MORE than 90 growers, agronomists, consultants and retailers attended a series of canola field walks on Queensland’s Western Darling Downs in August to signal a surge interest in growing canola in the region.
Pioneer Seeds territory sales manager Chris Rutland said he had been busy briefing growers and resellers, answering their many questions about the latest Pioneer brand canola hybrids.
With a rise in demand from feed-grain markets supplying intensive livestock production and the commissioning of a new grain receival depot at Yamala near Emerald, Queensland farmers are increasingly considering canola a viable option.
Although canola is more traditionally associated with southern regions, Mr Rutland said the warmer finishes on canola paddocks in Qld were now seen as a market advantage in some sectors of the canola industry.
“Stockfeed producers are using more canola in their products because of the grain’s high protein and energy content,” Mr Rutland said.
“If we have multiple days over 27 degrees Celsius near harvest, canola will reduce the oil laid down in the grain; if the oil levels drop, grain protein rises correspondingly.
“As far as feed rations are concerned, the extra protein is a welcome bonus, not to mention the freight advantage Queensland growers have over their southern counterparts.
“Increased demand from across Queensland for feed canola, combined with the expected startup of a new crushing plant soon have resulted in growers reappraising the canola equation.
“Growing canola is not a big leap for most farmers, they generally have all the necessary machinery, and it presents another way for growers to clean up paddocks, some of which have grown back-toback wheat or barley for years.”
In Queensland, growers are particularly interested in hybrids with Clearfield herbicide tolerance, either as a stand-alone resistance or combined with Triazine-tolerance trait.
“In the areas where the interest in canola is coming from, Imidazolinone herbicides are effective in post-emergent control of weeds such as wild oats, wild turnip, marshmallow and mustards, and the inclusion of Clearfield hybrids offers growers flexibility in their persistent weed control options.”
Introducing canola into cropping rotations provides a winter cereal cropping break; helps to manage nematode populations in the soil, and canola’s deep taproot can access nutrition and moisture at depth in the soil profile as well as boosting soil structure attributes.
Due to the marked interest in growing canola, the Pioneer Seeds technical research team has been conducting a series of large scale and small plot canola hybrid demonstration and yield testing trials in the northern zones of traditional canola cropping area regions across eastern Australia.
Sites include four small plot trials at Dalby, Dulacca, Moree and Boggabilla.
Meanwhile at Jandowae, Pioneer Seeds has sown a large-scale site of around 35ha showcasing six different hybrids.
“Our job is to help growers who are currently growing, or considering growing, canola to understan d the trait features of Pioneer hybrids in what is largely a non-traditional canola region.
“Pioneer Seeds knows how our hybrids perform in traditional canola-growing areas through years of commercial crop observations, and it’s really interesting to see how they may exhibit different or similar behaviours in this new growing region.”
When the 2024 planting season comes around, growers will be able to make more informed decisions.
Interested growers, agronomists and consultants are encouraged to keep in contact with their local Pioneer Seeds Territory Sales Manager to arrange a field walk, and to receive scheduled field day and technical training session dates.
Source: Pioneer Seeds