Economic Profitability and Sustainability of Canola Production Systems in Western Canada

Researcher: Elwin Smith, R. Blackshaw, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Lethbridge, AB, N. Harker, J. O'Donovan, AAFC Lacombe AB, S. Brandt, E.Johnson, AAFC Scott, SK

Project Code: 3.7.2

Final Report: April 2013

Summary: Researchers conducted a three-year project to study the economics of canola production systems including an input study and a rotation study. The results from the input study of a barley-canola rotation indicated the primary input that influences yield was weed control. Without weed control the addition of fertilizer or other inputs had no benefit. In-crop weed pressure and the timing of weed control impacted canola yield.
The rotation study results showed that the net return from continuous canola rotations was lower than from the standard four-year rotation. High canola price benefited shorter canola rotations more than the four-year rotation. With very high canola prices and blackleg resistant hybrid canola, the short C-W rotation was the most profitable rotation and continuous canola was as profitable as 4-year rotations.

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