Michael Moodie 1, Mick Brady 2, Andrew Ware 3 and Therese McBeath 4
1 MSF, Mildura;2 DEDJTR, Mildura; 3 SARDI, Port Lincoln;4 CSIRO, Adelaide
Why do the trial?
For canola to be a sustainable, long-term break crop option for low rainfall farmers, low risk management systems need to be investigated. This project was undertaken to identify strategies that minimise the risk of canola production in the low rainfall zone. This will improve the long term profitability of canola in low rainfall farming systems.
How was it done?
Two trials were established in the low rainfall zone in 2015; at Ouyen in the Victorian Mallee and Minnipa on the Eyre Peninsula. Treatments were a combination of three factors:
• Timing of Sowing-early (21-22 April) or later (6-7 May) sowing;
• Variety- Hybrid (Hyola 450) or open pollinated (stingray) variety;
• Timing of nitrogen (N) application- N applied either at seeding, early post emergent, bolting or flowering.
• Contrasting canola yields were observed at two sites in 2015 highlighting both the potential and the risks of growing canola in the southern Australian low rainfall zone.
• Sowing at the earliest opportunity and applying N at seeding or early in the crop’s development produced the highest grain yields.
• Purchasing hybrid canola instead of using farmer retained open pollinated canola provided no advantage in 2015.