A new triazine tolerant hybrid performed well in a side-by-side comparison last season on the property of Andrew Hawkins, east of Berrigan, in southern New South Wales. Mr Hawkins planted Pioneer® brand 45T01 (TT) and Hyola 559 in a pre-watered paddock on April 27 and direct-headed both at harvest on November 21.

45T0145T01 (TT) was the higher yielding hybrid at 1.89 tonnes per hectare and 45.8 per cent oil with Hyola 559 reaching 1.58 tonnes per hectare and 46 per cent oil. The oil percentage from the canola was particularly impressive and eclipsed an adjacent paddock of Bonito which struggled to achieve 40 per cent.

Mr Hawkins said a planting rate of 2.5 kilograms per hectare was used, although the large seed size of 45T01 (TT) did surprise him and meant less plants germinated across the area.

“The plants got up and away and they appeared to compensate pretty well. They were really large plants so the yield probably wasn’t affected too much at all. “

“It was a lot taller, a lot bigger, with a lot more growth about it. You could see it was a hybrid.  We had strips in a dryland paddock and you could see the difference in height.”

A decision was made not to irrigate the crop during the spring period with water saved for a cereal crop.

“In mid to late spring we didn’t get too much rain and the canola was able to utilise what moisture there was in the soil,” Mr Hawkins said.

Direct heading techniques have been used successfully on the property for a number of seasons and are achieved with the use of a belt Draper front on a John Deere header.

“We had a lot of issues with windrows getting wet underneath, just jamming up the header,” Mr Hawkins said. “So we prefer to use our Draper front and direct head every canola variety we have been using. We haven’t had any problems with it.”

“If the canola is standing quite nicely it will feed in and sit on the Draper belts. With the Draper you get a nice even mat of canola coming in.  No lumps.”

He said direct heading meant they didn’t have to rely on windrow contractors getting there at the right time and also saved the cost of that service.

“With a hot finish the canola dries out really well.”