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  • Writer's pictureLiebe Group

Risks and rewards of very early sown canola

The Liebe Group has recently commenced a project ‘The Risks and Rewards of Very Early Sown Canola’ that aims to support grower decision making when presented with early sowing canola opportunities, giving consideration to soil moisture, time of sowing and varietal choice.

A significant rainfall event in late March prompted Liebe’s R&D Committee to prioritise an investigation into how different varieties perform in an early April sowing window, compared to a more standard mid/late April period. These weather events appear to be occurring more commonly as changes to climate sees more late tropical low systems coming through further south and as such providing a non-traditional season break.

Coupled with high canola market prices and coming off a season with stored soil moisture still available, the timeliness of this project will be advantageous to growers throughout the Liebe Group region.

With GRDC investment, the group has implemented a replicated small plot trial in Xantippe that will investigate six roundup ready canola varieties (2 early, 2 mid and 2 longer season varieties) sown at two different times – early April and late April.

Liebe Group R&D Committee Chair Dylan Hirsch noted that growers are seeking more data to support these early sowing decisions, particularly around varietal performance.

“There has been a lot of growers in this region who see canola as an opportunistic crop, more so than a standard crop in the rotation. We often only get one to two ideal sowing opportunities each year, which are coming more often in late March, early April,” said Dylan.

“I think this Liebe trial will really complement the NVT work nicely and provide growers with some confidence around when and what variety of canola to sow, dependant on the seasonal conditions presented.”

The Xantippe trial will be accompanied by three grower case studies that will highlight key decision points for growers in their canola sowing programs and follow throughout the season to understand how some of the varieties perform at grower scale.

More information about this project will be extended throughout the season, including an opportunity to visit the trial site.


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