On The Ground: Monola in Vic

Grower story from Mark Rovers, Congupna.

Monola delivers healthy premiums and healthy returns.

Northern Victorian growers are responding to strong demand for Monola®, the healthy oil alternative, with increased plantings and record harvests this season.

More than 10,000 metric tonnes of Monola seed was received by GrainCorp Oils at Numurkah this summer, as growers switched to the specialty canola crop to collect healthy premiums of up to $95/t on top of the market price.

Monola was developed by global seed company Nuseed over the past decade and there are now four varieties available to growers.

Andrew Tout, Trader with GrainCorp Oils, said the Numurkah facility had been crushing Monola oil since 2005 and demand was continuing to outstrip supply.

“There is strong demand for Monola oil from buyers both locally and internationally as food producers and restaurants switch away from cotton oil and palm oil,” Mr Tout said.

“Monola oil has proven health benefits and carries the National Heart Foundation tick of approval.

“It contains less than 7% saturated fat, compared with other traditional frying oils which range from 26% to 51% saturated fat.”

The majority of their Monola oil is used in “quick serve” restaurants across Australia.

Mr Tout said GrainCorp Oils processes Monola oil at Numurkah and at Millicent in South Australia, before transporting it to Melbourne for secondary refining and packaging.

“Now that we have received most of the 2014 Monola harvest, we will be crushing seed every month to ensure we can consistently provide fresh oil all year to our customers,” he said.

For growers, the strong demand for healthy oil has also meant healthy premiums.

Currently, growers are receiving a premium of $95/t for triazine tolerant Monola varieties or $65/t for Roundup Ready® Monola varieties.

Mark Rovers has been growing Monola on his property at Congupna for three years. This year he harvested 70 hectares of Monola.

“The first year was successful, thanks to a reasonable season, but the second year was a disaster because of frost,” Mr Rovers said.

“Last year looked like it would be a disaster too, because it was a very wet autumn and the crops were stressed early in the season, but it recovered very well and yielded better than some of the paddocks of canola,” he said.

Mr Rovers averaged 2.5 t/ha from his Monola 314TT crop, slightly lower than his TT canola, which was irrigated during the spring and averaged about 3 t/ha.

“The Monola didn’t grow very tall, but it had a lot of heads and I was pleasantly surprised with the end result,” he said.

“Our agronomist, Tim Anderson from Advanced Ag, says that Monola doesn’t yield quite as well as canola and it seems to be true, but the new varieties are certainly catching up.

“Even so, if it had been given a fair go against canola on reasonable ground, I think the yield difference would have been smaller.”

Mr Rovers is a retired dairy farmer, who still managed a 360 hectare cropping program in 2014 and will crop more than 500 hectares in 2015.

“Monola is just like any other crop. At the end of the day, you’ve got to have the weather with you,” he said.

He added that it grows the same way as other canola varieties, with the same fertiliser program, weed, fungicide and pest control requirements during the season.

“We don’t have any trouble selling it,” he said.

“In fact, Monola seems to be able to make just as much money for the farm as canola.”

Monola is sold on a closed loop system, giving growers the reassurance of secure marketing.

This season, growers have a choice of two triazine tolerant Monola varieties from Nuseed, the early to mid-maturing Monola 314TT or the new mid-maturing Monola 515TT.

Nuseed is also offering two Roundup Ready Monola varieties; the new hybrid Monola G11 or Monola 513GT. For more information on Monola contact your local Nuseed Regional Sales Manager or visit our Monola product page.

Mark Rovers was pleased with how his Nuseed Monola 314TT crop turned around this spring, after a very wet autumn. He supplies his Monola to GrainCorp Oils at Numurkah, which received a record 10,000 metric tonnes of the healthy oil seed this summer.

Mark Rovers was pleased with how his Nuseed Monola 314TT crop turned around this spring, after a very wet autumn. He supplies his Monola to GrainCorp Oils at Numurkah, which received a record 10,000 metric tonnes of the healthy oil seed this summer.

®Roundup Ready is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC