September 19, 2011
Australia's Geelong canola output to be the best
Geelong's canola crops valued at about AUD25 million (US$25.6 million) are predicted to be the best in ten years.
Rural real estate specialist said with more than 20,000ha of canola in the region, he estimates Geelong's canola bounty will top last year's crops.
"Canola in Australia today has proved to be a highly successful crop and it really is going from strength to strength," the specialist said.
"Its productivity over the nation brings in hundreds of millions of dollars."
Standing among 70ha of canola in full bloom, Leopold farmer Stan Sutas is reaping the benefits.
"I grew barley with a share farmer for quite a while but I changed to canola and I have not looked back," Sutas said.
"Last year we had great crops but this year, because of the rain we are having, it is growing really great. Canola is going to bring AUD400-500 (US$410-512) a tonne. It is going up now and it might even go up to AUD600 (US$615)."
Sutas planted his crop in May and expects the canola season to flourish well into November.
Sutas, a former Angus cattle breeder, said bumper canola crops came as a welcome relief for farmers.
"The drought affected a lot of people and the price of cattle went through the roof and we had no rain," he said.
Farmers have increasingly looked to canola as both a useful rotation crop and a viable moneymaker, with demand for healthier oils such as canola oil on the rise.