Diamond canola shines at Elmore
September 22, 2014
Elmore district farmer, Rob Comer, is trialling a new hybrid canola variety that could replace AV Garnet, one of the best known canola varieties, in the future.
Mr Comer sowed six hectares of Nuseed Diamond this season, capitalising on the great start by sowing on Anzac Day.
Diamond is an early maturing hybrid variety which has out-performed Garnet and proven to be well adapted to both short and long growing seasons in Nuseed trials.
The trial block of Diamond was sown in a block next to Garnet, to make it easier to compare their progress over the growing season.
“It was a warm start to the season. Diamond was the first to emerge and it also flowered early,” Mr Comer said.
“Greg Toomey from Landmark Elmore and I have been monitoring the Diamond crop since it was sown and it’s been noticeably more advanced than Garnet at each stage of the growing season so far.
“It will be interesting to see how Diamond performs during spring, particularly if we receive frosts, and how it yields at harvest time – that will be the real decider.”
In seven National Variety Trials in 2011 and 2012, Diamond produced an average yield of 2.47 t/ha, compared with 2.25 t/ha for Garnet.
Nuseed trials have also shown that Diamond has the ability to take advantage of better conditions at flowering, but still performs well in tough finishes.
Mr Comer has sown canola on his Drummartin farm every year since 2002, finding it a valuable break crop before cereals such as wheat, barley and oaten hay for export.
Canola now accounts for approximately 25 per cent of his 1,000 hectare cropping program.
“I sowed my first canola crop in what turned into a drought year, yielding just over 200 kg/ha,” Mr Comer said.
“From that shaky start, I’ve found canola a useful break crop in the rotation, spreading my risk these days by sowing different varieties including Garnet and some TT varieties to control weeds such as wild radish and silver grass.
“This mix of conventional and TT varieties enables me to reduce the risk of herbicide resistance by utilising varieties with different herbicide tolerances.”
He has grown Garnet variety for several years, finding it a consistent performer for an open pollinated variety.
Greg Toomey, Agronomist with Landmark Elmore, said Diamond was a promising new conventional hybrid canola variety that was competing well with Garnet at this stage of the season.
“Rob and I will be watching it closely right through to harvest to see how it compares, particularly as far as yield is concerned,” Mr Toomey said.
“I believe Diamond needs to outyield Garnet by 10% or 200 kg/ha to be a worthy replacement next year.”