Rubisco Seeds is an independent, family-owned, and farmer-focused company founded in 2009 to identify and supply high-yielding canola hybrids to U.S. and Canadian farmers in all winter canola production regions, through a network of focused retailers and support agronomists. Sourced from the germplasm base of DSV and NPZ, these canola hybrids represent the combined efforts of 150 years of Brassica napus breeding.
Rubisco Seeds invests heavily in germplasm adaptation evaluations both independently and through established trial networks in the US, such as the National Winter Canola Variety Trial (NWCVT), the Pacific Northwest Canola Variety Trial (PNWCVT), and in the province of Ontario, Canada with Agriculture and Food Canada (AAFC). Rubisco Seeds’ efforts in researching and custom-building crop production programs for canola, from seeding equipment and establishment practices to conventional herbicides and novel fungicide and fertility programs are being rapidly adopted by North American growers.
RuBisCo is an abbreviation of Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase, the key universal plant enzyme responsible for removing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it into plant sugars, which drive metabolism, growth, and final yields of food, feed, and fiber in all plant species.
Caldbeck Consulting has actively promoted and developed novel drilling and planting establishment techniques for Canola since 2006. In conjunction with innovative commercial growers from Georgia and Kansas, Caldbeck Consulting has pioneered the use of row crop planters in establishing winter canola. This concept has been instrumental in facilitating successful no-till canola establishment. In recent years, Caldbeck Consulting has worked with all major OEM planter manufacturers and after-market equipment companies in this regard.
In 2009, Brian Caldbeck, who provides agronomy support to Rubisco Seeds, facilitated Section 3 registration of Reglone (Diquat) with the U.S. EPA in conjunction with Ernest Collins at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Dr. James Martin at the University of Kentucky using data originating from work in Ireland. Registration of Reglone facilitated the canola crop being desiccated and harvested earlier. As a result, farmers do not have to leave their crops in the field to dry down naturally before harvesting. Rubisco Seeds invests significant resources in production-focused research that continues to build the knowledge base for successful winter canola production in the U.S.
In 2012, Rubisco Seeds was the first canola seed company to introduce a 2 gene Clearfield winter canola hybrid, Edimax CL, to the U.S. market. This technology offers a post-emergence herbicide option for farmers who wish to supply non-GM markets. In addition, Clearfield technology in winter canola also confers tolerance to soil residues of the Imidazolinone family of chemicals, a useful attribute in some rotations and regions of the U.S.
In support of efforts in the PNW to develop canola as a rotational crop for winter wheat growers to enable the management of troublesome weeds and to lift stagnant wheat yields, Rubisco Seeds introduced their high-yielding cold-tolerant winter canola hybrids to a market traditionally focused on open-pollinated winter canola. Through extensive communication with growers, small plot research, and commercial strip trials Rubisco Seeds’ products brought highly significant economic benefits to growers and have become the standard bearer for winter canola in that region with consistent yield stability and quality that firmly anchors the local canola processing industry to the present day.
In 2014, Rubisco Seeds was the first canola seed company in the U.S. to grade canola seed lots above a minimum specific diameter to improve planter performance through better metering and singulation.
From 2006 to 2014 Rubisco Seeds and Caldbeck Consulting worked with farmers, processors, retailers, and agronomists in the Southeast to expand conventional winter canola acres enabling the construction and operation of an expeller crush plant in the state of KY (HART Agstrong) that specialized in non-GM winter canola. In recent years that plant has changed ownership to Perdue Specialty Crops which process a diverse mix of crops from Organic Canola to Sunflowers and High Erucic Acid Rapeseed (HEAR) Industrial Rapeseed. Caldbeck Consulting continues to support these efforts through the development of genetics, research, and consultation with growers and processors on production practices.
In the fall of 2015, Rubisco Seeds introduced the first early maturity winter canola hybrids developed from DL Seeds breeding efforts specifically focused on southern U.S. growing regions. These hybrids demonstrate 5-7 days earlier maturity than current “early” hybrids and offer a real opportunity for growers to spread harvest workload between canola, wheat, and double-crop establishment. High-yielding cold tolerant early maturity winter canola germplasm continues to be a priority to the current day with growers even as far north as Ontario engaged in double crop soybean production following winter canola harvest.
As a direct result of extensive research trials conducted by Caldbeck Consulting since 2011, the EPA granted registration status to Command 3ME herbicide for use in winter canola. This represented the first registration of a residual herbicide for canola in the US for over 2 decades. The effectiveness of this low-use rate product on winter annual weeds such as henbit and bedstraw has given growers flexibility with herbicide programs. In particular, Command is an extremely valuable tool for growers who practice no-till or minimum tillage winter canola establishment compared to other soil-acting herbicides which require extensive tillage which leads to soil erosion and oxidation of organic matter.
Rubisco Seeds enter the Canadian market through a research partnership with AAFC in Ontario. Providing an additional winter rotational crop to Ontario farmers winter canola acreage continues to expand to the present day in the province; the bottom line being because of the profitability of the crop to growers. Indeed, record commercial yields of canola in North America are frequently observed and reset each year in Ontario.
Rubisco Seeds begin trialing novel fatty acid profile winter canola hybrids in the US. These non-GM High Oleic Canola hybrids produce frying oils with higher stability and consistency.
Rubisco Seeds introduces the first commercial acreage of Winter High Oleic hybrids in its home state of Kentucky.