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Hybrid canola impressing in first year on Brookton farm

Troy, Gemma and Angus Bassett, of Brookton, WA in Nuseed GT-53.  Hybrid canola was grown for the first time on the property this year and has impressed with its vigour.


A switch to hybrid canola in favour of open pollinated TT varieties has looked to pay dividends on the Bassett property, at Brookton, in the Upper Great Southern region of Western Australia.

Troy Bassett said they traditionally grew open pollinated, triazine tolerant varieties and this year tried Roundup Ready hybrids for the first time in approximately fifty per cent of their canola area.

Nuseed GT-53 was the Roundup Ready hybrid grown on the property in a comparison with the open pollinated variety ATR Bonito.

“We’ve grown Bonito which has set the benchmark for the triazine tolerant canola for a long time,” Mr Basset said.  We are looking to branch out into some new varieties and take advantage of those hybrids.”

He said the hybrid vigour of GT-53 was evident early in the season and continued to show throughout the year.

“The vigour is unbelievable.  The TT crops look a long way behind where the hybrids are.  I’d love to get in and see what the header results are once we harvest it because visually it is unbelievable.”

“Based on what we’ve seen this year, we will keep pursuing the Roundup Ready and taper out the TTs.  It just gives you a bit more flexibility and the ability to control the weeds throughout the year.  The chemistry of the TT canola has been lacking a little bit in the last few years.  It gives you another option with the Roundup Ready.”

“We are slowly getting resistance to certain chemicals used in triazines.  It is all about our rotation, we try to rotate as many different crops through as we can so we can use those different chemicals available to us to control problem weeds.”

This season 100  per cent of the canola crop was sown dry.

“We are relying more and more on pre-emergent chemicals, so that’s where your rotation is very important,” Mr Bassett said.

The introduction of hybrid canola also meant a reduction in the seeding rates.

“With the Roundup Ready hybrids we generally do two kilos per hectare and go down to one and a half, on better soil types.  The TTs go up to four kilos, just to try and get a little density and competition in the crop.”

While the season in the Brookton area was very dry early, excellent rainfall at the back end of the season has really helped the crops.

“We’ve had some really good rainfall,” Mr Bassett said.  “It was looking pretty average in July and now it looks fantastic.”

The canola received a hundred units of nitrogen, through urea or Flexi N and Compound at about 120 kilos.

“With the vigour of the hybrids, you are pretty confident to put it on as long as you know you are going to get a good rainfall.  In this area, we tend to bank on having a reasonable year.  We’re pretty happy with the rates that we’ve put on this year and just want to see what sort of results we can get from the hybrids, comparing them to the triazines.”

The Bassett property also hosted a Nuseed trial site which compared a wide range of existing and new canola options.

“Nuseed have done a trial here and has shown us all the different varieties that are available,” Mr Bassett said.  “This is beneficial to growers because you can see what they look like during the year and what their characteristics are.  They’ll harvest at the end of the year so we can compare that data to make decisions going forward.  It’s grown here so it is relevant to our area.”

The enterprise grows barley and lupins as well as canola and also has long-term pasture paddocks for sheep feed.