IN THE cropping country north of the Victorian city of Ballarat, local farmer, Steve Kinnersly, produced a high-yielding crop of canola weighing in at 3.75 tonnes per hectare last season, while nearby grower, Graeme Ford, chimed in with another high-yielding crop that went 3.6t/ha.
Mr Kinnersly, who farms ‘Boovando’ at Tourello near Clunes, harvested the impressive crop of Hyola 970CL in late-December.
While he mainly grows wheat and canola in rotation for weed management and profitability, this was the first time he’d grown a graze and grain canola crop.
“It was my first time growing a hybrid, let alone a winter type. I have never grown a canola crop over 3t/ha,” he said.
“I can sow earlier, get better ground cover before it comes in cold and wet, and slugs aren’t as big an issue.”
In consultation with Western Ag agronomist Brendan Smith, Mr Kinnersly said he wanted to test the yield limit of dual-purpose canola.
“We’re in a high rainfall area of about 600 millimetres a year with longer, colder winters, so instead of grazing it, I wanted to go with a different strategy and see how much grain we could get off it.”
Mr Kinnersly planted 10 hectares of Hyola 970CL on April 29, 2019. It was sown at a rate of 2.7kg/ha, with 125kg/ha of urea applied at the 3-4 leaf stage and 125kg/ha at the full cabbage stage.
The crop was harvested on December 28 for a yield of 3.75t/ha and oil content of 47.5 per cent, resulting in a $2435/ha gross return.
Mr Smith, who has been following the uptake of dual-purpose canola in the area, said Hyola 970CL’s biomass was impressive.
“I find the 970 predominately a spring sow. In many cases it does create more biomass production as opposed to winter types. I’ve seen up to 20 per cent more biomass compared with winter varieties,” he said.
Blowhard canola success
Twenty 20 kilometres away, Mr Ford harvested a crop of Hyola 970CL in January that went 3.6t/ha on his farm, ‘Braemanya’, at Blowhard. It also produced an oil content of 48 per cent.
“It was the best yielding crop of canola I have ever grown by a mile. The gross return worked out to be $2354/ha,” he said.
Mr Ford’s canola program usually consists of open pollinated triazine tolerant canola varieties, but he recently added graze and grain canola.
“I used to grow OP TTs but I really wanted to maximise yield potential, so my agronomist Brendan and I investigated dual purpose canola. Instead of grazing it a few times, I took it straight to grain,” he said.
Mr Ford sowed the canola on April 10, 2019 at 3kg/ha and applied 125kg/ha of urea at the 3-4 leaf stage and 125kg/ha at the full cabbage stage.
The crop received 520mm of in-crop rainfall and was harvested on January 4.
Source: Pacific Seeds