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A picture worth almost a thousand kilos

The only measure of a canola variety’s performance that really matters to growers is the yield at harvest, but it is always encouraging to see positive signs throughout the season.

When Quambatook grain growers Pete and Gerald Williamson trialled InVigor T 4510 on their property Willstone Farm last year, they got a very clear look at how well it was tracking as far back as early July, as BASF Area Sales Manager Ashleigh Knight explains.

“In recent years Pete and Gerald have mainly been growing Stingray. Luke Maher, their AGRIvision agronomist, was keen to show Pete how T 4510 might compare with the retained Stingray seed they were planting. So I supplied two bags of seed and they planted a small block of T 4510 in one corner of a paddock which was otherwise all Stingray. 

“Luke organised NDVI imaging on July 5, and it shows a clear contrast between the trial plot of T 4510 and the Stingray crop in the rest of the paddock.” 
The imaging technology reveals the biomass across the surveyed area. That solid strip of dark blue in the bottom left corner of the image represents the dense green cover of the T 4510 and is in complete contrast to the patchy and much thinner cover elsewhere.

The second image is a yield map which confirms that the contrast between the two varieties continued all the way to harvest. It shows that the InVigor T 4510 plot, which was sown at 2 kg/ha with 40 kg of Granulock, produced between 1.3 and 1.5 t/ha with oil content of 41.7 to 42%. Stingray’s yields were more uneven, but averaged out at about 900 kg/ha – 30–40% less.

Ashleigh Knight called in to see Pete Williamson in December. 

“Pete said he’d really noticed the huge difference early on. The T 4510 showed more early vigour and better plant numbers, which translated into the higher yield. And of course he was pretty impressed with the end result.”   

Ashleigh says this trial is consistent with the other paddock trials she supported last year and the NVT results so far. “2019 was a pretty tough year for a lot of growers, but InVigor T 4510 seems to have confirmed both its resilience in dry conditions and its ability to produce very strong yields when conditions are good.” 
 

ndvi-trial-paddock-july

NDVI imaging of the trial paddock from July, showing the solid blue strip where T 4510 was growing strongly.

ndvi-trial-paddock-harvest

The yield map at harvest, where green indicates the higher yields and red the lowest.