High yields plus clean paddocks equals GT-50
January 29, 2015
Cootamundra district grower, Steve Hicks, saw good results from his first Roundup Ready® canola crop last year, with high yields and clean paddocks.
Nuseed GT-50 was sown in three paddocks as part of his 200 hectare canola program, to allow him to tackle ryegrass which was becoming “out-of-control”.
It was Mr Hicks’ first experience with Roundup Ready canola, and his second choice for variety.
“I was having trouble sourcing the variety I wanted, so Nuseed GT-50 was a back-up really, on advice from Mark Golder at Landmark,” he said.
But given that the hybrid variety was his highest yielding canola crop last year, he’s not looking back.
“Those three paddocks where I sowed GT-50 were some of the most ryegrass infested paddocks on the farm and had been under crop since 2008,” Mr Hicks said.
“After two sprays of Roundup, a third generation of ryegrass came through so I gave the crop a late spray of Select as well.
“I was only chasing one plant every 200 or 300 metres, but I wanted to get the full benefit out of this canola in terms of weed control.
“After harvest, I sprayed the paddocks with Gramoxone, but the weeds were only in gully lines, rock heaps and tree stumps and there was no ryegrass.”
Mr Hicks also grew a conventional hybrid canola variety, a grazing canola and a dual Roundup Ready and triazine tolerant variety this season.
However, it was the Nuseed GT-50 which gave him outstanding yields of more than 3 t/ha, at 45.7% oil.
It was a surprisingly good result, considering the crops received no rainfall since early September.
“I’d say that it was about half a tonne higher yielding than the district average,” he said.
His other canola varieties provided solid yields of around 2.3 t/ha.
Mr Hicks said his nutrition program for canola gave the crops every chance to succeed, with 105 kg/ha of MAP and 45 kg/ha of urea at sowing and topdress applications of Gran-Am and urea in June and July.
He is an advocate of late windrowing and has seen significant variations in yield caused by incorrect timing.
“It’s much better to go later than earlier with windrowing, aiming for as close as possible to shattering point,” he said.
“If we need to do it very late, we just go in with a dew at 5 am or after a shower of rain so that it’s soft enough.”
He works with his wife, Ros, son, James and daughter, Joanna, plus employees Chris and Emma, on their Wallendbeen farm.
They delivered their canola to Graincorp Wallendbeen, which was established this year as a depot for GM canola. This meant they were delivering 6 km down the road, rather than 45 km away.
“They have been brilliant and it has given the depot a new lease of life,” he said.
While there were several Roundup Ready canola crops grown in Steve’s district last year, he expects to see more grown in the future, and with results like this, he’ll be leading the way.
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