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Seed growers encouraged to communicate

25 November 2008

Seed growers encouraged to communicate

Oil seed rape or canola growers are being encouraged by Federated Farmers Grains chairman Ian Morten to adhere to the principles of a ‘Seed Crop Isolation Distance Mapping Scheme’.

The Seed Crop Isolation Distance Mapping Scheme is designed to manage the isolation distances required between high value cruciferous and vegetable seed crops so that they do not cross pollinate each other when flowering. Pollen from such crops can travel and pollinate similar crop species several kilometres away.

“Oil seed rape or canola also known as brassica napus, like other many other vegetable seed crops, is an out crossing species and has the potential to pollinate and therefore contaminate seed crops of similar vegetable species if grown too close on neighbouring farms,”Mr Morten said.

“The loss in value to a grower and contracting seed company, through a single crop failure caused by contamination can run into tens of thousands of dollars in lost earnings.”

He says the simplest way of avoiding this issue is for growers to talk to their neighbours before planting to ensure there is not going to be any conflict.

“Communication between all parties is important and is recognized as a key component of the Seed Crop Isolation Distance Mapping Scheme.”

Mr Morten asks new participants and especially new growers who are contracting or planting out-crossing brassica and vegetable species to participate in the Seed Crop Isolation Distance Mapping Scheme.

Large scale production of the crop brassica napus also know as oil seed rape or canola is on the rise again in New Zealand. Increased production is being driven both by a government mandate for renewable sources of energy and local growth in the edible oil processing industry. Demand for oil seed rape production is benefiting many farmers, especially those who are struggling to achieve reasonable income from their traditional sheep farming operations.


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