Canola Breeder Mike Stamm

(Michael Stamm) My name is Mike Stamm and I’m the canola breeder here at Kansas State University, and we’re standing here on the north agronomy farm next to our winter canola breeding nursery. Canola makes an excellent source of food for all types of bees. If you look around here you’ll see lots of native honeybees as well as bumblebees. It’s at this time of year when the honeybees come out of the almond orchards in California, and they will often bring those bees to flowering Canola fields in Oklahoma and Kansas. The reason they do that is because canola again is an excellent food source. The nectar is high in sugars; the pollen provides an excellent protein source. Canola is a crop that does not need bees to produce seed, but bees are very beneficial to canola and canola is very beneficial to bees. We often see when we introduce bees to canola that hive weights improve. We also see the general health of the bees improve. What you see behind me is another example of a public-private partnership that we have with Monsanto, where we are developing experimental winter canola hybrids. The reason that we are using tents and bees here to produce these experimental hybrids are to move the pollen from the male plant to the female plant, so we have to keep the bees inside the cages so that we don’t contaminate with other bees and pollen from other plants. So a canola variety that a producer would plant in his field does not necessarily need bees to pollinate because canola is a self-pollinating crop. However, when we make these test crosses between the male sterile and the male fertile, we need bees to carry the pollen from the male fertile plant to the male sterile plant to produce the seed then that is then fertile that the producer would then go ahead and plant in his field. And so we’re doing this research with Monsanto to see if we can produce these experimental hybrids and then as we move forward with this public and private relationship with Monsanto, we someday may be able to develop Roundup Ready cultivars this way, or Roundup Ready hybrids for Monsanto to test those in our southern Great Plains environment to see if those cultivars could then be grown by producers in the southern Great Plains.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.