Canola Establishment Part 2 of 2

Branding Ag Excellence
Video Transcript

A lot of people have been having a try with growing canola and I guess new growers need to make certain they do everything right just to get crop that establishment’s seeding rates with canola.

We used to say 5 kilograms per hectare cause that was like the farmer proof seeding rate and that sort of covered a multitude of sins including insect pests at the time. But now, basically, in many instances you can come down as low as two to three kilograms per hectare with no major problems at getting, so long as you do everything else right, that’s plenty of plants to get a decent canola crop.

Factors Affecting Good Canola Seeding

Seeding depth in canola has always been regarded as a very important issue because it’s such a small seed. We used to sow our canola at about one centimeter deep or so. What we’ve seen and there’s a good bit of work being done in New South Wales recently as well where if moisture is a little bit iffy and you have to sow your seed down at say 3 centimeters or even a touch more than that.

Soil Temperature

And soil temperature is still quite warm. I’m not as worried now as I would have been in years gone by about trying to get the seed out of the ground so if you have to chase moisture you can sneak the seed down a little bit deeper than we used to. If you’re putting out anything more than about ten kilograms of nitrogen, it really needs to banded away from the seed so to the side or down below the seed. Or the alternative is that you put your nitrogen out pre sowing and it gets incorporated by the sowing operation.

Insects and Pests

Anything that keeps that nitrogen away from close proximity with the seed is really important. As we’re growing more and more canola, we’re find more and more insect pests and other pests having at a go at our canola crops. Mandalotus weevil is one now in the lower rainfall areas that we’re having problems with.

Millipedes, Earwigs and Earthmites

Millipedes, European earwigs are all issues that we never used to see. In the old days it was red legged earth mite and lucern flea and that was it and we’ve got them pretty well under control but it’s these other pests that really are causing us issues. And certainly in the high rainfall districts, slugs are another major issue that are causing losses to canola crops. You can’t afford to just look at your canola crop from 110 kilometers an hour in your ute.

Inspection of Canola Crop is Essential

You have to get out and inspect the crop as it’s coming up and at the early stages of development to make certain you’re not having insects having a really good chew at your crop. A canola crop does compensate incredibly well, but the more patchy it is at establishment the more difficult it comes to when you work out wind rowing time and all those factors.

Other Canola Resources

So, if you can establish canola, you’re 80% of the way there to having a reasonable crop. I think on the GRDC website, there’s a canola best management practice guide that we put together about 2 years ago, which is a booklet that’s got a lot of information about growing canola.

The Australian Oil Seeds Federation has got some information on canola as well, so there is a lot of information around the place that you can chase up and help you not only choose varieties but also look at a whole range of factors and as I’ve said, establishment is one of the critical things with growing canola so you just have to really concentrate on getting that right.

View Part 1

Trent Potter, of Yeruga Crop Solutions, talks about canola establishment in part two of two videos. See part one here:

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