Low grain prices driving increase in Victorian canola planting

Author: | Date: 20 Feb 2012


Low grain prices driving increase in Victorian canola planting

Low grain prices are impacting on crop selection for the coming season in Victoria.

Speaking after this week’s Grains Research and Development Corporation industry forum in Ballarat, GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon said the outlook for the season was mixed, particularly due to low grain prices.

“Demand remains for what we produce, but prices are not that attractive, particularly for wheat and barley,” Mr Shannon said.

With canola prices retaining some value, growers are considering increased plantings of the oilseed crop and even in some cases, planting canola back-to-back, “a fairly risky process”, according to Mr Shannon.

“Canola prices seem to be holding up a bit better and people do make farming decisions based on what prices are doing.

“In the past, planting decisions seemed to centre on agronomy and good rotations, with price a secondary consideration.

“Now prices seem to be more of a driver in decision-making.

“Admittedly, we are following a year where prices were very low and the result was very disappointing for some growers.

“Growers coming out of a drought haven’t got the confidence to commit to forward contracting or selling and are taking a very cautious approach.”

DSCF7421At the GRDC grains research Update in Ballarat, advisers, consultants and agronomists, together with growers, discussed issues around crop selection, price and also the continued problem of weed resistance and emerging weeds, fleabane and windmill grass.

These were among the major topics discussed at the Update where industry experts from throughout Australia and international guest speakers provided the latest agronomic advice and insights from cutting-edge research.


Some of the key themes covered included:

• Incorporating digital technology into on-farm processes
• Managing weeds in herbicide tolerant crops in Canada
• A best and fairest summary of cereal and canola varieties
• Effective and efficient control measures for fleabane and windmill grass
• Spray regulations and chemical availability in the United Kingdom and European Union
• Sustaining herbicide effectiveness in the Western Australian cropping belt and the measures being imposed for control, such as the mouldboard plough.


Chandra Ball, Elders, Ararat, Mick Walsh, Elders, Ballarat and Bridie Tierney, Elders, Mortlake.

John Harvey, managing director GRDC, Mark Phelan, Bayer Crop Science, Horsham, David Smith, ORM, Birchip and Susan Findlay-Tickner, GRDC southern panel member, Horsham.

Further information about the GRDC Updates can be obtained by visiting www.grdc.com.au/updatedates or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email admin@orm.com.au.

GRDC Project Code: ORM00001

Media releases and other media products can be found at www.grdc.com.au/media

For further information or images contact: Sheena Coffey
Porter Novelli
03 9289 9555
0466 573 340

GRDC Project Code ORM00001