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Canola

Canola refers to the seed and oil that is produced by several cultivars of the rape plant, generally cultivars of either rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) or field mustard/turnip rape (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, syn. B. campestris L.). Canola now dominates the consumption markets for oil and meal and is grown in the United States, Canada and Australia as well as in Europe and China.

Specific considerations for Canola

Total plant biomass directly relates to yield while use of chemical fertilisers is shown to negatively impact emergence.

A BioAg program looks to reduce the requirement for starter fertiliser while also ensuring adequate nutrients, in particular nitrogen and sulphur, are readily available to encourage early plant growth. The use of biostimulants is included to promote emergence and early growth, with foliar applications recommended to drive vegetative growth and later flowering and seed set.

A BioAg program will target improvement in soils that will enhance nitrogen fixation, cycling and uptake, reducing nitrogen loss pathways and providing improved utilisation and plant uptake at lower rates of N fertilisation. For organic systems, improving nitrogen fixation from atmosphere, cycling and plant uptake are key aspects of successful crops.

The BioAg approach

BioAg nutrition programs are incorporated into a growers current nutrition program. Our objective is to make fertiliser and other inputs work better and build and support healthy and balanced soils and plants. Programs are custom-made for each block, using advanced soil and tissue analysis. These integrated programs typically incorporate a range of BioAg solid and liquid nutrients, often associated with conventional inputs. BioAg fertility programs can be developed to meet organic certification requirements.

Soil test

An experienced and Fertcare accredited BioAg agronomist works with you and provides technical expertise on your crop. If you don’t already have recent soil test data, we arrange a soil test for you. The results provide essential information about the soil fertility and soil structure for better performance. Download the BioAg soil sampling procedure here.

A tailored program

Based on the results of soil tests, crop requirements and other factors such as soil structure, climate, history of the block, and targets that you are trying to achieve, we provide a tailored program that aims to improve soil fertility and maximise yield response. We support you through the program to ensure that inputs are applied at the right time, in the right way.

Leaf and tissue testing

Any nutritional program cannot foresee the changes in weather, disease, or pests, that may impact a crop.  During the season, growers may observe issues or evidence of stress in their crop. This may be due to greater growth or yields than planned, a trace element shortage or abiotic stresses. An on-farm inspection and associated leaf or tissue tests will promptly identify any issues, which can quickly be addressed by applying the appropriate inputs. Download the BioAg leaf sampling procedure here.

High yielding crops require fertile balanced soils

Key to highly productive crops is the function of soils. Soil structure, chemistry and biology are critical in supporting crops throughout the growing season. By improving all aspects of the soil, crops will benefit from improved access to moisture, due to improved infiltration and water holding capacity, improved access to nutrition through improved nutrient cycling, fixation (for N) and a reduction in loss pathways, improved resilience to abiotic stresses and disease, improved root growth providing access to additional moisture and nutrients as well as improved carbon sequestration and a range of other benefits (link to resources - soil health).

Beneficial microorganisms stimulate the plant’s root growth and help protect it from abiotic stresses. This is made possible through mutually beneficial relationships that microbes develop with plants, for example mycorrhizal associations.   BioAg products programs supply essential macronutrients (N, P, K, S, Ca), trace elements (B, Zn, Cu etc.),  microbial food and metabolites beneficial microorganisms that colonise root systems, improving soil function, plant health and productivity.

Canola oil sits in a small glass bowl with scattered canola flowers to on a white background to its left

Canola – key features of a BioAg program

The following table illustrates the cropping process and potential solutions depending on soil test results and other contributing factors. Call your BioAg Area Manager to discuss your individual needs.

Planning
Objective
Growers to have a plan in place for the cropping season, that takes into account the specific nature and long term objective of their soils and farming practice.
Activity
Book a soil test and consultation with your local BioAg Representative.
BioAg Product
Prior to sowing
Objective
Provide optimal soil conditions and nutrition to support crops. Prepare soils for the period of the rotation addressing soil structure, chemistry (eg pH) and nutrition. Incorporate BioAgPhos which enables a reduction in the use of chemical starter fertiliser which can reduce emergence.
Activity
When applied, ameliorants support crops through the entire season, by including sustained release phosphate at a rate based on soil phosphate levels, depending on the needs of your crop and future amelioration plans.
BioAg Product
BioAgPhos: 100 – 500kg/ha
Prior to sowing
Objective
Provide optimal soil conditions and nutrition to support crops. Prepare soils for the period of the rotation addressing soil structure, chemistry (eg pH) and nutrition. Incorporate BioAgPhos which enables a reduction in the use of chemical starter fertiliser which can reduce emergence.
Activity
When applied, ameliorants support crops through the entire season, by including sustained release phosphate at a rate based on soil phosphate levels, depending on the needs of your crop and future amelioration plans.
BioAg Product
Sulphate of Ammonia: 150 – 500kg/ha
At sowing
Objective
Provide the essential nutrition and food sources to promote emergence and early plant growth and vigour, critical in the development of stronger, more resilient crops.
Activity
Incorporate a soil biostimulant to increase soil organic carbon and important microbial food sources and metabolites to improve nutrient access and minimise nutrient losses during seed emergence and early growth.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 5L/ha as a seed inoculant or preferably diluted and applied to soil
Key growth stages
Objective
Stimulate crop growth at critical growth stages, respond to abiotic stresses and optimise the uptake and use of foliar nutrients.
Activity
Foliar application at early growth (cabbage stage) - diluted through a boom spray and in conjunction with planned applications of chemicals or fertilisers.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow: 2 – 4L/ha possibly more than once per season
Maturing crop
Objective
Improve fruiting, seed set and seed fill by stimulating plant physiology and providing important micronutrients for this stage of the crop's development.
Activity
Foliar application at stem elongation prior to flowering - diluted through a boom spray and in conjunction with planned applications of chemicals or fertilisers.
BioAg Product
Fruit & Balance: 2 – 4L/ha

Canola resources

  • Mixed farming case study, Manildra NSW

    A biological soil nutrient program has dramatically improved the productivity and general well-being of a mixed farming enterprise operated by the Watts family in Central West NSW. Charlie and Jenny Watts, together with their son and daughter-in-law, Andrew and Tina Wat...

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  • Pasture case study, Corobimilla NSW

    Riverina farmer, Andrew Forrest, has transformed a tired farm into a highly productive property, yielding as well as any in the district after adopting a minimum till biological farming system. Andrew, his wife, Sue, and his sister and brother-in-law, Kate and Kevin Hal...

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  • Cropping case study, Dingee VIC

    Colin Falls is a fourth-generation farmer with a property that has been in his family for 104 years. Since making the move to BioAg programs some years ago, the improvement in soil health his farm experienced meant they were able to increase the quality of their product...

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  • Mixed farming case study, Narrandera NSW

    Riverina mixed farmer, Drew Vidler, has noted a marked improvement in the health of his Merino sheep and the quality of their wool since he adopted a minimum-till biological farming system eight years ago. Together with wife, Janelle, and children, Jock, Harrison and Al...

    Read more

Recommended products

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

BioAgPhos

Solid Fertiliser

Highly reactive phosphate fertiliser made from high-grade reactive phosphate rock combined with BioAg’s microbial digesting agent.

BioAg Biostimulant product Soil & Seed

Soil & Seed

Biostimulant

Formulated to improve soil microbial activity, natural soil fertility and moisture and nutrient utilisation.

BioAg Biostimulant product Balance & Grow

Balance & Grow

Biostimulant

Formulated to increase vegetative growth, root development and soil microbial activity. Ideal for broadacre, pastures and horticulture.

BioAg Biostimulant product Fruit & Balance

Fruit & Balance

Biostimulant

Formulated to increase flowering, fruit set and soil microbial activity. Fruit & Balance enhances the nutritional value and quality of fruit or grain by increasing plant sugar levels.

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

Committed to organics

With a core range of natural fertilisers and biostimulants, BioAg can offer an extensive range of products certified by Australian Organics, suitable for use in organic systems.