Australia: Hyper yielding canola breaks 5 tonne yield target

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22 February 2022, Australia: Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia has produced canola yields in excess of 6 t/ha as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Hyper Yielding Crops research project.

The project, led by Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia is a four-year project spanning the high productivity regions of five states, and aims to push what are believed to be the economically attainable yield boundaries of wheat, barley and canola.

Over the term of the investment, the project team is focussing on supporting growers and advisers by identifying high yielding potential cultivars which are best suited to individual environments, and then recognising the most appropriate agronomic management strategies to assist with future decision making.

Rohan Brill of Brill Ag who leads the HYC canola research programme said determining optimum nitrogen nutrient management is key if growers are to produce hyper yielding canola crops.

“An element of the 2021 canola research programme was to establish a number of nitrogen nutrition trials,” says Mr Brill.

“These trials not only assist with developing the most profitable N strategies for producing these high yields, they are also helping us to understand the key differences between winter and spring canola and determine the effects of N application on growth stages, yield, quality and profitability.”

Canola cv Pioneer 45Y28RR was sown at FAR Australia’s VIC and SA Crop Technology Centres located in Gnarwarre (VIC) on 25th April and Millicent (SA) on 7th May.

The champion yield topped out at 6.49 t/ha in SA. This was sown into a neutral-slightly alkaline Organosol (Peat soil) with high organic matter, following wheat in 2020. 225 kg N combined with the application of 6.7 t/ha animal manure was applied to replicate high fertility soils in a mixed legume rotation. VIC followed closely behind with yields reaching 5.89 t/ha on the same trial with a grey clay loam soil type.

Grain yields of greater than 6 t/ha were also achieved at the SA site with N application rates of 150-300 kg/ha. Yield responses to bagged N peaked at 150kg N/ha and similar yields were achieved between 150, 225, and 300kg/ha of applied N (urea).

Also sown on 7th May in SA was a canola GxExM (genetics x environment x management) trial, a protocol developed to determine the response to increased crop inputs (fungicide and nitrogen) over a range of canola varieties. Six varieties were sown with cv 45Y95 CL averaging 6.26 t/ha across three management levels (low, medium and high input).

FAR Australia’s Managing Director Nick Poole who leads the HYC research project is thrilled with this year’s outcome.

“At the start of the season we set an aspirational goal of 5 t/ha. We are absolutely thrilled to have surpassed this target by almost 1.5 t/ha and to be delivering on the project’s key objective of producing hyper yielding crops. We are looking forward to building on these numbers and delivering some significant results as part of the extension phase of the HYC project in 2022 in what we hope will prove to be a less challenging year.”

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