knott, Grain Crops Extension Agronomist
In April of this year Governor Steve Beshear announced that Hart AgStrong LLC will construct a canola processing plant in Trenton, KY, located in Todd County.The processing facility is scheduled to begin construction in the fall of 2014. Initial estimates are that 150 tons of canola seeds will be crushed and processed each day. This will greatly increase the demand for locally grown canola in Kentucky.
Drs. Jim Herbek and Lloyd Murdock invested considerable efforts in canola research up until the early 2000s. They found that canola is an adapted crop for Kentucky with very competitive yields, between 60 and 80 bu/A. In addition, double crop soybeans following canola typically have higher yields than when soybeans follow wheat. Those yield increases can be as much as 16 bu/A but typically average around 5-8 bu/A for most years. In more recent years seed companies have been extensively involved in canola agronomics and variety development. This has led to development of good agronomic practices and adapted canola varieties have been released that are able to survive very harsh winters, such as the 2014 season. This indicates that canola is a viable option for producers interested in diversifying their operations.