See more from this Session: General Agronomic Production Systems: I
Because of their short season and cold-weather tolerance, oilseed crop species have been shown to be well adapted to high altitude growing conditions. In 2010, a multi-location crop trial of nine different oilseed species was conducted. The species included in the study were: Canola (Brassica napus), Indian Brown mustard (Brassica Juncea), Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata), Sunflower, Flax, Camelina, Sesame, Safflower and Cuphea. The trial was conducted across five sites in the high altitude areas of Colorado. These sites ranged from 5000-8000 feet in elevation. In order to assess the initial adaptability of these species, the nine different oilseed species were grown in single row plots at the five different locations. The results of the variety trial were compared to accumulated growing degree day data for each of the five sites based on thirty years of historical data. The purpose of the research was to examine the production potential of oilseed species across the high altitude regions of Colorado. Preliminary field results indicated that two of the species, flax and camelina, both of which possess high concentrations of valuable vegetable oils such as Omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid, were capable of reaching maturity in higher altitude areas. Following the identification and selection of these crop species, a variety trial, along with evaluation and screening of germplasms, was held at two locations of varying altitude. From the results of this variety trial, it will be possible to make recommendations concerning oilseeds with potential for growth in high-altitude growing areas of Afghanistan. Moreover, a mucilage study of the Flaxseed with regard to oil content as well as environmental variability was also carried out to determine the effects this may have on germination and seedling establishment.