Grazing canola: pure madness?


Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Alison Frischke (BCG)
Dannielle McMillan (BCG)
Year(s) 2012
Contributor Birchip Cropping Group
Trial location(s) Sea Lake, VIC
Grazing canola: pure madness? locations

To evaluate a vigorous hybrid canola variety in a low rainfall Mallee environment for its grazing value at different growth stages, and its ability to recover from grazing.

Key messages

Subsoil moisture and an early sowing opportunity meant that grazing did not affect yield or the gross income return of canola at Sea Lake in 2012. Dry conditions increased canola tissue nitrate levels to toxic levels as plants matured. Canola has a shorter grazing window than cereals, and requires careful grazing management to avoid high tissue nitrate situations, and roughage to balance fibre.

Lead research organisation N/A
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC BWD00018
Related program N/A

This project is supported by Northern Victoria Grain and Graze 2 (GRDC project BWD00018; funded by GRDC and Caring for Our Country).

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Canola
Treatment type(s)
  • Grazing: Timing
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

Sea Lake 2012

Sow date 19 April 2012
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication 4

19 April - MAP (55kg/ha) 12 July -Slam (90kg/ha) top-dressed 14 Aug -urea (90kg/ha) on ‘mid cabbage plus nitrogen at budding’ treatment only

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Treatment 1
Oil (%) Gross income ($/ha) Grain yield (t/ha)
1 Ungrazed 40.4 867 1.69
2 Grazed 6-8 leaf 41.5 965 1.88
3 Grazed mid cabbage 41 936 1.83
4 Grazed late cabbage 40.1 898 1.81
5 Grazed 6-8 & late cabbage 38.3 804 1.64
6 Grazed mid cabbage + N at bud form 40.6 917 1.78

Grain yield t/ha


Gross income $/ha


Oil %

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Sea Lake, VIC Sandy loam
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Sea Lake, VIC Lake
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Sea Lake VIC
2012 549.6mm
2011 587.2mm
2010 588.0mm
2009 526.6mm
2008 500.6mm
2007 499.9mm
2006 528.2mm
2005 565.3mm
2004 518.4mm
2003 516.3mm
2002 469.9mm
2001 498.5mm
2000 473.9mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Sea Lake VIC 2012

Observed climate information

Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 102mm

Derived climate information

Sea Lake VIC

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate

Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.