The profitability of seeding the F2 generation of hybrid canola.

Smith, E.G., Favret, M.L., Clayton, G.W., Blackshaw, R.E., Brandt, S.A., Johnson, E.N., Harker, K.N., O'Donovan, J.T., Kutcher, H.R., and Vera, C.L. (2010). "The profitability of seeding the F2 generation of hybrid canola.", Agronomy Journal, 102(2), pp. 598-605. doi : 10.2134/agronj2009.0101  Access to full text


The high cost of hybrid (HY) canola (Brassica napus L.) seed has some producers considering F2 generation hybrid farm-saved seed (HY-FSS), or open-pollinated (OP) varieties (both certified and farm-saved seed). The net return (NR) of different varieties, genetic backgrounds, seeding rates, seed treatments, and seed sizing was evaluated from three experiments over eight site-years of field data from western Canada. One set of experiments included variety, genetic background and seeding rate, while another included seed treatment, genetic background and seed sizing. The experiments used randomized complete block designs. The NR accounted for yield, green seed price discount, seed costs, and other production costs. Analysis of variance indicated certified F1 hybrid seed (HYC) was more profitable than HY-FSS (15%, P = 0.0057) and OP (22%, P = 0.0001). With delayed weed control, NR was lower for HYC and not statistically different than HY-FSS. Higher seeding rates and seed sizing for HY-FSS did not increase NR compared to HYC. The findings of this study support the use of HYC canola seed, especially at high canola prices. Canola producers will not increase their NR by using HY-FSS or OP seed to reduce their seed cost because the lost value of production exceeds the higher cost of HYC seed.