General Production Information

Canola plants.

General Information on Oilseeds

Extension Publications

Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is an important wheat production region. In 2015, the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicated that Washington, Idaho, and Oregon harvested more than 240 million bushels of wheat, worth an estimated $1.3 billion. The major areas of production in the inland Pacific Northwest are shown below, and incorporate both irrigated and dryland acreage.

Physiology Matters: Adjusting Wheat-based Management Strategies for Oilseed Production

The wheat-dominated inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW) has a broad range of environments and soil types; however, the region lacks crop diversity. Many other semi-arid wheat growing regions throughout the world have successfully included oilseeds in their rotations for decades (Conley et al. 2004; Kirkegaard et al. 2008; Zentner et al. 2002). While interest in oilseed crops in the iPNW dates back to the 1970s (Divine et al. 1977) production has lagged due to socioeconomics, unique environmental conditions, and agronomic reasons (Pan et al. 2016a).

Oilseed Production Case Studies in the Eastern Washington Low-to-Intermediate Rainfall Zone

The low- (less than 12 inches annually) to intermediate (12–17 inches annually) precipitation zone of eastern Washington has the largest area of arable cropland in the state (2.3 million acres) and the widest range of elevations and microclimates of the four major production zones (Fig. 1). The case study farms in this publication extend from Dayton in the southeast corner of the state to Bridgeport in north-central Washington.

Oilseed Production Case Studies in the Eastern Washington High Rainfall Zone

The higher rainfall areas of eastern Washington that make up the study area (Region 1; see Fig. 1) are characterized by the rolling hills and rich, productive soils of the Palouse, where wheat-based annual cropping rotations have been the traditional system for many years. The region encompasses 1,571,669 acres of cropland ranging from 1,500 feet to 3,000 feet above sea level.

Irrigated Spring and Winter Canola Production in Washington

Winter and spring canola have been produced on limited acreages in Washington State for many years. However, that concentration is rapidly expanding due not only to food (canola oil) and feed (canola meal) demand, but state and federal mandates for increased biofuel production from in-state feedstocks.

Visit the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences site to see all the CSS Field Day Abstracts.

  • Beard, T.L., K. Borrelli, W.L. Pan, and C. Xiao. 2012. A Comparison of Oilseed and Grass Crop Residue Si and Fiber Composition and Impacts on Soil Quality. Poster presentation at Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Burke, I.C. 2012. End Use Oil Characteristics: Genetics and Environment Matter. Oral presentation in Pacific Northwest Oilseed Crop Adaptation session. Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Pan, W.L. 2012. Rewriting the Oilseed Management Playbook for the Pacific Northwest. Oral presentation in Pacific Northwest Oilseed Crop Adaptation session. Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Pan, W. 2012. Lifecycle Assessment: Is Oilseed-Based Biodiesel Good for the Environment? Oral presentation in Oilseed Economics, Breeding and Lifecycle Assessment session. Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Young, F.L. and W.L. Pan. 2011. Bioenergy Crops: Canola. Oral presentation in: Biofuels Crops – The Future is Now session 3D at: Washington Future Energy Conference. Seattle, WA. Oct. 18-19, 2011.
  • Sowers, K.E., R.D. Roe and W.L. Pan. 2010. Case studies of oilseed producers in Washington State. Poster session at: Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 8-10, 2010
  • Burke, I.C., P. Fuerst, S. Mattinson, B.Stevens, J. Davenport, T. Peters, and R. Okwany. 2010. Oil Content and Analysis of Washington Field Oilseed Samples. Poster. 2010 Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 8-10, 2010.
  • Miller, T., C. Cogger, A. Bary, C. Libbey, and E. Myhre. 2010. Growing Biofuel Crops in Western Washington. Poster session at: Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 8-10, 2010.
  • Schillinger, W.F., A.C. Kennedy, and T.C. Paulitz. 2010. Fourteen Years of Diverse Annual No-Till Cropping in Washington’s Winter Wheat-Summer Fallow Region [CD-ROM]. Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, 31 Oct. – 3 Nov., Long Beach, CA. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Abstracts.
  • Hammac, W.A., W. Pan, R. Bolton, and R. Koenig. 2008. Characterization of Crop Root Hairs Using High Resolution Imaging. ASA Abstracts, Madison, WI.
  • Hang, A.N., S.C. Fransen, and H.P. Collins. 2008. Biofuel Feedstock Research for Central Washington. GSA, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Abstr. 546-12.

Outreach and Extension

Visit the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences site to see all the CSS Field Day Abstracts.

  • Sowers, K.E., R.D. Roe and W.L. Pan. 2012. Tailoring Extension Education Efforts to Region-Apecific Oilseed Production Zones In Washington State. Poster presentation at Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Young, F.L. 2012. Partnerships to Create a Sustainable Biofuel System. Poster presentation at Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 13, 2012.
  • Sowers, K.E., R.D. Roe and W.L. Pan. 2011. Tailoring Extension Education Efforts to Region-Specific Oilseed Production Zones in Washington State. [CD-ROM]. American Society of Agronomy annual meeting, 16-20 Oct., San Antonio, TX. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Abstracts.
  • Pan, W.L. 2010. Washington State Biofuel Cropping Opportunities and Challenges. Oral presentation at: Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 8-10, 2010.
  • Young, F.L., R.D. Roe, L. McGrew, E. Townsend, and W. Troutman. 2010. Bioenergy Cropping Systems Research and Outreach. Poster session at: Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium. Seattle, WA. Nov. 8-10, 2010.

Climate Change Information

  • 2012 Bioenergy Research Symposium
    • Lifecycle Assessment: Is Oilseed-Biodiesel Good for the Environment?
      Bill Pan, WSU

  • Kruger, C., C. Stockle, D. Shresha, K. Painter, and B. Pan. 2015. Life Cycle Assessment of Pacific Northwest Canola-based Biodiesel. In Borrelli et al. (eds.), Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Northwest Agriculture, Climate Science Northwest Farmers Can Use. REACCH Annual Conference, Pasco WA, Feb 14-15, p. 26-27.
  • Pan, W. and K. Borrelli. Win-Win Scenarios for Farm and Climate. 2015. In Borrelli et al. (eds.), Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Northwest Agriculture, Climate Science Northwest Farmers Can Use. p. 4. REACCH Annual Meeting; March 4-6, 2015; Pasco WA.

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