DUPONT Pioneer has launched a campaign to close a yield gap between Australian canola growers and their overseas counterparts.
As part of this campaign, more than 300 growers, agronomists and consultants attended canola technology showcases run by DuPont Pioneer in NSW and WA recently.
The company's canola product and agronomy manager Clint Rogers said there was a concerning gap between the yield achieved in Australia compared with some other countries.
"What's behind the closing the yield gap campaign is the fact there's a serious yield gap between Australian canola yields versus our Canadian counterparts, as well as our competitors in Europe," he said.
"Our major competition in export markets are achieving higher yields on the back of higher hybrid technology take-up.
"In the past 10 years we have seen the yield gap continue to grow, so ultimately our canola is becoming less competitive against our international counterparts."
Canadian, European and Chinese canola yields are, on average, 400 kilograms a hectare higher than in Australia.
"A lot of this gap can be explained by hybrid adoption," Mr Rogers said.
"In Canada and Europe, adoption is well above 90 per cent and edging close to 100pc in some areas.
"The reason for the adoption is that so much open-pollinated material doesn't have the same genetic potential as hybrids."
But when using hybrids, it was important that growers made the most of them.
"If growers make an investment in hybrids they need to give it every chance of producing its optimal yield, by using the right rotation, knowing where canola fits in their rotation, and using the correct management techniques, whether that be using fungicides, herbicides or insecticides," Mr Rogers said.
"It's also about making sure the plant is receiving optimum nutrition."
The showcase also focused on yield advancement and the impact of new hybrid technology.
He said new Optimum GLY herbicide-tolerant canola was an exciting technology for DuPont Pioneer.
The glyphosate-tolerant variety had a wider window for application than Roundup Ready technology.
Although it was still a few years away from commercial release, it was "well evolved".
At present, SA growers would not have access to this technology even when it was released, because of the state's GM moratorium.
Mr Rogers said there was other interesting material coming through that was not GM, with a focus on sclerotinia resistance, shattering tolerance, and heat and drought tolerance.
DuPont Pioneer was supportive of grower choice in SA, and of Grain Producers SA's petition to lift the moratorium.
"We would love to be able to offer growers more choice," he said.
"In the past 10 years we've spent a lot of money investing in Roundup Ready technology.
"The yield gains made have seen Roundup Ready varieties exceed both the Clearfield and Triazine Tolerant hybrids that are on the market.
"They are ultimately higher yielding and in a lot of cases more profitable than other hybrid systems.
"We're glad to hear GPSA have put out the petition."
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