AUSTRALIA’s canola producers have faced a tough time on production and pricing in the past few weeks.
Farmers flocked to plant canola this season, drawn in by its premium over other crop options, but the sowing period has thrown up its share of frustrations.
Canola industry leaders have reported a variety of planting woes including a false break of about five millimetres in central Western Australia.
Analysts are starting to weigh up whether to lower production estimates for canola tonnages out of WA, Australia’s biggest canola producing State, as the end of the canola planting window approaches.
Insect pressures are also a concern, with slugs, snails, lucerne flea and red-legged earth mites all proving problematic through southern and eastern Australia.
Mouse plagues in parts of South Australia and Victoria have affected canola emergence, with reports of seed being eaten out of the ground, leading to a patchy germination.
Slug pressure is rising in traditional hot spots such as south western Victoria, but the gastropods are also being encountered, in many cases for the first time, in areas such as the Wimmera.
After baiting for mice, farmers face another expense from applying slug bait.