Canola is widely adapted, particularly to the cool extremes of the temperate zones. Minimum temperatures for growth have been reported to be near 32°F. The crop will germinate and emerge with soil temperatures at 41°F but the optimum is 50°F. Winter annual varieties are grown where adequate snow covers or mild winters are common.
The crop has been produced successfully in Michigan without the benefit of snow cover. Planting dates have a dramatic effect on survival, however. Canola does best on medium-textured, well-drained soils. The crop is tolerant of a soil pH as low as 5.5 and saline conditions. Due to its tolerance to salinity, canola has been used as the first crop on newly drained dikes in the Netherlands. Canola requires approximately 16 to 18 inches of water through its growing season, with 8 to 8.3 inches used by annual varieties in July near flower and pod fill.