How a new marketing opportunity is also improving soil in Montana
The positive impact of introducing a new market opportunity to growers in Montana, who for decades have grown the world’s best durum wheat and malt barley, is seen in the soil health of their fields.
Nuseed Omega-3 Canola has brought an entirely new contract market opportunity for growers in Montana to produce a land-based source of complete omega-3 for global aquafeed and human nutrition end-use customers. Growing the essential nutrient on existing farmland helps take pressure off wild fish stocks, historically the main source of the essential nutrient for human health. The added value to Montana growers comes from access to a new marketing opportunity, in an area that typically is very limited in crop and market diversity. And the benefits of diversity go beyond marketing.
By breaking up the cereal dominated crop rotation by introducing the broadleaf crop, Nuseed Omega-3 Canola, Montana growers are also improving soil health. Through breaking the disease cycle from growing a monocot, with one cotyledon, to growing a dicot with two. The plants structure also provides soil benefits through its tap root, that helps break up the soil profile to allow the canola plant to access nutrients and moisture that are deeper in the soil profile that grassy crops like wheat and barley don’t reach.
With addition of canola to the crop rotation of Montana growers comes the ability to apply different mode of action herbicides to help mitigate problematic herbicide resistance. Growers are enabled to strategically use different chemistries to control grassy weeds that are difficult to control in barley and wheat crops.
And in Montana, where snowfall is critical to spring moisture and emergence, the added benefit of standing canola stalks catching snow also helps to recharge the soil moisture profile. Most growers will see an increase in yield the following growing season’s wheat or barley crop due to the rotational benefits of introducing Nuseed Omega-3 Canola as a viable economic and agronomic improvement.