Fields of gold a seasonal sight

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
A police car near a field of canola south of Kojonup.
Camera IconA police car near a field of canola south of Kojonup. Credit: Picture: Kojonup police, Kojonup Police

Paddocks of flowering canola across the Great Southern region are a beautiful sight.

The seas of yellow appeared in early July and bulked out over the following weeks.

Photos have begun to storm Facebook as people admire the bright crops, with Kojonup police even joining in the social media frenzy.

For anyone wondering why there have not been as many canola paddocks this season, it is because the canola plantation across the State is under one million hectares for the first time in many years.

Grain Institute of WA crop report author Michael Lamond said many farmers had reduced the amount of canola sown due to bad conditions.

“It was 1.2m last year, 1.4m the year before and it has been up to 1.8m, it is just the combination of events over the last couple of years,” he said.

“We were expecting an increase of canola plantings quite significantly, but due to the late break anything that didn’t go in early and come up got dragged.

“It was probably down 10 per cent ... and as you go further north the drop-off is way more.

“In the lakes district it is about 50 per cent reduction from 2018.”

The crops in the Great Southern are looking fantastic though, and Mr Lamond said growers could expect a better-than-average yield.

“The canola has bulked up well and has good growth on it, and in fact if they have an average year from now on the canola will be better than average,” he said.

“The big water use occurs from now on, it is going to need a good spring.”

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