Yielding positive results

Yielding positive results

September 17, 2021

What canola growers make of new dual-herbicide-tolerance stacking technology.

Dual-herbicide-tolerance stacking is one of the most recent breakthroughs in seed technology. But what does it mean for growers? Find out how the recent commercial release of dual-stacked canola hybrids has affected farmers’ operations.

Ben Cordes, a broadacre farmer located southwest of Rupanyup, grows canola, pulses and cereals.

Canola is an essential aspect of Ben’s rotation, for both weed control and for maximising profitability. He’s started growing canola with dual-stacked technology, and has already noticed advantages it offers over hybrids with a single herbicide-tolerance trait.

“Traditionally, we’ve only been able to grow a single-stacked canola, which has limitations in terms of being able to plant it in the paddocks that we’d like to plant it,” Ben said.

“For example, this year we’ve had some reasonable summer rainfall, so we’ve been able to maximise our canola productivity by putting a dual-stacked canola in that particular paddock to manage the herbicide residual from last year.

“Using a single stacked canola, we simply wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Ben has also experienced new levels of flexibility, which have increased on-farm efficiency.

“We’re growing lentils, for example, where we can use similar chemicals to that of the canola. So we can go from one crop top to another within a matter of minutes and not have to worry about the time that it takes to decontaminate boom sprays.”

But the most significant benefit that dual-herbicide-stacked canola offers is its impact on weed control.

“The beauty about the stacked canola becoming commercially available has been the fact that we can now manage some of the residuals from other chemicals used in previous years.

“We can now grow a variety of canola that will survive with the residue of that chemical in the ground. But also then enable us to use some desired chemicals in that particular canola crop. So we’ve got the best of both worlds.

“We have to try and maintain a low seed bank in our paddocks with all the seeds – particularly with ryegrass – and the stacked canola is enabling us to do that by getting better weed control in that canola phase, and setting up our ultimate three, four year rotation.”

Another Victorian farmer, Cameron Taylor, also experienced new levels of flexibility and weed management. He works on his family farm, Mayo Park Farms, in Lubeck, which grows canola, wheat, barley, lentils, fava beans,oat and hay.

He’s partway through his first season with Hyola Enforcer CT, a canola hybrid that’s been developed with both Clearfield® and triazine tolerance traits, and is pleased with the new possibilities that the crop has presented him with.

“Using a stacked canola, such as Enforcer CT, really opens up our rotation options,” Cameron said.

“We’re able to utilise herbicides in different parts of our rotation and still be able to grow a really good break crop.

“In this situation, we’ve been able to grow our canola crop on the back of Clearfield residue, but still utilising the triazine-tolerant part of the canola to use TTs in our herbicides to get really great control on ryegrass in this paddock.”

Cameron hopes that by the end of the year, the Enforcer CT canola will maximise weed set control while maintaining high profitability.

“With canola prices looking fantastic and predictions of a really wet spring, [we’re] looking forward to the end of the year.”

Horsham-based farmer, Gerard Bardell, relies on canola as a part of his crop rotation.

“Traditionally, it’s been more of a serial-pulse rotation. Inevitably, we’ve had a whole range of weeds come through tha,” Gerard said.

“Primarily, annual ryegrass has been our main concern, but now we’ve sort of stepped into a five-year rotation and canola forms the foundation for that.

“The importance of canola in that situation is that it really puts down the base of keeping a two-year weed-free zone from our paddocks. And by achieving that, it really sets up the rest of the rotation.”

Gerard uses Hyola Enforcer CT, which allows him to  IMI herbicides. This controls a wide range of broadleaf weeds and provides excellent residual control over summer, mitigating the impact of weeds such as marshmallow.

It also enables him to use full rates of triazine as a post-emergent option, taking care of any ryegrass that escapes the pre-emergent application – which utilises a range of modes of action.

Gerard’s been happy with the outcome.

“We’re seeing the following barley crop come up with much, much less pressure from weeds, primarily ryegrass. It takes the pressure off our group Hs in our pulse phase the following year. And then with our wheat phase, which is the last part of our rotation, it’s really quite clean as well.

“So it’s working really well for us.”

To learn more about the dual-stacked canola hybrids, visit pacificseeds.com.au/canola-stacked.

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