Monola success for Shepparton Farmer

Shepparton district farmer, Trevor Stedman, is planning to sow 200 hectares of Monola® this season, following his success with 25 hectares of the crop in 2013.

The Caniambo farmer has been growing canola for 20 years, but Monola is capturing his attention because of its attractive gross margins.

This year, crushers such as Riverland Oilseeds are offering premium payments of $95/tonne for triazine-tolerant Monola varieties and $65/tonne for Roundup Ready Monola to encourage more farmers to grow the varieties.

Developed by global seed company, Nuseed, over the past decade, Monola is gaining momentum in the food industry as a healthy alternative to cooking oils containing high levels of saturated and trans fats.

For farmers like Trevor Stedman, Monola is proving to be a lucrative alternative to canola, while it takes much the same to grow as canola.

“Last season’s crop of Monola 413TT performed well, averaging 2.4 t/ha and comparing quite well with canola crops of Gem and a new triazine tolerant hybrid ,” he said.

“With the bonus payments for Monola, it makes it quite worthwhile.”

Mr Stedman grows around 1,200 hectares of wheat and 600 hectares of canola each year and runs a handful of sheep.

After first hearing about Monola, he was encouraged to try the crop by Tony Kelly, an agronomist with Advanced Ag in Shepparton.

Last year’s Monola was sown dry at the end of April and germinated three weeks later after the break arrived. While the crop grew slightly shorter than the canola, it was windrowed and harvested before the grain was delivered to Numurkah.

This season, Mr Stedman plans to expand his Monola crop to 200 hectares.

“I’d recommend Monola to other growers because it is no different from canola to grow but it delivers a better gross margin,” he said.

Tony Kelly from Advanced Ag said Mr Stedman’s confidence in Monola came from two seasons of large-scale trials where Monola was grown side by side with canola.

“As a result of yield mapping, other data and varietal improvements, we are pleased to see Trevor growing a larger area of Monola this season,” he said.

Tony Kelly from Advanced Ag, Shepparton (left), and Caniambo farmer, Trevor Stedman, believe Monola is a lucrative alternative to canola. Mr Stedman plans to sow 200 hectares of Monola this season, following successful trials on his farm.