Fast-tracked trial at Pindar push sowing date boundaries for canola 2015 trial report

Page last updated: Thursday, 18 May 2017 - 1:18pm

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The north east fringes of the Western Australian wheatbelt received good levels of summer rain in 2015, and provided sowing opportunities in early April for canola. A trial at Pindar aimed to look at yield responses of canola varieties to sowing times ranging from 9 April to 12 May.

Since January, rainfall at some locations in the north east of the Western Australian wheatbelt has exceeded 200mm (300mm in some places) with much of this falling in March. The bottom line: the soil was wet and it was only 1 April! Some were wondering "when do I start seeding? What if it doesn't rain again until June?"

The trial at Pindar was sown to compare the yield responses of six canola varieties sown at three sowing dates (9 April, 23 April and 12 May)

In theory, APSIM (and of course Yield Prophet) can model what will happen and quantify the risk of heat shock and/or frost. This trial will enable validation of Yield Prophet and support growers with variety decisions with early sowing opportunities.

This trial is one of a trial series conducted in 2015. In addition to this canola trial at Pindar there were wheat trials at Pindar and Yuna.

Trial details

Table 1 Trial Details for Pindar
Sowing dates

9 April into moist soil

23 April into moist soil with drying top soils

12 May into moist soil with drying top soil

Varieties Bonito, Hyola 450TT, Hyola 559TT, Hyola 650TT, Stingray, Wahoo

Preliminary Results

Establishment averaged 38, 37 and 28 plants/m2 for 9 April, 23 April and 12 May sowing (respectively).

Grain yield of canola varieties declined with delayed sowing and variety rankings differed at each sowing time (Table 2).

Table 2 Grain yield (t/ha) of canola varieties sown at three sowing times at Pindar in 2015
Variety 9 April sowing 23 April sowing 12 May sowing
Bonito 1.32 1.26 1.06
Hyola 450TT 1.69 1.52 1.16
Hyola 559TT 1.62 1.37 0.79
Hyola 650TT 1.95 1.57 1.01
Stingray 0.74 1.28 0.52
Wahoo 1.2 1.23 0.83

Bonito and Stingray were quicker developing varieties compared to Wahoo which was later developing (Table 3).

Table 3 Percentage flowering on 30 July for canola varieties sown at three sowing times in Pindar
Variety 9 April sowing 23 April sowing 12 May sowing
Bonito 100 98 13
Hyola 450TT 100 90 8
Hyola 559TT 100 73 3
Hyola 650TT 95 53 3
Stingray 100 100 21
Wahoo 80 26 2

Acknowledgements

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Financial support for this trial was provided by the Grains Research and Development Corporation's Regional Cropping Solutions Network in Western Australia. Yield Prophet reporting was managed by Richard Quinlan at PlanFarm. Steve Cosh, Trevor Bell and Larry Prosser from DAFWA's research support unit for trial managment and Melaine Kupsch for data management. Appreciation of the Mullewa Dryland Farming Initiative and the Thomas family for access to the trial site and hosting field day events.

Contact information

Author

Christine Zaicou-Kunesch