Farmers are shifting from swathing to direct harvesting of canola. This allows them to speed up their operations. It is unclear if all cultivars chosen by growers are suitable for direct harvesting. Whilst cultivars are marketed as suitable for direct harvesting, there appears to be no systematic testing of cultivars to determine if these claims stack up. In particular it is unknown if some cultivars shed more seed prior to harvest than others. If farmers move to direct harvesting this could become an issue.
Bayer have just released a variety (IH51 RR) into the Australian market which has their podguard trait. This is a non geneticall modified (GM) trait which is reputed to virtually eliminate shedding of seed out of the pods of canola. This trial includes IH51 RR and will provide a source of independent testing of the trait in WA.
To determine if canola cultivars vary in their rates of shedding