Nuseed 2015 Roundup Ready® Variety Analysis
February 12, 2015
The final public release data has just become available for the GRDC’s National Variety Trials program for Canola.
What follows is a summary of the performance of Nuseed’s varieties in these national trials where all varieties are represented at all sites. This document has been produced using a database tool unique to Nuseed called NuSTEP. For a full NuSTEP report of any comparison of canola varieties entered into the NVT please contact your Nuseed sales representative and we will be most happy to supply this to you.
Since 2012 Nuseed GT-50, Hyola® 404 and 43Y23 have been included in 62 National Variety Trials, where all varieties have been included and the results have been published. During this time these varieties have come to be the standards in the market, and when yield and oil are calculated into a gross income they are split by only 1.1%. 43Y23 has shown to have slightly higher yield but lower oil, conversely Hyola 404 has lower yield but its high oil has seen it competitive in gross income terms. Nuseed GT-50 has been a consistent performer with strong yield and good oil, and GT-50 also happens to be the most widely grown RR Hybrid for the 2014 growing season.
NuSTEP Report HT110215-1
To further analyse the potential fit of these varieties, a regression analysis can be used, where the full set of variety results are plotted against the trial mean yield, and a line of best fit is then calculated. This analysis can help discern any slight trends over environment that each variety may express in relation to its competitors. It is worth noting the R₂ values of each line of best fit are all above 0.90 giving satisfactory confidence in the trend line.
NuSTEP Report HT110215-1
This graph shows yield is slightly higher for 42Y23 and Hyola® 404 in lower yielding environments and conversely 43Y23 and GT-50 are higher in yield when conditions suit high yield. The cross over for this trend is between 1.5-2 t/ha.
The maturity of GT-50 is longer than both Hyola® 404 and 43Y23 and in longer growing environments producers like to match their typical season to the maturity of their variety. Comparing GT-50 with two new canola varieties of similar season length DG 550 and IH52 shows that GT-50 is still elite.
When gross income is calculated GT-50 is 5.6% higher than IH52 and 5.1% higher than DG 550. Below the data set is presented in the regression analysis format.
NuSTEP Report HT110215-2
This graph shows Nuseed GT-50 has an advantage over all environments but it is higher in lower yielding sites. Strong yield stability is important in a variety and is a particular strength for Nuseed GT-50.
Nuseed also has GT-41 as part of its offering in the RR market. GT-41 has been a solid performer but the data shows on average it is slightly behind Hyola 404 in the 75 NVT trials they have been co-entered into.
When gross income is calculated Hyola 404 is 4.6% higher than GT-41. Below the data set is presented in the regression analysis format.
NuSTEP Report HT110215-3
Looking at the above graph it would suggest that GT-41 is most suited to environments where average yields are likely to be below 1.6t/ha. These are also the environments where farmers are most worried about the financial input cost risk.
One contributing factor that supports the use of GT-41 in these environments is the seed size which ranges between 225,000 to 260,000 seeds per kg depending on which line is purchased. While seed size may not be the primary factor when selecting a variety, cost and weed control implications are worth considering. These smaller seeds, however, still retain the genetic advantages resulting from being a F1 Hybrid, i.e. strong seedling vigour and higher yields. Using varieties with more seeds/kg such as GT-41 will help farmers consistently achieve adequate plant populations at a lower cost, especially in years where canola is hard to establish.
When targeting a sowing rate that gives the best chance of achieving optimum plants/m2, cost implications of seed size to a farmer can be significant, especially if risk management at sowing time is of high priority. For example, if we compare two seed lots and assume the only difference is seed size:
- Lot A is 180,000 seeds/kg
- Lot B is 250,000 seeds/kg
- Seed lot germination is 98% for both
- PE (paddock establishment) of 65%
- Target plant population of 35 plants/m2
- RR Hybrid seed including the $7.20 Technology Use Fee is roughly $35/kg (budgeting figure only)
In the previous scenario the temptation would be to plant seed lot A also at 2.2 kg/ha, as $77 ha is a more tolerable cost than $101 ha for most farming decision makers. The expected result of planting seed lot A at 2.2 kg/ha using the same assumptions would be:
At 25 plants/m2 a very satisfactory result is achieved for the RR system as full yield potential can be targeted and weed control is generally acceptable. However, each year PE can range from 20% to 80% from region to region and even farmer to farmer within regions. Seed placement, soil moisture, pest and disease pressure are just some of the factors that can impact on PE. It is not unusual for farmers who normally achieve 65% PE to have conditions conspire, enabling farmers to only achieve a 30% – 40% PE. The following graph shows the PE result if both seed lot A and seed lot B were sown at 2.2 kg/ha.
GRDC 2010, Canola Fact Sheet – Growing Hybrid Canola: Canberra, viewed 12 February 2015, http://www.grdc.com.au/, tells us that crops with plant populations fewer than 20 plants per m2 are not recommended as 100% of yield potential may not be achieved. At low plant populations weed control will also be compromised. It should be noted that some farmers are pushing the system and planting at rates lower than 2 kg/ha relying on achieving high PE rates to get desired plant numbers.
Whilst in theory a larger seed has more potential seed reserve energy than a smaller seed, allowing it to establish more easily in unfavourable conditions. Seed, however, is a living organism and any stress endured while transitioning through its life cycle (production, processing, storage and transportation) can affect its performance. All seed companies use differing methods to stress test their seed lots before warranting and releasing, therefore ALL hybrid seed regardless of seed size should be considered equally fit for purpose.
Roundup Ready® hybrid seed is still available from Nuseed for the 2015 season, although some lines of variety and seed treatment are likely to sell out.
If there is any interest in new orders for these products please act in the short term to secure your 2015 planting seed to avoid any disappointment.
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