By monitoring individual paddocks over a
wide range of farms in Western Australia the Department of Agriculture & Food WA
Profitable Crop and Pasture Sequencing project is working to determine where and when
break crops deliver real benefits The aim is to help growers make sound
crop rotation decisions resulting in a better return on
investment in break crops For Mike Bothe using GM canola as a break crop has helped him get on top of a ryegrass problem at his farm near Coroow in WA’s northern wheatbelt. We’d like
to be in a position where we didn’t have to worry about the weeds but we just find after two or three years
wheat that we need to grow GM canola just to get the weeds back
under control a bit and then the year after canola we are
using Sakura. Mainly because it hasn’t got a great weed burden generally. So we’re
trying to protect Sakura a bit and then the following years we will use Treflan Diruon and before it goes back into canola again. Obviously we are finding that you get a good clean canola crop and you do get a yield benefit in the wheat the following year. The last two years and I’m assuming this year will have a reasonable finish, we are finding that the GM canola is, in fact last year was more profitable then our wheat and you know we were sort of 1.6 tonne in our canola and 2 tonne in our wheat. Generally it’s half but I think the GM canola seed is just getting that big and its got a lot more vigor than the TT we are finding that it’s become very successful. Our goal would to stretch our wheat out further, just so keep our weeds under control but we are finding that ol’ mother nature at its best with three wheats is probably as much as we
can go before we got back into canola. I think that
you know a canola 1 in 4 is probably where we will be at and mainly coz we are getting a bit more confidence with canola. You know a few years ago it was sort of a last resort to put a bit of canola in because we had a weed issues but we were finding with the new
varieties of canola they are growing really well and have a lot of vigor and dollars per hectare. They are getting right up there with wheat so that will make the choice decisions a bit easier.