West Australian cropper George Carmody is witnessing the benefits of planting a small plot to Nuseed Emu TF this season.
On his home farm at East Munglinup, 115km west of Esperance, he was left with a small unplanted 15 hectares in one of his paddocks after harvesting a summer crop.
His options were to sow it to barley or find an appropriate short season canola.
This presented him with the opportunity to try Emu for the first time, which he planted in mid-May into a high infestation of weeds. His other canola varieties were planted three and a half weeks earlier on April 23 over 1200ha.
Mr Carmody said some growers to the north sowed the variety as late as early June.
The main attraction of the new, early maturing TruFlex hybrid, is it performs well in low to medium rainfall zones and can be planted later than other canola varieties.
Following a full germination of weeds under the crop, which emerged quickly, a glyphosate spray followed, Mr Carmody said.
He found Emu established quickly and caught up to the longer season varieties around it. “It was in full bloom at about the same time as the GT53 and Trident,” he said.
“I think that Emu has a fit for us in the lower rainfall area to the north, allowing a slightly later sowing date and greater flexibility with weed control.
“It’s time to flowering was very quick. By the time the crops around it, the GT53 and Trident, were in full flower the Emu had caught up,” he said.
“That late sowing option is very useful. The other main benefit that I found so far is because it’s a TruFlex (hybrid) the ability to put a Roundup spray over it up until first flower, gives you a lot more flexibility.
Mr Carmody said with a “softer season” there was some later germination of ryegrass which could then be sprayed. “It’s our cleanest Roundup Ready crop that we’ve got,” he said.
He initially used a Roundup mix for the knockdown and four or five days later applied Paraquat to kill any of the survivors or new emergent ryegrass and Treflan as a barrier, followed by a later Roundup spray.
Unlike other Roundup Ready canola varieties which are limited to spraying to eight leaf, Nuseed Emu has the TruFlex window allowing spraying up to first flowers.
Given its performance thus far, Mr Carmody is keen to use Emu again.
“It definitely gives us a lot more flexibility, especially in the dry climate,” he said.
To date Mr Carmody has enjoyed a favourable season being close to the five year average and with just a couple of light frosts.
Harvest is likely to begin from mid to late October.
With prices continuing to climb Mr Carmody believes there is a good chance some of his canola varieties could fetch $1000 a tonne or more delivered to port at Esperance.
Nuseed’s Western Australia northern area sales manager Michael Hickey said Emu had been introduced into the market to act as a risk management tool for those in the low to medium rainfall zones.
“Nuseed Emu TF has the ability to start flowering up to two weeks earlier than market accepted lines and offers the option for later sowing and the ability to perform in later starting years,” he said.
“Nuseed Emu is able to offer this without jeopardising yield and oil for the farmers.
“For those farmers in the low to medium rainfall zones, it is looking to be an extremely strong variety offering a wide window of opportunities.
“I can see a strong benefit in delaying some planting of canola in select cropping zones, getting a knock down with alternate chemical groups and then planting into moisture to achieve a high emergence and increased crop competitions.
“Canola is used as a weed management tool, so any tools we can use to take the pressure off with the use of alternate modes of actions is a benefit.
“Too often with low rainfall, canola can be extremely risky to plant early due to false breaks. Nuseed Emu TF could be used as a risk management tool that you could hold a percentage of your cropping program for and plant it closer to the break of the season, or into moisture after the break of the season.
“Care, however, needs to be taken through the central wheat belt zones due to frost. We recommend you talk to your local area sales manager or reseller to discuss the management of this line to get the most out of it.”
George Carmody’s brother Tom in a crop of Nuseed GT53 in mid September.