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TruFlex® canola benefits make it a simple choice

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  • Category

    • Grower Stories
    • Product News
  • Date

    25 October, 2021

  • Location

    Northern wheatbelt

  • WA map

About

Category

  • Grower Stories
  • Product News

Date

25 October, 2021

Location

Northern wheatbelt

Improved weed control flexibility, operational benefits and helping to achieve high crop yields, has prompted a full change in Chapman Valley grower Trevor Piggott’s canola program this year.
Canola crop

Image: Trevor Piggott, Chapman Valley, pictured inspecting TruFlex canola development with Ty Gronow, Bayer, says last year TruFlex canola out-yielded Roundup Ready canola on the family’s property and so they adopted it for their full canola program this season. “The yield is there and with the greater spray options and spraying windows, it was a bit of a no-brainer for me,’’ he says.

Trevor and his wife Lizzy, who have three children, Jack (15), Oliver (13) and Thomas (9), continuously crop 2850 hectares of their ‘Taljora’ property and share-farmed land to wheat, lupins and canola. The land comprises predominantly Eradu sandplain, where a lupin-wheat-canola-wheat rotation is mainly employed, as well as red loam soils, where a wheat-wheat-canola rotation is generally followed.

Like many farmers in WA’s northern wheatbelt, wild radish and annual ryegrass are the main problem weeds, with some key herbicides becoming less effective due to the development of herbicide resistance.

The Piggotts started growing canola more than 10 years ago, initially to assist weed control and provide a crop disease break, but also to maximise profitability.

“Everything has to be profitable and canola is often the crop with the highest gross margin,’’ Trevor said.

The family started their canola enterprise growing triazine-tolerant (TT) varieties before switching to Roundup Ready® canola and then last year adding a new TruFlex® canola variety into their program.

 

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TruFlex canola is the second-generation herbicide tolerance trait developed by Bayer, offering growers greater flexibility through an extended glyphosate application window up to first flower and the opportunity to apply higher rates of Roundup Ready Herbicides for improved weed control.

Applications can be safely applied from cotyledon to first flower and rates of Roundup Ready Herbicide with PLANTSHIELD® can increase from 0.9 kg/ha to 1.3 kg/ha with a two-spray strategy, or growers can elect to use three applications at 0.9 kg/ha.

“We are seeing increasing levels of herbicide resistance with some key herbicides and TruFlex canola gives us another tool in the toolbox to combat that. Having the extra (spray) timing window and being able to use the higher rates with good crop safety is a big bonus,’’ Trevor said.

He said in the northern agricultural region, staggered ryegrass germinations can result from dry sowing and poor opening rains, causing problems with weed control timings, however TruFlex canola now provided a solution.

“You will have some plants that are very mature and others that are not so mature, but TruFlex now allows a much larger spraying window to get the Roundup (Ready Herbicides) on.’’

“Even when you get normal germinations and you have got your first application done, it still gives you a lot of time to get back to the other application if you are busy spraying other crops like wheat or lupins. There is a lot more flexibility and it’s good for logistics on the farm.

“We get warm winters in the northern ag region and everything – crops and weeds – grows very fast, but with TruFlex you can get your first application on to take out the first flush of weeds and then you have a lot bigger window to get back. It’s a week or so longer than traditional Roundup Ready canola varieties. You can come back on to the canola past the six-leaf stage and with the crop safety, you are not worried about getting a yield penalty from doing so. We haven’t seen any issues with the later spray timings.’’

Trevor said last year their first application with the TruFlex canola was around two-leaf and the second was applied at budding, whereas this season, due to earlier sowing, the applications were around four-leaf and then pushed out to first-flower.

The pre-emergent herbicide, propyzamide, also was used with the TruFlex canola and in one problem weed paddock, clethodim was included with a post-emergent application of 
Roundup Ready Herbicide with PLANTSHIELD to enhance annual ryegrass control.

 

Inspecting Canola crops

Image: Chapman Valley grower Trevor Piggott and Bayer Territory Business Manager Ty Gronow check on the good weed control achieved from applying a higher rate of Roundup Ready Herbicide in the family’s TruFlex canola crop.

Trevor said the benefits of growing TruFlex canola were quickly shown in the first year.

“We had it alongside Roundup Ready canola varieties, both were planted dry and then with just 3-5 mm of rain on top, we got a partial germination of weeds and it provided challenges for weed control.’’

“With the TruFlex canola, we had a larger (spraying) window to clean up the later germinations that emerged due to the holes in the crop from the poor establishment.

“Then with the vigour of the hybrid varieties, the end result was the TruFlex canola did out-yield the Roundup Ready canola.

“So this year we planted 100 per cent TruFlex canola, with two different varieties. The yield potential is high and with the greater spray options and spraying windows, it was a bit of a no-brainer for me.”

“When we were growing only the Roundup Ready canola varieties, it wasn’t uncommon to have to do post-flowering clean-ups of areas for weeds. Since growing the TruFlex canola, we haven’t had to do that.’’ 

Trevor said his canola program had advanced significantly and he already was planning for next year.

“From where we started 10 years ago with TT canola to now growing TruFlex canola, there is no comparison.’’

“I’ve already got 40% of our crop hedged this year and I can see demand for TruFlex canola being very high in this area with the good results around the region, so we’ve secured our seed for next year.”

“When it comes to the selection of varieties, most important is yield and following that is weed control – and TruFlex canola ticks both those boxes.’’

Bayer Territory Business Manager Ty Gronow said with resistant weeds limiting production of TT canola in the northern region, Roundup Ready canola varieties had mainly been grown, however uptake of new TruFlex canola varieties was definitely increasing.

“They are breeding better varieties with a lot more vigour, and a lot of growers are taking up the opportunity with those wider spray windows and higher rates,’’ Ty said.

“The growing conditions up here mean growers generally run out of time to get three applications on, so they go with two applications at the higher rate – it’s the most common and is really controlling those weeds.”

“Overall, it is showing good weed control compared with Roundup Ready canola varieties. With that longer spray window, you are getting cleaner paddocks, setting them up for good wheat crops in the following season.

“With the dry starts we can experience, growers can have early germinating canola that’s at first flower and later germinating canola that’s only at two to four-leaf in the same paddock. As a TruFlex variety, that can still be sprayed, whereas with Roundup Ready canola, you couldn’t spray that late. So it’s given growers that flexibility.’’ 

He said grower feedback indicated grain yield and quality with TruFlex canola varieties was “really high’’.

“They are up there with the Roundup Ready canola varieties and only getting better with the different TruFlex canola varieties coming out each year.’’

“The demand for TruFlex canola varieties for next year is really strong and that’s reflective of how well they have been performing in the field for growers.’’

 

About

Category

  • Grower Stories
  • Product News

Date

25 October, 2021

Location

Northern wheatbelt

WA map

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