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New Pacific Seeds varieties mark strong start to canola season

Karl Schilg – Southern Region Sales Manager
Karl Schilg – Southern Region Sales Manager

New canola varieties and herbicide technologies supplied by market-leading seed producer, Pacific Seeds are expected to help canola growers across Australia this season.

Pacific Seeds Managing Director Barry Croker said the company has released not only the first commercial TruFlex® canola hybrids, but also a dual tolerant hybrid which offer both Triazine Tolerance and the Clearfield trait.

“We want to ensure farmers have the best products and technologies available to maintain Australia’s high standard when it comes to canola,” Mr Croker said.

“The importance of canola in a cereal rotation can’t be underestimated for the weed control and other benefits it confers in the program.”

“Being able to utilise multiple chemistries or a different chemistry when planting into possible Clearfield residues offers growers another solution in their program.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), increased demand from China is expected to boost canola production to 3.7 million tonnes over the medium term after it slumped 41% to 2.2 million tonnes in 2018.

Bogandillan Pastoral Company Director Roy Hamilton is on track for a solid season, planting his annual target of 1,100-hectares between Rand and Urana in New South Wales with canola supplied by Pacific Seeds.

“We had our canola planted before it rained in early May (2019), so we are very grateful to have a reasonable establishment,” Mr Hamilton said.

“We didn’t reduce our canola area – we stuck to what we wanted to plant, which was about 1,100 hectares of canola. It’s now all in the ground and we think we’ll have enough for an established crop.

Despite the uncertainty in the seasonal outlook for canola, Mr Hamilton is determined to push forward.

“The consensus is that it is more likely to be dryer than average, so that’s a challenge, but hopefully we’ll be able to grow a crop in those conditions. There is so much variability with weather forecasting that if you sat and waited for a favourable weather forecast you’d be pretty old and very broke, so we plant by the calendar and try to adapt to the season as it unfolds.

“That’s why we try to source the best seed for our environment. We need something that’s been proven in a range of seasons, not just a standout in one given year,” he said.

But some farmers are still aware of the tough conditions. Canola grower Justin Everitt is predicting a below average crop on his farm north of Howlong in New South Wales.

“We don’t have the moisture we’re accustomed to. Our focus will be on cost saving practices rather than going whole hog without the moisture.

“I’m hoping hybrid seeds planted earlier this year (2019) will produce a positive yield. If we can get a ton of the hectare in grain, we’ll be happy,” Mr Everitt said.

Mr Croker said Pacific Seeds works tirelessly to provide products whose characteristics lead to higher yields and an increased quality in the final product.

“There’s one less thing to worry about if farmers have the best seed for their environment, and so it’s our responsibility to ensure Australian farmers are working with the best we can offer.”

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