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Former WA banker invests in Pioneer® Seeds hybrid canola

A family farming operation in the Western Australian Central Wheatbelt is on track for a head-turning canola harvest in November, underscoring what growers can achieve in the Talbot region.

400px-canola-talbot.jpgShortly after leaving a corporate banking career in Perth, West Australian Nick Emin decided to return to the bush to co-manage a 1000-hectare crop farming operation at Talbot with his parents, Sharon and Derek.

Emin Valley Farms, about 75 km east of Perth, has blossomed under the Emin’s stewardship, growing barley, wheat, oats and Pioneer brand canola this winter.

By the time they harvest their 500 hectares of canola in November, they’ll be expecting a strong finish on the Pioneer® 45Y28RR and 44Y30RR Roundup Ready® hybrids they planted mid-April.

While Nick is optimistic about his third harvest since returning from the office towers of Perth, he’ll also concede the terrific canola season has been a team effort between his parents, Pioneer Seeds – and favourable growing conditions.

“My family has known Pioneer Seeds Field Services Consultant Rob Bagley for years and we’ve learned to trust Rob’s recommendations,” Nick says.

Part of this year’s hybrid canola was planted into Clearfield® canola stubble, which required careful management to minimise any potential problems with residual chemicals and disease.

On Rob’s recommendation the Emin family ensured their canola seed was protected by the Betta Strike® seed applied technology from Pioneer Seeds that safeguards plant seedlings during their most vulnerable stages and maximises harvest yield potential.

Rob later recommended using a fungicide that helped further reduce any outbreak of fungal infections.

“With these high-performing hybrids, another great way to minimise the risk of pests and diseases is to also give the canola plant good nutrition,” Rob says.

“It’s been known for some time that using herbicides alone to manage weeds is not the answer.

“Research and experience on-farm have clearly shown this to be true in Australia and globally.

“It’s inspirational to see what growers can achieve when quality hybrids are nurtured and grown under ideal conditions.”

Oil and standability

Both 45Y28RR and 44Y30RR are known for their high grain oil content and good standability.

By following the advice of their Pioneer Seeds Farm Services Consultant, the Emin’s canola paddocks at Talbot got all the nutrition they required.

“We had as close to perfect conditions as you can get,” Nick says.

Using their air seeder, they planted all their canola on 18 cm rows (seven inch) at 2.4 kg per hectare.

“It germinated evenly and cabbaged well,” he says.

“Overall, the crop has had about 145 units of nitrogen delivered via applications of compound fertiliser, Urea and chicken manure. 

“It’s a very healthy looking crop.

“It’s had one spray application of Prosaro® [fungicide], which was all it needed.”

“From a disease perspective, it’s done really well.”

A week ago, just as the Emin family’s canola crop had finished flowering and was starting to ‘pod up’, the Talbot region experienced westerly gales.

“We had up to 100 km/h winds last week and although the oats fell over, the canola was still standing,” Nick says of a crop he’s confident he’ll direct-head despite nature’s unwelcome interruption.

“We’ve grown the 44Y30RR a few times and it’s a pleasure to harvest because it’s not massively tall and feeds well [into the header].

“The 45Y28RR is somewhat taller but our header can handle it.”

In a region where falls totalling more than 250 mm are often considered a bonus, good growing conditions have certainly helped.

“This year we’ve had 360 mm of in-season rain and the crops are looking sensational.”

As well as expecting oil yields in the high forty per cent range, Nick’s been reflecting on his move from Perth and feels confident he made the right decision.

“It’s so satisfying to be able to strengthen the financial position of your family and community by delivering a terrific result in the paddock.”

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Above: Emin Valley Farms’ Pioneer 45Y28RR hybrid canola at Talbot, about 75 km east of Perth. 

Below: Talbot grower Nick Emin (right) whose family has grown a remarkable canola crop this year. Their paddock of Pioneer 44Y30RR hybrid canola is on track for a quality finish, despite experiencing gales in early September.

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