Canola trials give confidence for hybrid

16 Aug, 2018 10:49 AM
Strong yield results are giving Kent Stone the confidence to adopt new breed hybrid canola varieties such as HyTTec Trophy on his family's farm at Kojonup.
Strong yield results are giving Kent Stone the confidence to adopt new breed hybrid canola varieties such as HyTTec Trophy on his family's farm at Kojonup.

A NEW breed of canola proved its value in trials conducted at Kojonup last season.

Nuseed’s first hybrid triazine tolerant variety, HyTTec Trophy, was put through its paces by local grower and Landmark agronomist Kent Stone, on his family’s farm.

He was part of Nuseed’s national Crop Agronomy Trial program, which gives growers the opportunity to test the newest varieties on their farms in large scale trials.

Canola makes up about half of Mr Stone’s cropping program and he spreads his risk by growing a range of varieties.

But he’s only dabbled in hybrids.

ATR Bonito is in the mix for its excellent early vigour and biomass, triazine tolerance (TT) and yield performance.

Where ryegrass is more of a problem, Mr Stone uses varieties such as Nuseed’s GT-50, a mid-season Roundup Ready hybrid.

“To make investing in hybrid seed worthwhile, we need to be confident of achieving higher yields at the end of the season,” Mr Stone said.

“We’re already doing quite well with open pollinated TT varieties such as Bonito, so to move up to a hybrid we are looking for at least an extra 200 kilograms per hectare in yield to pay for the seed cost, plus a bit extra,” he said.

The on-farm trial compared five hectares of Nuseed’s HyTTec Trophy with five hectares of Bonito, grown side by side.

Mr Stone said the visual differences between the two plots during the season were slight, with both crops showing early vigour and biomass, but when it came to harvesting, HyTTec Trophy outperformed Bonito by 500kg/ha.

HyTTec Trophy yielded 3.4 tonnes her hectare with 46.7 per cent oil, while Bonito achieved a solid 2.9 t/ha with 48.8pc oil.

Mr Stone worked the numbers through with local Nuseed area sales manager Andrew Royce to compare the difference in returns between the two crops.

“Even taking into consideration the higher seed costs and higher end point royalty of the new variety, Trophy returned $177/ha more than Bonito,” Mr Royce said.

He said HyTTec Trophy also performed well in the National Variety Trials across WA in 2017, particularly at Kojonup and Katanning, where it was the highest yielding variety in their mid-season triazine tolerant variety trials.

Good results like this are giving Mr Stone the confidence to increase his hybrid canola plantings across Roundup Ready and TT varieties.

“It’s at the point where hybrids are becoming more profitable, especially on our better paddocks where we can push for higher yields,” Mr Stone said.

He said it was good to see Nuseed taking some of the seasonal risk with growers, through the use of an end point royalty (EPR) on the new variety.

An EPR of $10/tonne applies to HyTTec Trophy, in place of the higher up-front seed costs usually seen for hybrid varieties.

Under the EPR system, growers are required to accurately declare their varieties at the receival point after harvest.

The royalties are then reinvested in Nuseed’s breeding program, funding the ongoing development of open pollinated and hybrid varieties.

Nuseed Australia commercial manager Andrew Loorham said HyTTec Trophy was just the first in a range of high performing HyTTec varieties to come.

Mr Loorham said Nuseed’s pipeline of HyTTec varieties would be complemented by a range of current and future open pollinated varieties to provide growers with the most comprehensive variety choices.

“We are committed to ongoing investment in oilseeds research and innovation, mindful that growers need strong, high performing varieties that will deliver value to their bottom line,” he said.

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