When to take advantage of early seeding opportunities for canola in WA

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Conference Title

System Solutions for Complex Problems: Proceedings of the 20th Australian Agronomy Conference, September 2022

Place of Publication





Agronomy and Crop Sciences


Many WA growers are considering planting canola earlier to make use of increasingly infrequent sowing opportunities and to fit in with cropping systems. This work was initiated to investigate benefits and disadvantages and explore how early is too early. Eight large field trials with 4-5 sowing times (March 19-June 11) were established over low and medium rainfall sites in the WA Agricultural region over two seasons (2019-2020). Plots were irrigated pre- seeding and as necessary for crop survival post-seeding. Highest yields and gross margins were generated from the first two sowing times on March 19 and April 8. Contributing factors to high yields with early sowing are likely to be reduced heat stress during flowering and reduced drought stress during podding, compared with traditional (April 30) sowing. Risk factors included poor establishment, crop-survival, frost at the end of flowering, predation and disease.