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Hybrid canola lifting yields on Walbundrie property

Walbundrie farmer Joe Corrigan said the new hybrid canola variety has seen his yield increase even during some tough few years.

The introduction of a hybrid canola option provided extra yield on the property of Joe Corrigan, at Walbundrie, in southern New South Wales.

Mr Corrigan runs a mixed farming enterprise and crop approximately two thirds on the property and runs a self-replacing Merino flock on the balance.

Traditionally the cropping enterprise consists of wheat, barley and canola with open pollinated triazine varieties the preferred option in recent years.

Triazine tolerant canola system has worked well with the ability to control a wide range of weed species including Silvergrass (Vulpia Spp).

Silvergrass has been an issue coming out of the pasture phase so triazine chemistry works well to control the weed in canola before the paddock is rotated through to a cereal.

Mr Corrigan said ATR Bonito had been his preferred variety option in recent years.

“I had tried hybrid TTs in the past but had been disappointed with the results,” he said.  “While they generally looked better during the growing season, I didn’t see enough yield advantage at the end of year to justify the extra cost of the seed.”

Last season his agronomist, Sheree Hamson, suggested he try “new hybrid TT” and with some scepticism he planted a section to Nuseed HyTTec Trophy canola as a trial.

It was planted alongside ATRBonito and Mr Corrigan kept a close eye on it throughout the season.

He said both canola options established well and showed good early vigour and looked similar in the early stages.

“It really didn’t do anything special over and above Bonito until about the 4-6 leaf stage and then it decided to take off.”

HyTTec Trophy didn’t produce a big bulky crop and reached a height of 5 to 10 cms above the neighbouring ATR Bonito.

“2018 was a tough finish with lower than expected rainfall, frosts and a tight finish,” Mr Corrigan said.  “We were grateful for what we got”.

At harvest HyTTec Trophy produced a yield of 1.2 tonnes per hectare compared to the ATR Bonito which yielded 1 tonne per hectare.

“It was a great result – particularly with the tough conditions at the end of the season,” Mr Corrigan said.

“The icing on the cake was that the HyTTec Trophy canola crop also took out the first prize in the Walbundrie Show Society Canola Crop Competition.”

He said the success of HyTTec Trophy in 2018 meant it played a larger role in the canola acres in 2019.

ATR Bonito’s blackleg rating had also dropped to MS (Moderately Susceptible) so the introduction of HyTTec Trophy with a yield advantage and better disease package worked well.

Nuseed’s End Point Royalty (EPR) applies to all HyTTec hybrids and helps share the risk with the grower.

“It seems fair”, Mr Corrigan said.  “I’m happy to be paying less upfront for hybrid seed.  Then it depends on how the season unfolds as to how much EPR I pay post-harvest.”