Canola ‘hard done by’ | My Machinery
CASE Agriculture
Canola ‘hard done by’

Canola may suffer an unjustified reputation as a fickle crop in lower rainfall zones according to Agrivision senior consultant Rob Sonogan, who is based in Swan Hill in the Mallee. “People are getting edgy as it remains dry and thinking of bailing out of the crop and planting something that is regarded as lower risk, but if you look closely in the drier years, canola hasn’t gone that badly. “Year in, year out, it has pretty reliably yielded around half of what wheat has, and obviously prices have often been more than double, which means it can be a good choice.” Mr Sonogan said historically the reputation as being risky had more to do with the cost of production. “It used to require more inputs than cereal crops, which left farmers exposed if it was a bad year, but that cost has changed as we’ve moved away from upfront fertiliser application.” The other big improvement in canola production techniques has been the adaptation of stubble retention. “Previously, with farmers sowing into bare fallow, there was the risk of erosion, but that threat isn’t there when you sow into a standing stubble. “Now, I don’t think those economic risks in growing canola aren’t quite as bad as what they were and the crop may be unnecessarily maligned as riskier than it actually is.”

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CASE Agriculture