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The challenge

Enabling farmers to capture economic benefits from early sown canola

Canola is a high return, high-cost crop. Climate and water availability are critical for canola production and poor seasonal conditions remain a key deterrent to farmers' interest in growing canola. There has been a lack of robust guidelines within the industry to reduce business risk to enable farmers to capture economic benefits from early sown canola.

Our response

Development of early sowing programs for canola to support the Australian grains industry

CSIRO, in collaboration with the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries played an instrumental role in the development of early sowing programs for canola to support the Australian grains industry.

The new practices have been progressively adopted by the canola industry to embrace higher yields, lower production risks and better manage the harvest process.

With the changes induced by climate change, the new practices have the potential to become 'new normal' for the canola industry in the coming years.

The results

Higher canola yield, lower production risks and a better managed harvest process

The uptake and adoption of new practices in the form of changing sowing date, variety choice, matching variety with optimum sowing date and nitrogen management have led to significant benefits for the farmers with higher canola, lower production risks and a better managed harvest process.

The cost-benefit analysis (including dead weight loss) suggests a benefit-cost ratio of 31 for the period 2018–25. The work has an estimated net present value of more than $530 million.

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