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Tourello farmer grows monster canola crop

Tourello farmer Steve Kinnersly with his agronomist Brendan Smith.
Tourello farmer Steve Kinnersly with his agronomist Brendan Smith.

A farmer near Clunes has grown a monster crop of canola weighing in at 3.75 tonnes per hectare.

Steve Kinnersly, who farms ‘Boovando’ at Tourello, harvested the impressive crop of Hyola 970CL in late-December (2019).

Mr Kinnersly, who mainly grows wheat and canola in rotation for weed management and profitability, said it was his first time growing a graze and grain canola crop.

“It was my first time growing a hybrid, let alone a winter type. I have never grown a canola crop over 3t/ha,” he said.

“I can sow earlier, get better ground cover before it comes in cold and wet, and slugs aren’t as big an issue.”

In consultation with Western Ag agronomist Brendan Smith, the grower said he wanted to test the yield limit of dual purpose canola.

“We’re in a high rainfall area of about 600mm a year with longer, colder winters, so instead of grazing it, I wanted to go with a different strategy and see how much grain we could get off it.”

Mr Kinnersly planted 10ha of Hyola 970CL on April 29, 2019.

It was sown at a rate of 2.7kg/ha, with 125kg/ha of urea applied at the 3-4 leaf stage and 125kg/ha at the full cabbage stage.

The crop was harvested on December 28 (2019) for a yield of 3.75t/ha and oil content of 47.5 per cent, resulting in a $2435/ha gross return.

Mr Smith, who has been following the uptake of dual purpose canola in the area, said Hyola 970CL’s biomass was impressive.

“I find the 970 predominately a spring sow. In many cases it does create more biomass production as opposed to winter types.

“I’ve seen up to 20pc more biomass compared with winter varieties.”

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