Arobio, E.L.; Quarberg, D.M.; Lewis, C.E.; Mitchell, G.A. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 1987-07)
      Rapeseed is the oil-bearing seed from plants of the Brassica genus. It grows well in the cooler agricultural regions o f the world and for this reason has long been thought to be a promising crop for interior Alaska. Rapeseed has been grow n in India and China for thousands and in Europe for hundreds o f years (Bolton 1980). Its history in North America began in 1943 when a small quantity of seed was imported into Canada. In recent years, its production has been largely that from cultivars bred for production of seed low in erucic acid and glucosinolate content. Seed from these cultivars is referred to by the Canadian Rapeseed Industry as canola. Its qualities are desirable in the edible-oil market, the largest market for products from canola seed. Canada is now one of the world’s largest producers and is the world’s largest exporter o f rapeseed. The meal that remains after oil extraction is high in protein and is used as a supplement in livestock feeds. The whole seed can also be used as a feed supplement. Some cultivars o f rapeseed that are high in erucic acid are also grow n for use in plastics and industrial oils (Genser and Eskin 1979). In addition, forage rapeseed cultivars can be used as livestock pasture. Research concerning the production of rapeseed has been addressed by the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (AFES) for several years. O f specific concern has been the selection of appropriate cultivars (Wooding et al. 1978), response to various nitrogen (N) rates, row spacings and seeding rates (Lewis and Knight 1987), performance in reduced-tillage systems in rotation with barley (Knight and Lewis 1986), the potential for frost seeding in late fall and early spring (Knight and Sparrow 1984) and response to boron (B) to enhance early seed ripening (Wooding 1985). In addition, in 1978 the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) began conducting seminars on production o f rapeseed for Alaskan farmers. In 1979 and 1980, CES employed Dr. J.L . Bolton, a rapeseed specialist from the University o f Alberta, in an extension capacity to give technical assistance to farmers on producing rapeseed (Bolton 1980).