THE ability to manage difficult to control weeds has spurred Australian canola growers to plant just under half a million hectares to Roundup Ready canola in 2018.
Sixty per cent of growers surveyed by Monsanto said they chose to grow Roundup Ready canola varieties because it allowed them to control tough weeds and resulted in cleaner paddocks for crops following canola.
Monsanto Australia managing director Tony May said although overall hectares of canola planted this year was down, the total amount of Roundup Ready canola planted by growers in New South Wales, Victoria and WA continued to grow year-on-year.
“The lack of rain, delayed break and significant wind events are throwing yet another challenge at farmers across the grainbelts and in general, crops are a month behind for this time of year,” Mr May said.
“We are forecasting that growers have planted 498,897ha of Roundup Ready canola, which we estimate will be about 22 per cent of the total canola crop across the three States that allow commercial plantings of genetically-modified canola.
“This year, 179 new growers will plant GM canola for the first time – 51 of these are in NSW and 80 of these are in WA.
“In total, more than 1100 growers will plant Roundup Ready canola, with more than 700 of those farmers being in WA.”
This year marks a decade of Australian growers having access to GM canola (nine years in WA) and 10 years of growers using GM canola as a vital weed control tool.
Growers can see the next generation of glyphosate-tolerant canola in action this season with field days showcasing TruFlex canola with Roundup Ready technology across the key canola growing regions.
TruFlex canola is anticipated to be commercially released next season (subject to regulatory approval in key export markets) and will offer growers more flexibility in glyphosate application rates and timing.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to share the new TruFlex technology with growers, which will provide a simple and flexible system for controlling the weeds that are truly damaging to the cropping industry,” Mr May said.
“Monsanto is continuing to invest in tools and technologies that help farmers grow more with less.
“We know there is an on-going role for GM technologies for Australian farmers.
“Given how important they are to the sustainability of Australia agriculture we are committed to working with our partners to increase awareness and understanding of the technology.”