Victorian farmers predict favorable canola crop

Ballarat’s canola fields are looking brighter than those around the rest of Victoria, with local farmers predicting a positive crop yield this year despite frost.

Canola fields at Dean. Picture: Kate Healy

Canola fields at Dean. Picture: Kate Healy

Victorian Farmers Federation grains group president Ross Johns, who owns farmland near Ballarat, says the vibrant fields in the region were the result of flowers lasting longer on the stem than expected. 

“Ballarat’s not a bad spot for canola to be climate-wise, and the crops around the area have certainly held onto their yellow flowers better than elsewhere in Victoria. It’s a very beautiful time,” he said. 

“The canola crop is progressing quite well, but I would have liked to see a little but more rain recently. We’re also expecting frost for the next month near Ballarat, but that’s always an issue for the region.” 

Ballarat has experienced five drier-than-average months in a row, according to data from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Mr Johns says canola prices will always be volatile, but he was optimistic about returns for Victorian farmers.

“Canola supply in Australia could be reduced overall this season, because of lower yields in Western Australia. So for Victorian farmers who have a canola crop, it might be a positive year,’ he said. 

The Australian Wheat Board priced canola at $531.50 per tonne delivered to Berrybank on October 6.