Cropping

Weed control behind crops

By Country News

The ability to manage difficult-to-control weeds has spurred Australian canola growers to plant just under half-a-million hectares to Roundup Ready canola in 2018.

Sixty per cent of growers surveyed by agricultural company Monsanto said they chose to grow Roundup Ready canola varieties because it allowed them to control tough weeds and resulted in cleaner paddocks for crops following canola.

Monsanto Australia managing director Tony May said although overall hectares of canola planted this year was down, the total amount of Roundup Ready canola planted by growers in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia continued to grow year on year.

‘‘The lack of rain, delayed break and significant wind events are throwing yet another challenge at farmers across the grainbelts and, in general, crops are a month behind for this time of year,’’ he said.

‘‘We are forecasting that growers have planted 498897ha of Roundup Ready canola, which we estimate will be about 22 per cent of the total canola crop across the three states that allow commercial plantings of genetically-modified canola.

‘‘This year, 179 new growers will plant GM canola for the first time.’’