Testing retained sowing seed of hybrid canola over a range of rainfall zones


Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

"If you are considering retaining your own canola seed - this provides useful information when making that decision."

What is the problem? 

The aim of this research was to measure the effect of retaining hybrid canola sowing seed compared to the original hybrid (ie. as purchased from seed supplier) for a range of herbicide tolerance options in a range of rainfall zones in southern Australia.

What did the research involve?

Replicated trials were conducted in 2012 at four locations within different rainfall zones in the southern region. Site location in South Australia were:

  • Minnipa and Lameroo for low rainfall conditions.
  • Bordertown for a medium rainfall site.
  • Bool Lagoon for a high rainfall site.

Plot size was 10m long by 8 rows and three replicates were sown. Trials were conducted to compare the original hybrid seed with first generation farmer retained hybrid seed. Retained hybrid sowing seed was sourced from individual farmers commercial crops from 2011.

What were the key findings?

  • In many cases higher grain yields and reduced impact of blackleg occurred when commercial hybrid sowing seed was used rather than retained sowing seed.
  • Benefits of commercial hybrid sowing seed outweighed the cost of buying that seed.
  • Differences between hybrids are likely to be caused by the hybrid breeding system being used by the different companies and the degree of heterosis between parental lines that are used to produce each hybrid.

Final comment

Similar results have been shown in recent studies in Canada where a yield reduction of up to 13% has been shown for retained hybrid canola seed.

2013 - Australia - SARDI - GRDC
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