Hybrid canola a harvest booster

Daryna ZadvirnaNarrogin Observer
Troy, Gemma and Angus Bassett in their canola field.
Camera IconTroy, Gemma and Angus Bassett in their canola field.

Brookton farmer Troy Bassett says yields might be down this year but favourable grain prices and a promising hybrid canola crop have given his season a silver lining.

Mr Bassett grows barley, canola and lupins and has long-term pasture paddocks for sheep feed.

He will start start harvesting in a week or so, anticipating the yield would be below average because of the dry end of the year.

“We’ll probably be down around 20-30 per cent below average,” he said.

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“It’s pretty much down to the poor finish. I expect the yields will be down across the board in this area — I doubt anyone will be having an above-average year.

“But the grain prices aren’t too bad at the moment, so that’ll help out a lot, along with the sheep. So it’s not all bad.”

Mr Bassett said he also had high hopes for a new type of canola hybrid he had tested this year.

Having traditionally grown open-pollinated, triazine-tolerant varieties, Mr Bassett has tried Roundup Ready hybrids for the first time on about 50 per cent of his canola area.

“We were looking to branch out into some new varieties and take advantage of those hybrids,” he said.

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

“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,” he said.

According to Mr Bassett, resistance to certain chemicals used in triazines was also problematic and crop rotation was key.

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

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