On The Ground: Nuseed Diamond in SA
February 19, 2015
Grower story from Daniel Adams, Eyre Peninsula.
Canola growers are seeing the first signs of a bright new success story in conventional hybrid canola.
Nuseed Diamond produced stunning trial results across three states in the National Variety Trials (NVT) last year and those growers and agronomists who tested a bag or two in 2014 have also been impressed.
The early maturity hybrid conventional canola variety is available to growers throughout Australia from this season.
Rob Christie, Southern Region Manager for Nuseed, said Diamond was ideal for canola growers striving for optimum yields.
“Diamond is an early-maturing conventional hybrid canola variety that was developed to replace AV Garnet,” he said.
“It has the potential to lift conventional canola yields to new levels.”
At 31 NVT sites across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia between 2012 and 2014, Diamond averaged 18% higher yield than Garnet.
“Given an 18% yield increase, switching to Diamond could put growers ahead by as much as $120/ha, taking into account the cost of seed, a sowing rate of 3 kg/ha and canola at $450/t delivered,” said Mr Christie.
In Victoria, where tough growing conditions meant a low average yield of only 1.09 t/ha, Diamond was still 25% higher yielding than Garnet in the NVTs.
Diamond also out yielded Garnet by 31% in New South Wales last year across five NVT sites where the average yield was 2 t/ha.
In South Australia, the new canola variety was 30% higher yielding than Garnet across nine NVT sites in 2014, with a mean yield of 1.7 t/ha for all varieties.
While it was a year of extremes for Eyre Peninsula grower, Daniel Adams, Nuseed Diamond still managed to impress at the end of the season.
Mr Adams grew six hectares of the new variety in a paddock of AV Zircon at his 900 hectare Cockaleechie farm.
He and his wife Lora farm with his parents Bill and Anthea, growing wheat, barley and canola, including conventional, Clearfield® and triazine tolerant varieties of canola, depending on weed pressures.
“Diamond had really good early vigour and grew quickly, which was handy when it got wet,” he said.
“It grew well and was quite advanced in comparison, which was beneficial as it could cope with the wet start to the season.”
Mr Adams said after one of the wettest starts to the season on record, they had the one of the driest Augusts on record and a very dry spring.
Their patch of Diamond matured quickly and was windrowed more than a week earlier than the main crop.
Despite the tough season, the Adams’ canola crops yielded 10% above average, with Diamond yielding around 200 kg/ha above Zircon.
“We’re definitely excited about the potential of Diamond if it performs this well when the season cuts off early,” he said.
“All of our conventional canola this season will be Diamond, not just because of its good yield potential but also the early vigour.
“It helps the crop compete against any weeds and means we can spray out ryegrass earlier in the season, when temperatures are higher and it tends to work better.”
He said its blackleg rating was also an important consideration. Nuseed Diamond was classified as R-MR in the 2014 GRDC management guide.
Also on the Eyre Peninsula, Patrick Head, agronomist with Landmark – Cummins Ag Services, evaluated Diamond in trials at Cummins and Wanilla.
He compared the new hybrid conventional canola variety with Garnet.
Diamond out-yielded Garnet in both of the trials, producing nearly 3.5 t/ha at Cummins. Further south, at Wanilla, the Diamond crop achieved nearly 2 t/ha compared with just under 1.3 t/ha for Garnet.
Additionally, Mr Head said it nearly doubled yields at Streaky Bay in trials conducted by Landmark West Coast (0.9 t/ha compared with 0.5 t/ha). At Cleve, in trials conducted by Landmark Cleve, Diamond produced nearly 1 t/ha compared with 0.76 t/ha.
Mr Head said the amazing results for Diamond in 2014 were helped by its early maturity allowing it to set up yield potential early, before the season cut out in spring.
“It has certainly proven itself to be a good performer for shorter season areas,” he said.
He is planning to continue the evaluation in 2015 to test Diamond in a range of seasonal conditions, and expects South Australian growers will also be keen to try the new variety on farm this year.
Diamond is the first variety of many high performing hybrids Nuseed plans to release as part of its canola development program.
Development work is carried out at the company’s state-of-the-art innovation centre in Horsham.
“We are focused on producing high quality hybrid varieties which deliver value at field level and beyond,” said Mr Christie.
“Diamond comes to growers quality tested, with good blackleg resistance and a competitive oil level.”