Nutrition and direct heading boosts canola crop

Nutrition and direct heading boosts Nyngan canola crop


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The "Wombin" canola crop in flower.

The "Wombin" canola crop in flower.

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A combination of a late nutrition application and direct heading at harvest produced high oil content in a Miandetta canola crop that has returned $491 a tonne in normally marginal canola growing country.

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A COMBINATION of a late nutrition application and direct heading at harvest produced high oil content in a Miandetta canola crop that has returned $491 a tonne in normally marginal canola growing country.

That’s the opinion of Landmark’s Nyngan agronomist Tim Broadhead, who said rain had delayed the starter application.

“We would have applied the ClearStart nutrition liquid earlier, but it was too wet at that time,” he said.

The 660-hectare crop of Hyola 450TT was sown on May 1 at two kilograms/ha with 50kg/ha of DAP in 30 centimetre row spacings at “Woodburn”, Miandetta, operated by Rodney Herbert.

It followed wheat the year before as the break crop within the Woodburn crop rotation.

Mr Herbert said he was pleased with the result, especially after missing out on harvest last year because of storm damage.

“I’m happy with it, it’s better than last year when we were wiped out in a hail storm,” he said.

This year’s crop yield averaged 1.8 tonnes/ha with one paddock yielding 2t/ha and overall oil content at 48 to 49 per cent.

Mr Broadhead said the area was marginal for canola, but with 550 millimetres of in-crop rain from April 30 it was ideal.

“If we have the moisture we’ll plant it,” he said.

At planting Mr Broadhead said a pre-emergence overhead spray of atrazine at 2kg/ha was applied and in June a grass spray of 500ml/ha of clethodim was also applied.

While weed control cut moisture from being stolen, enabling canola plants to work on growth, the oil content increase was put down to either direct heading or a combination with additional nutrient in the form of Stoller ClearStart 15KZ+N liquid fertiliser, a foliar sprayed at 20 litres/ha in late June.

Stoller’s central NSW territory manager, Barry Unger, said the fertiliser was a full balanced nutrient.

“The zinc would have helped root growth while nutrients and zinc’s sulphur would have helped oil increase as well,” he said.

Zinc in trials at Parkes also resulted in high oil content with Mr Unger saying the Parkes trials and the “Woodburn” crop were of different varieties.

“But they all had zinc on them in one form or another,” he said.

Mr Broadhead said Rodney Herbert had locked in a contract at $491/t and would have been very happy, as prices had fluctuated from $495 down to $485 a tonne.

This year instead of windrowing the crop was desiccated.

“With the wet we were a bit worried about more rain, so we desiccated the crop with Weedmaster DST at 3lt/ha and then direct headed it 10 days later.”​

Rodney Herbert keeps an eye on his high oil content Hyola 450TT canola being loaded for the trip to the silo from "Woodburn", Nyngan. The 660 hectare crop averaged a 1.8 t/ha yield with 48 to 49 per cent oil. Grace Ryan photo.

Rodney Herbert keeps an eye on his high oil content Hyola 450TT canola being loaded for the trip to the silo from "Woodburn", Nyngan. The 660 hectare crop averaged a 1.8 t/ha yield with 48 to 49 per cent oil. Grace Ryan photo.

Zinc coating boosts oil content in trial

ZINC application with canola seed dressing in a field trial at Parkes has resulted in up to an 82 kilogram per hectare yield increase on the control plot.

Three plots of some eight hectares each on Rodney and Jodi Ward’s “Wombin”, Goonumbla, were offered for the trial with bonito variety conducted by Stoller Australia’s central west territory manager, Barry Unger, Dubbo.

One plot was sown with seed dressing of 2.5 litres/ha of Bio-Forge liquid fertiliser and Cropping Zinc at 5lt per tonne of seed while another was sown just with the Cropping Zinc.

Mr Unger said the control plot yielded 1.478t/ha while the plot just with Cropping Zinc yielded 1.5t/ha.

“However, the combination of Bio-Forge and Cropping Zinc, plus direct heading resulted in a 1.56t/ha yield in the third plot.

“Importantly, the zinc treated crops produced seed with oil content of between 48.8 and 49.2 per cent.”

Rain immediately after sowing enhanced germination and early plant growth and the zinc and Bio-Force combined only cost $1 per hectare, Mr Unger said.

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