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Canola variety guide in WA 2010
Text only version of Farmnote 406 - PDF Available
Canola production reached a peak 1.14 million tonnes in 2008 in Western Australia. The five year average production is 726,000 tonnes from 486,000 hectares, with a value of over $300 million to the economy. With the recent introduction of genetically modified (GM) canola it is anticipated that canola production in WA could rise to a million tonnes again over the next five years, worth over $400 million. The expansion of canola cropping will depend upon improved varieties, specifically ones with early maturity that give better yield and oil concentration in a range of environments. The benefits of having canola in wheat-based farming systems include more flexibility in controlling both grass and broad-leaf weeds, combating herbicide resistance, controlling cereal root diseases and increased yields of the following cereal crop.
Canola growers are faced with a greater choice of new varieties, both non-herbicide tolerant (NT or conventional) and herbicide tolerant (HT), about which there is often little relevant information available in local environments (see Figure 1).
The NT varieties have no novel herbicide tolerance and could be the best choice in weedfree situations or where weed levels are low and can be controlled by conventional crop management. The HT varieties have specific herbicide tolerance and could be the best choice if weed problems exist and cannot be controlled in conventional canola.
The HT choice is between the conventionallybred forms (triazine tolerant and imidazolinone tolerant or Clearfield) and genetically modified (Roundup Ready® or InVigor®). Advantages and disadvantages of different types are summarised in Table 1.
This variety guide is to assist growers in deciding which varieties to grow in their regions or agzones (see Figure 2). It summarises varietal characteristics and agronomic information including seed yield and oil content. Comparative performance data for 2008 are presented for selected varieties which are considered to be the most promising for WA conditions from the National Variety Testing program (www.nvtonline.com.au) and department agronomy trials.
If possible, growers should use variety performance data from NVT trials, small-scale agronomy trials and large-scale commercial trials as their results add value to each other.
The identity of weed species present or expected may determine the need for specific production systems e.g. triazine tolerant, (TT), Clearfield (CL) or Roundup Ready (RR). Weed control and herbicide options for RR, TT and CL canola are presented in Farmnotes 407 and 408—Roundup Ready® canola in WA and Weed control in non-GM canola.
Profitable canola results from correct variety selection and sound management decisions on time of sowing, paddock selection, crop nutrition, and disease and pest control.
Table 2 Characteristics of major new canola varieties - Part 1
Table 2 Characteristics of major new canola varieties - Part 2
All canola varieties grown in WA belong to the species Brassica napus which has good blackleg resistance. Varieties differ in their degree of resistance (www.australianoilseeds.com.au). When choosing a variety, the critical factors to consider are maturity (relative to the length of the growing season), blackleg resistance rating, seed yield and oil content. For further information see the NVT website (www.nvtonline.com.au). The relevant features of the newly released varieties are presented in Table 2.
Comparison data on the performance of Roundup Ready, Clearfield and triazine tolerant varieties within the herbicide systems tested in National Variety Trials are available (www.nvtonline.com.au). The 2008 results indicated that all RR varieties produced yields not significantly different to the site mean (1.0 t/ha).
Roundup Ready® canola in WA, Farmnote 407, Department of Agriculture and Food website (www.agric.wa.gov.au under publications)
Weed control in non-GM canola, Farmnote 408
On-farm segregation of GM and non-GM canola, Farmnote 409
Growing western canola: an overview of canola production in Western Australia (2006) Oilseeds Industry Association of Western Australia, Belmont
GM canola – performance and experience in 2008 (2009) Grains Research and Development Corporation
National Variety Testing website www.nvtonline.com.au
Blackleg ratings www.australianoilseeds.com.au
Other commercial websites
Thanks to Paul Carmody, Peter White and Tom Sweeny for their technical review and constructive comments.
This is the Text only version of Farmnote 406 - full PDF Available
Page amended: January 2010