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Research and adoption go hand in hand with NSW grower claiming record crop

3 March 2021

FAR Australia commends the work of the CSIRO which has seen a NSW grower claim the Australian record for the highest yielding canola crop.

The 7.16 t/ha crop is the product of the Farming Systems project in southern NSW, a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment led by the CSIRO. The canola crop was grown at the ‘Mayfield’ farm which is owned by the Hawkins family at Oberon, west of the Blue mountains on the tablelands of southern NSW. At 1000m elevation and an average annual rainfall of 708mm spread out evenly throughout the year, the long cool growing season makes for an ideal growing region for temperate crops such as canola and wheat.

CSIRO has been conducting research in the region for more than a decade looking at how farming systems can be adapted in order to achieve more profitable and sustainable outcomes. As part of this initiative, ‘dual purpose crops’ has focused on reducing the need for growers to purchase off-farm feed stocks, in turn allowing growers to utilise their on-farm resources whilst not depleting them.

Learnings from the ‘dual purpose crop’ findings were adopted with lambs grazing the record canola crop early in the growing cycle. This combined with the delivery of perfect climatic conditions were what conquered this remarkable achievement with few believing that a record canola crop could ever be grown in Australia, with even fewer believing that it could be grazed by lambs.

Nick Poole, FAR Australia’s managing director commends the CSIRO and those involved at farm level for this incredible feat. “This clearly demonstrates the importance of research, development and extension, but most importantly the adoption by growers and advisers.

“The Hyper Yielding Crops (HYC) project, also a GRDC investment delivered nationally strives to push crop yield boundaries of wheat, barley and canola in high yield potential grain growing environments. Through collaboration and creating communities of interest, increasing yields for more profitable outcomes is also a key intent of this project. We look forward to assisting growers in achieving these outcomes and hope to see some more record yields throughout Australia in the future.”

HYC work with Rohan Brill (BrillAg) highlighted N as a key crop requirement with 400-500 kg/ha N needing to be supplied from soil stores and fertiliser to achieve a yield target of 5.5 t/ha.

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