TSP Talk – June 2015

Farmers to plant largest GM canola crop yet

Australian farmers continue to embrace GM technology in greater numbers and have now planted more than 1.5 million hectares of Roundup Ready® canola since its introduction in 2008.

Despite an expected 9% drop in the size of this season’s overall canola crop, local growers have purchased a record one million tonnes of Roundup Ready canola seed, up 15% on last season.

More than 436,000 hectares of GM canola will be planted this year, up from nearly 350,000 hectares last year. GM canola varieties now make up 22% of the canola planted in the states that allow GM canola to be grown – Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

Monsanto Australia Managing Director, Daniel Kruithoff, said farmers continue to turn to Roundup Ready canola despite a tough start to the canola season.
“Another strong increase in the area planted to Roundup Ready canola varieties clearly demonstrates the ongoing value growers see in the technology. Nearly 1,200 farmers will grow GM canola this season, 20% more growers than last year, and we expect this growth to continue.

“Roundup Ready canola boosts the productivity of farmland by providing growers with an effective tool to manage weeds which are estimated to cost farmers about $1.5 billion to control and an additional $2.5 billion in lost agricultural production.

“Growers are also turning to Roundup Ready canola to improve their yields through high performing GM varieties.

“It is becoming clear that GM crops will play a bigger role in helping Australian farmers meet the growing demand across Asia for our quality food and fibre, thanks to the growing acceptance and cultivation of GM crops across the region.
“Australian growers are facing strong competition in key markets such as China and Japan which last year imported $4 billion worth of canola, most of it GM, from Canada,” Mr Kruithoff said.

The share of Roundup Ready canola planted this season rose in every state reaching 30% in WA, 13% in Victoria and 11% in NSW.


Register now for the Australian Grains Industry Conference: 27-29 July 2015

The Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC), the premier conference for grain industry market participants and service providers, will be held at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne over 28-29 July 2015. This must attend event is hosted by leading grain industry associations Australian Oilseeds Federation, Grain Trade Australia and Pulse Australia.

The AGIC is a high-level market event that brings together the Australian and global grain industry in a premium networking event as well providing the latest information concerning grain markets in Australia and globally.

The event will comprise a conference program addressing cutting-edge issues in evolving grain markets and a trade show. A number of new innovations are planned including a Growers Day on 27th July and special events within the main program. Refer to Program

Over 850 delegates attended the Conference in 2014 and the 2015 Conference is expected to draw an even larger audience. Any organisation involved in the production, logistics and marketing of grain and supporting services will benefit from involvement in the conference.

Register Now

Keep up to date with the latest conference news at or follow on twitter @AUSGRAINCONF and follow the conversation using #AGIC2015.


Resistance Management Surveys to be distributed soon

As TSPs, you will soon be receiving this year’s Resistance Management Survey (RMS) which is to be undertaken with a percentage of your growers. The RMS is designed to gain an understanding of how effective the Resistance Management Plan has been and to ensure grower compliance with the principles of the plan. Results derived from the survey will be reported to the Herbicide Resistance Consultative Group (HRCG) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
The RMS is a retrospective survey conducted on farmers who have grown Roundup Ready canola in the previous season e.g. 2014 growers will be surveyed in 2015. Growers will be answering questions on pre, in-crop and post-cropping activities in the paddock where their Roundup Ready canola was grown.
These Resistance Management Surveys will be made available to TSPs for a selected percentage of growers. If you haven’t already received any Resistance Management Surveys, you can expect to receive them in the next few days, if any of your growers have been selected.The deadline for the entry of the completed Resistance Management Surveys into MTrack is August 31.
Monsanto pays TSPs the service fee for the Resistance Management Surveys on October 15. This payment is conditional, based on survey results being entered by the required date.


Trials test tramline weed-burning theory

Source: Farm Weekly

Trials test tramline weed-burning theory


A NEW weed burning machine – the first of its kind in Australia – is being tested in the Esperance area to tackle herbicide resistance.
Precision Agronomics Australia (PAA) is trialling a prototype machine comprising shroud-protected twin burners, aimed at killing small weeds in controlled traffic tramlines during harvest.

PAA agronomist Quenten Knight said the twin burners are fuelled by propane gas and reached a temperature of about 400 celsius while travelling at between 3km/h and 5km/h.

A rig has been developed by PAA employee Nick Ross that can be mounted on the front or rear of tractors.

Mr Knight said weed burning is not a new concept, but focusing it on a narrow swathe could be appropriate as part of a system for controlled traffic.

“Farmers who are using a controlled traffic system are dumping all their weed seeds and chaff onto compacted tram lines at harvest so the weeds are contained in a very hostile environment,” Mr Knight said.

“Most of the weed seeds are going to rot or mulch down when the rain gets into those tram lines.

“But the remaining weed seeds are vulnerable to becoming resistant to multiple herbicide groups.

“If farmers have got a weed problem in those tramlines they are tending to still treat those weeds with herbicides which potentially will increase resistant weeds.”

Mr Knight said the weed burning technology would be appropriate for tramline operations, with wheel tracks being about 50cm wide.

Read the full Farm Weekly article here.


Spray twice with Roundup Ready Herbicide with PLANTSHIELD® by Monsanto

Given the importance of controlling key weeds such as wild radish and ryegrass, the possible multiple germinations of these key weeds and the need to reduce weed seed banks in the rotation, it is recommended that growers apply Roundup Ready Herbicide with PLANTSHIELD by Monsanto twice during the spray application window.

1st application at the cotyledon to two leaf stage as above

    1. It is important to apply early to leave sufficient time for 2nd application
    2. Early application removes weed competition which has the potential to significantly reduce yield potential.

2nd application from the four to six leaf stage shown above

  • This controls subsequent germinations to maximise weed control and deliver clean paddocks

Canola can grow rapidly and growers can miss the spray window – particularly when bad weather intervenes. Canola generally grows one new leaf every week. So to go from 4 to 6 leaf normally only takes two weeks – showery/windy weather can easily lead to a missed spray opportunity.


Market prices on the rise as weather worries continue

Source: Farm Weekly

West Australian canola prices have surged about $40 a tonne, giving growers the first positive movements in the canola market in more than a year. Weather in both hemispheres and a frost in Canada earlier this month forcing growers to replant some of their canola crops are contributing to the price rally.

Profarmer chief analyst Hannah Janson said the surge in the canola price is also being fuelled by international figures indicating canola plantings will be down across many regions including Australia, China, the European Union and Canada.

“Canada has had a pretty big export year and have run down a lot of their old crop stock,” Ms Janson said. “Traders were already starting to show nervousness about the amount of Canadian canola stocks, and then the crop was hit with the frost.

“There’s that bit of concern as to what impact that will have on how much canola will be left at the end of the year.”

Ms Janson said WA’s new crop wheat prices were also being propped up by some concern over the season because of the early stage of crops and lack of rain in recent weeks.

She identified a $40 a tonne premium in Kwinana values over Chicago futures market prices which is of benefit to growers but said it was clear there was more concern over the east coast crop outcomes as the premiums for those growers were higher.

WA growers are also contributing to local price premiums as they hold off further sales of new and old crop grain and traders try to encourage a response by raising prices.

Ms Janson said the sweet spot in the market could disappear with the worries of growers if rain forecast for WA eventuated this week.

“Because it has been dry, not a lot of growers are comfortable selling,” she said.

“They’re looking at price and their situation and not seeing a price offering being enough benefit to take on the risk of selling. The risk would be if we did get a significant rain event, the subsequent increase to both grower and trade confidence could see some of this premium come out of the market.

Read the full Farm Weekly article here.