Reducing pod shatter an insurance matter

24 Sep, 2015 02:00 AM
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A ROUNDUP Ready canola variety with its own insurance trait sparked grower interest at the recent WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) Spring Field Day held at Cunderdin.

The Bayer-developed IH51 is new to the market this year and its PodGuard trait has been 10 years in the making.

Bayer market development agronomist David Peake said the trait had the potential to retain up to 600 kilograms a hectare more yield following a storm than other comparable varieties.

"It's a trait that is a reduced shatter trait," he said.

"Shattering for canola is one of the major constraints to increasing the yield for a variety."

IH51 is among the Canola National Variety Trials (NVT) at Cunderdin and Mr Peake said he expected the promising results seen during testing to continue.

The variety was released early this year and is being used by a number of growers across the State, but Mr Peake said word was spreading about the qualities, and interest for next year was set to surpass this year's sales.

"A lot of guys swathe their crops purely on the basis of reducing shattering," he said.

"So if they don't necessarily have to swathe it early they can increase the yield and oil.

"Some of the data we got last year for this variety, particularly where there's been light hail, is it's competitive with all the major varieties prior to the storm and after that it was anywhere between 400kg and 600kg better off."

The canola planting is placed among a range of current and soon to be released canola varieties all planted at a single sowing time to allow comparison.

Growers will be able to use the data to select varieties with new and improved quality, maturity and disease traits, giving breeders feedback for future projects.

Mr Peake said IH51 sown in early April to early May by growers this year in the northern part of WA were seeing the canola almost ready for harvest.

But he said, growers across the State will benefit from the pod guard technology, particularly if they're in an area prone to hail damage.

"Growers on the South Coast will see advantages with this variety so Esperance, Albany and the west coast is where it suits most," he said.

"But I've just had an order from Dalwallinu and there's growers that have it out near Kellerberrin this year.

"Pod guard protection, it's almost an insurance type of trait in the canola."

p Results from the NVT are made available via www.nvtonline.com.au.

FarmWeekly

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