Modeling identifies optimal fall planting times and irrigation requirements for canola and camelina at locations across California

Nicholas George, Lucia Levers, Sally Thompson, Joy Hollingsworth, Stephen Kaffka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


In California, Brassica oilseeds may be viable crops for growers to diversify their cool-season crop options, helping them adapt to projected climate change and irrigation water shortages. Field trials have found germination and establishment problems in some late-planted canola, but not camelina at the same locations. We used computer modeling to analyze fall seedbed conditions to better understand this phenomenon. We found seedbeds may be too dry, too cold, or both, to support germination of canola during late fall. Based on seedbed temperatures only, canola should be sown no later than the last week of November in the Central Valley. Camelina has broader temperature and moisture windows for germination and can be sown from October to December with less risk, but yields of camelina are lower than canola yields. In areas without irrigation, growers could plant canola opportunistically when seedbed conditions are favorable and use camelina as a fallback option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalCalifornia Agriculture: peer-reviewed research in agricultural, natural and human resources
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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