Mixed blessings for canola crop

Mixed blessings for canola crop


Cropping
Early sown canola has the best chance to harvest, but more rain is needed.

Early sown canola has the best chance to harvest, but more rain is needed.

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More rain is needed to secure yeilds to take advantage of the high price of canola this season.

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THE state’s canola area is estimated at 600,000 hectares, which is close to a 10 per cent increase on last year, but season uncertainty is providing for a shaky outlook for crop yield, which is estimated at 1.4 tonnes a hectare, says NSW Department of Primary Industries technical specialist (pulses and oilseeds), Don McCaffery, Orange.

He suggests his yield estimate is just below the long-term average as growing conditions dry out rapidly.

“Much of the tonnage will come from southern areas as there is not much in the Macquarie Valley and also in the north,” he said.

“Paddocks are drying out, I saw moisture stressed crops at Wellington three weeks ago and there is a prediction of 30pc to 40pc chance of above medium rainfall for the next three months.”

Growing conditions state-wide are mixed with North West crops already flowering and “magnificent” results within the Cowra and South West Slopes regions.

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Elders Cowra agronomist, Peter Watt, said the area was well placed. “There were excellent sowing conditions and people could sow to the calendar fearlessly,” he said.

“Grazing canola had magnificent growth, which set up good grazing conditions”

Dubbo agronomist with Landmark, Jamie Taylor said any canola sown early on moisture was looking quite good and had good yield potential. “Plant establishment was patchy on anything sown on the strength of Anzac Day rain which did not eventuate,” he said.

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