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Agriculture

Blowhard farmer grows huge canola crop

Farm worker James Reddish, Wetsern Ag agronomist Brendan Smith and farmer Graeme Ford.
Farm worker James Reddish, Wetsern Ag agronomist Brendan Smith and farmer Graeme Ford.

A farmer near Ballarat has grown a huge crop of canola weighing in at 3.6 tonnes per hectare.

Graeme Ford, who farms ‘Braemanya’ at Blowhard, harvested the impressive crop of Hyola 970CL in January (2020). It also produced an oil content of 48 per cent.

“It was the best yielding crop of canola I have ever grown by a mile,” Mr Ford said.

“The gross return worked out to be $2354/ha.”

Mr Ford’s canola program usually consists of open pollinated triazine tolerant canola varieties, but he recently added graze and grain canola.

“I used to grow OP TTs but I really wanted to maximise yield potential, so my agronomist Brendan and I investigated dual purpose canola,” Mr Ford said.

“Instead of grazing it a few times, I took it straight to grain.”

The farmer sowed the canola on April 10, 2019 at 3kg/ha and applied 125kg/ha of urea at the 3-4 leaf stage and 125kg/ha at the full cabbage stage.

The crop received 520mm of in-crop rainfall and was harvested on January 4 (2020).

Western Ag agronomist Brendan Smith, who has been following the uptake of graze and grain canola in the area, said Hyola 970CL’s biomass was impressive.

“I find the 970 predominately a spring sow,” Mr Smith said.

“In many cases it does create more biomass production as opposed to winter types. I’ve seen up to 20pc more biomass compared with winter varieties.”

“Also, we didn’t over pump the nitrogen, so to see a yield like this was quite exciting.”

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