var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-16049511-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Rapeseed in the Ground Across the Carolinas

Alternatives to winter wheat have been making progress in the southeast, and one of those alternatives is contracted rapeseed. Jeff Riddle, Grower Relations Manager for Technology Crops International explains they’ve been in the area a few years now, the first couple with test plots:

“This will be our third year for commercial roll out, our fifth year since we have been growing rapeseed in the state.”

Growers just wrapped up planting rapeseed, and Riddle says its looking good:

“Most of the guys who have just finished planting- guys in the west finished mid to early September – and everything looks to be coming along very well.”

Riddle says their rapeseed acreage has increased again this year:

“We have a nice increase compared to previous years. Each year we try to increase our acreage and familiarize more growers with the program and the crop. It has a snow ball effect because growers see their neighbors grow it and have success and then they are more interested in trying it.”

Riddle expands on some of the benefits of adding rapeseed to a rotation with winter wheat:

“One is it can earn a grower more income compared to winter wheat. It’s a nice crop to offer up another alternative in your rotation in place of winter wheat. By doing that, it allows you to break up weed disease and pest cycles. A lot of our growers like it because it’s a very cold tolerant crop.”

In addition to rapeseed, Tec Crops is introducing a high-oleic sunflower:

“We have a second crop that we have introduced here in NC, high-oleic sunflower. We have been growing most of that so far in the foothills of the state. It’s the second specialty crop that we have introduced and there is a lot of interest.”

Jeff Riddle with Tech Crops International based in Winston-Salem. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.