Winter canola is a crop that is well suited for Kentucky’s climate and crop rotation, but production peaked at 20,000 acres in 1989and has since declined mainly due to winter hardiness concerns. Changes in the 2002 farm bill have once again caused farmers to consider converting some of their wheat acreage to canola production. For the past several years, plant breeders have been working to improve canola’s winter hardiness and have released several varieties that seem to be better suited for Kentucky’s variable winters than the varieties grown in the late 1980s. A study was initiated in the fall of 2002 to evaluate emergence, winter hardiness, and yield of 10 canola varieties thought to have characteristics well suited for production in Kentucky. Results presented in this paper are for the first year of the study and do not reflect variety performance over a wide range of climatic conditions. Results from the University of Missouri’s canola variety trials are available at http://www.psu.missouri.edu/ cropsys/Alternative_Crops/ and should also be consulted before deciding on a variety.

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