RR canola delivering $105/ha benefit over OP TT

The Roundup Ready
(RR) canola has delivered a $105 per hectare benefit over open pollinated
triazine tolerant (OP TT) canola in a recent trial conducted by farmers and an
agronomist north of Trayning, WA.

Farmers Trevor and
Carol Fowler teamed up with Landmark Wyalkatchem agronomist Bernie Quade for
the 2018 broadacre evaluation in search of better grower-based data for the area.

Mr Quade said the
result of this trial confirms that consideration needs to be given to the RR
canola system as an alternative to the traditional OP TT canola system in this

“After taking into
account an assumed seed cost of $74/ha for RR seed and $1/kg for retained
Bonito, there is a total benefit of $105/ha growing RR over TT in this trial,”
Mr Quade said.

“Importantly, this
does not take into consideration that the total herbicide costs are lower in
the RR system, that there are RR varieties that can now show even higher
performance than 404RR from a profitability standpoint, and also that pedigree
Bonito was used in the trial but retained seed pricing was used.”

The agronomist
worked on a price of $535/t for GM grain and $575 for non-GM grain.

He said the district
doesn’t grow any RR hybrids due to the perceptions around the value equation.

“There’s the
perception that RR canola is either too risky due to significant upfront seed
cost or that this crop type delivers no economic benefit over and above OP TTs.”

A 50-hectare block, sprayed
out of lupins in 2017, was planted to Hyola 404RR and a 20ha block in the same
paddock alongside it was planted to Bonito with a Flexicoil air seeder on April

Atrazine and propyzamide
were used pre-emergent on the Bonito and propyzamide on the Hyola 404RR.

Standard post emergent
treatments of atrazine and grass selectives were used in the TT and Roundup in
the RR canola.

Opening rain was
received on May 24 of 10.5mm, then June received 49mm, July had 46.5mm, August
had 24mm, September had 9.5mm and October, 14mm. The total growing season
rainfall was 153.5mm.

Fertiliser at seeding
consisted of 24 nitrogen, 5 phosphorus, 4 potassium, 4 sulphur, 0.05 copper and
0.1 zinc, and at the six-leaf stage, 17 of nitrogen and 19 of sulphur were

Mr Quade said a
photo taken with Normal Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) technology on August
3 of the in-season biomass shows a distinct line in the image where the variety
changes from Bonito to Hyola 404RR.

“The improvement in
vigour and biomass of Hyola 404RR over Bonito was very significant, which would
only aid to overall weed control.

The demo was
harvested on November 24 with the Fowlers’ header, and yield of both varieties
was taken immediately alongside each other in 1km runs to enable the closest
possible comparison.

Mr Quade said the profitability
of the RR system in this trial is one reason for utilising this system, not
just if clethodim is beginning to fail in controlling ryegrass in an OP TT

“Also, the proven significant
increase in biomass and vigour of the RR system, which aids weed suppression,
needs to be considered as a real benefit to any farming system.”

Bayer contributed
towards trial costs and trial concept and Pacific Seeds supplied Hyola 404RR
seed for the trial.

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