What is in this article?:
• Prior to last year, neither Sonny nor Tony Price had even seen canola growing, and now it’s a small, but integral part of their farming operation.
• Last year they planted 97 acres of canola, and Sonny Price says the crop should fit in well with their crop rotation.
SOUTH CAROLINA grower Sonny Price checks the progress of his canola crop in early April.
Brothers Sonny and Tony Price grew up on a South Carolina farm, now farm together in a partnership, and have been involved in farming one way or another all their lives.
Prior to last year, neither had even seen canola growing, and now it’s a small, but integral part of their farming operation.
Last year they planted 97 acres of canola, and Sonny Price says the crop should fit in well with their crop rotation.
They currently grow more than 2,000 acres of cotton, about the same acreage of wheat and double-crop soybeans and 1,000 acres of corn.
They first got interested in canola after attending a meeting about rapeseed. Though rapeseed didn’t work out for them, it did start them thinking about the need for a fall-planted crop to rotate with wheat. Canola, Price says, seemed to be a good option.
“We met with Robert Davis and Mike Garland, who work with AgStrong, a North Georgia company that buys canola to crush for oil. They were very helpful in getting us set up to grow the crop and have been very supportive in helping us find better ways to grow it,” Price says.
One of the selling points for Price was the commitment by one of his neighbors to designate 40,000 bushel storage capacity for canola.
“We can deliver our canola to our neighbor, rather than transporting it — that was one of the hold-backs to growing rapeseed,” he adds.
“An advantage of canola is that we can plant it 2 weeks or so ahead of wheat in the fall and get it harvested 2-3 weeks earlier than wheat.”
The South Carolina grower notes that his acreage of canola will likely go up, if it works out as well as it seems to be going this spring.
“Our thinking is that we will have time to harvest the canola and plant cotton behind it. We knew we could plant soybeans behind canola, and that’s what we will plant behind it this year.