For canola growers like Bruce Watson of Tichborne, the entry of Bayer into the Australian seed market should mean a greater range of high-performance varieties to choose from.
Over time, he hopes to have access to more innovative traits that would give extra weed control options and simplify harvesting as well as ensuring more reliable results.
Bruce said he was watching closely what Bayer would do after seeing what they have done in Canada with market leading varieties.
His family business is based between Parkes and Forbes where they grow mainly wheat, canola and barley with some lupins, faba beans and occasional chickpea crops. They also dabbled in the summer crops of sorghum and mung beans.
It’s all controlled traffic, zero til cropping with no livestock and no set rotation, instead responding to market prices and seasonal conditions.
During the past year 1,350 ha was sown to canola, 1,400 ha to wheat, 350 ha to barley, 100 ha to faba beans and a small area of summer crop.
In amongst his canola program, Bruce planted a bag of IH50RR seed. IH50RR is the first Bayer Roundup Ready® (RR) hybrid canola seed released in Australia and bred using germplasm from the Bayer global canola gene pool.
Yielding 2.52 t/ha and with 40.2% oil, IH50RR was his second highest yielding canola variety in 2012.
“It gave me a surprise when it went that well,” he said.
“At our field day in early September it looked to be frost and drought affected.
“It matured about 10 days quicker than the 45Y22 but later than the 43Y23, so in my environment I’d say it was a mid season RR variety that seems to express good yields.
“Assuming soil moisture and canola prices are okay, we will look at increasing the area sown to IH50RR. I want to have more of a look before I’d launch into it full scale.”
Bruce said he has been growing Roundup Ready canola varieties since they were initially released in 2008. He likes the technology, the hybrid vigour and the fact that the Roundup Ready system works well.
He applauded the Bayer decision to enter the Australian seeds marketplace.
“I just think more investment in breeding and more investment in agriculture is great.
“If we are to increase our productivity, that sort of investment will be necessary. The world is short of oilseed and Australia has come a long way.
“In this central and southern NSW region, canola is still the preeminent break crop for weeds and diseases and chemical rotation.
So, to see more research going into canola breeding and advancing the canola industry is critical to me as a grain grower.”
Roundup Ready® is a Registered Trademark of Monsanto technology LLC.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 7.255 billion (2011) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. The Australian head office is located in Melbourne. This and further news is available at: www.bayercropscience.com.au
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