EARLY sown canola is performing best at present around the state with northern stands already flowering.
Mark Barden, who has 100 hectares of 44Y89 sown on April 13 after 14 millimetres of rain on March 30, says he is one of the lucky growers who had the necessary moisture at “Glenwarrie”, where he crops with his wife, Janet.
The seed was sown into last year’s chickpea residue at two kilograms per hectare with 60kg/ha of starter in 330mm spacings.
“Normally I apply my fertiliser as anhydrous ammonia but this year there was a break in the traffic where urea was really cheap, a local contractor was available, and 300kg/ha of urea was applied with a Boss single disc planter in January.
“We had a bit of moisture after that rain and I had to sow then or the moisture was going to get away,” Mr Barden said. “A crop doesn’t grow if you leave it in the bag.”
Mr Barden said the season was “hand to mouth”.
“We’ve had about 250mm of rain for this year so far but it’s been in dribs and drabs and just 70mm in eight events since planting.
The last 15mm fall has brought us another couple of weeks.”
Mr Barden’s agronomist, Angus Boileau of Poole Ag, Moree, said canola in the North West was more advanced for this time of year.
“Frost is always a worry while the crop is flowering and has the potential to keep setting pods, but once finished and is in pod fill, a late frost can really knock yields about,” Mr Boileau said.
The Bardens also have faba beans, chickpeas, bread wheat and durum this year.