For the last three years, some Canadian farmers have been striving to grow a 100 bushels per acre canola crop.

It's all part of the Canola 100 Challenge, where they tried to produce the high yield over 50 continuous acres.

No one did crack the hundred bushels over the three years of the competition, but the overall winner with the highest yield was Linden area farmer, Merle Klassen, growing an 85.88 bushels per acre canola crop in 2017.

Klassen says, they used InVigor L233P and had a phenomenal growing season in 2017.

"We had near perfect conditions for our area. Eleven inches of water, we kept getting these predictions of mid 30's temperature while we were flowering, and we kept getting smoke coming over and held that temperature down. I think that was a big contributing factor to it."

He says, since the contest rules were the first farmer to reach 100 bushels, they got an early jump on harvest.

"It was a great year, so we thought what if someone else gets ahead of us, so we're going to just try it. We sprayed it at the correct time to speed maturity up, but then we jumped the gun a bit on actual harvest. We were there about a week before we should've been. The canola was dry, the plant wasn't, so we were fighting it with our combines. I'm pretty sure we were throwing some out the back, but we managed to get it done."

Klassen won the use of a full set of John Deere Equipment with a tractor, air seeder, high clearance sprayer, windrower and combine to put 100 hours on each unit.

garth hodges BASFglobalcanolamanager BASF Global Canola Manager, Garth Hodges.

The winner was announced at the Farm Forum Event in Calgary on Wednesday, December 5, where the BASF Global Canola Manager, Garth Hodges, was on hand to help present the award.

Hodges says, it was exciting to see the 2016, 2017 and 2018 winners all used InVigor varieties.

"You can imagine how many high fives and slaps on the back we have at the office and in the field. When you've won three years in a row, that's just not a lucky chance, that means that a number of people have put a lot of hard work into achieving that."

Hodges says, their varieties have the genetic potential to reach 100 bushels per acre, but the question is how to unleash it and protect it.

"I think the one thing for me is, how do we manage the sustainability? To me it's not about just achieving 100, but it's how can we ensure that there's sustainability in the things we're doing today."

Hodges says, it's inspirational to watch farmers push the envelope of their canola genetics through competitions like the Canola 100 Challenge.

 

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