Monola on the right track for success
January 29, 2015
Monola® will be given a second chance at success next season by Mid North SA grower Liam Roebuck.
Mr Roebuck and his father, Geoff, decided to grow the new crop in 2014, based on a need for a canola type crop in the rotation, a $95/t premium for the TT Monola crop and a local delivery point at Tarlee.
On the downside, they had been told to expect yields to be 8-10% lower than for canola.
What they weren’t expecting were the numerous challenges that season 2014 had in store for them, including beet western yellow virus, aphids, diamondback moths, frost and a dry spring.
“We had 50 hectares of Monola 314TT in this year at Buchanan and another 100 hectares of ATR Stingray at a property further to the east,” said Mr Roebuck.
“They were exactly the same to grow. They are both early maturity varieties and short compact type crops.”
Developed by Nuseed, Monola is a specialty canola variety that is sought after for its unique oil properties. As a healthier frying oil which is lower in saturated fat, the demand for Monola is growing in Australia and internationally.
All of the Roebucks’ winter crops were seeded on time and the season was looking good, with 250 mm of rain between January and mid May.
Thanks to the encouraging start, urea was topdressed twice in the Monola crop, supplying a total of 90 kg/ha of nitrogen.
“But then we had to spray TransformTM to kill the aphids for the beet western yellow virus, and not long after that, we were making another spray of Affirm® to kill the diamondback moths,” Mr Roebuck said.
“Sometimes during the season I thought I’d never grow canola or Monola again, but the agronomists assure us we won’t have another year like that.”
With no significant rain from early August to harvest as well as severe frosts, it was some relief to the Roebucks to harvest 1 t/ha from the new Monola crop. Oil percentages were above 40%.
“It has been a really patchy year for us, with some crops yielding well and others well down,” he said.
“Some of our wheat has yielded as much as 4 t/ha, at grades of H2 and H1 because of the urea we topdressed.”
The Stingray crop pulled through to produce incredible results, considering its eastern location, of 1.5 t/ha and 47% oil.
Both the canola and Monola crops will also be valued for the potential they will give the crops following this year.
“Hopefully we’ll get good wheat yields on the canola stubble next season and it will be a better year for canola and Monola,” he said.
In another first for the Roebucks, both the canola and Monola were direct headed after being spray topped with weedmaster® DST®, cutting out the cost of windrowing.
“Weedmaster DST worked like a pod sealer to toughen the pods, just slightly earlier than normal windrow timing,” he explained.
They used a harvester with a draper front and a cross auger at the back.
“It worked really well and we would happily do that again,” he said.
“Shattering loss was minimal and the speed of harvesting was good, especially in the shorter crops.
“Some neighbours with bulkier crops were reaping as slowly as 2 km/hr, but our shorter crops were no trouble at 7 to 8 km/hr.”
Next season, Mr Roebuck will have a choice of two Monola varieties, the early to mid maturity Monola 314TT or the mid maturity Monola 515TT.
Both offer the added advantage of triazine tolerance to combat wild radish in the canola phase of the cropping rotation.
Monola is sold on a closed loop system, giving growers the reassurance of secure marketing. A premium payment of $95 is currently being offered for every tonne of TT Monola harvested.
“It is on the right track to become a big thing, so we may as well get in and get involved from the start,” said Mr Roebuck.
® Monola is a registered trademark of Nuseed Ltd.
® weedmaster and DST are registered trademarks of Nufarm Australia Limited.
TM Transform is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow
® Affirm is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.