Record breaking oilseed rape crop from Australia

Pete Berry

A New South Wales mixed farming business has achieved a record oilseed rape seed yield of 7.51 t/ha (adjusted for 9% moisture) measured over a weighbridge from a 33 ha field. The oil content was 42% (at 9% moisture) giving a gross output yield of 7.72 t/ha.  

The “Mayfield” farm at Oberon is owned by the Hawkins family, managed by Peter Brooks and advised by farm agronomist James Cheetham from Delta Agribusiness. Peter explained that this achievement was the result of more than a decade of working closely with Dr John Kirkegaard from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), backed by Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment.


Australia Oilseed Rape Crop Record
L-R John Kirkegaard (CSIRO), James Cheetham (Delta Ag), Peter Brooks (Grower)

The crop was sown on 28th February at a seed rate of 2.5 kg/ha to establish 30 plants/m2 and windrowed on the 7th December. The field had a long history of pasture, so the crop only required 100 kg N/ha (top-dressed after grazing in winter) and one fungicide was applied after flowering.

CSIRO farming systems researcher Dr John Kirkegaard explained that the region (elevation 1000m) experiences very cool and sunny conditions during the critical period of yield determination during the flowering period when the number of seeds is set.  The high and evenly distributed rainfall in 2020 supported the long cool, seed filling period.