For spring canola growers across the Pacific Northwest, 2022 is already shaping up to be a challenging year, thanks to last year's record heat and extreme drought. Karen Sowers Executive Director of the PNW Canola Association says the extreme weather impacted seed growers across the region, stretching into the Dakotas and southern Canada.

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“Spring canola seed is in shorter supply than it would be in any “normal year”.  So, if a grower is looking for a certain variety or hybrid that he’s planted the last three years it may or may not be available.  You need to have 2, 3 or 4 options available to you, be thinking of alternatives to your favorite variety because that one may not be available.”

Spring canola planting typically takes place in April and May, with some locations seeding as early as mid-March. Sowers added the seed shortage was not a big issue for winter canola growers. As far as the 2022 growing season is concerned.

“I certainly hope it’s a better production year, temperature wise and rainfall wise, obviously we’re behind a year on rainfall basically.  But yields last year were down 40% across the board, basically, across the Canola production region of the PNW.”

Despite the many challenges, Sowers anticipates there could be an increase in acres across the Pacific Northwest this year, and if production returns to close to normal, consumer needs should be met.

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