Achieving 4 t/ha of irrigated canola in southern NSW

Luke Gaynor3, Tony Napier1, Neroli Graham2, Cynthia Podmore3, Daniel Johnston1, Deb Slinger3 and Glenn Morris1

1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Yanco Agricultural Institute, Trunk Road 80, Yanco, NSW, 2703,,

2 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth Agricultural Institute, 4 Marsden Park Road, Calala, NSW, 2340

3 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, PMB Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650


Irrigated canola production is expanding in the southern irrigation regions of NSW with yields of greater than 4 t/ha commonly targeted but rarely achieved. The majority of agronomic research on canola is currently focused on dryland production where average yields are much lower than for irrigated production. The aim of these experiments is to determine management factors required to achieve maximum yields for canola under irrigation systems.

The effect of varietal selection, plant population, sowing date and nitrogen (N) management on grain yield, quality and lodging were evaluated in three experiments at Leeton, in southern NSW, in 2016. Sowing on the 5 April in this environment, resulted in a higher grain yield, reduced lodging and lower oil content when compared to the later sowing on 26 April. A plant population range of 35–56 plants/m2 resulted in higher grain yields than populations of 18 plants/m2, and 68 plants/m2. Increases in crop lodging were associated with higher populations. Low rates of applied nitrogen of 150 kg N/ha resulted in reduced grain yield, compared to increased rates of applied N, although lodging increased and oil content declined with increasing rates of applied N. Varietal selection was observed to be one of the most important factors driving yield potential with the highest yielding variety Pioneer® 45Y88 (CL) achieving over 4 t/ha grain yield in all three experiments.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

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