Contact your nearest AGnVET branch to find out more about MESH now.
For a number of years now there has been synthetic materials available to growers along with genetic trait or characteristic in crops like canola and other pod-bearing plants (soya beans/faba beans etc)
Pod shatter resistance is a desirable trait in these crops because it helps prevent the premature opening of seed pods, reducing yield losses during harvesting.
AGnVET has been working closely with De Sangosse in the development of MESH for the Australian market. Alex Greetham (Head of Agronomy for AGnVET) started using this product to prevent mechanical losses with big canopies and lodge crops on winter type canolas in Western Victoria back in 2016.
So what is MESH
MESH is a pod sealer used in both Canola and Pulse crops
It protects from physical losses in harvesting/windrowing and shatter events caused by weather by depositing an elastic and flexible film which tacks the pods top seam
Aids with harvest of variable maturity and ripening of pods within a plant
90% Latex (exclusive blend of Latex) & 10% Spreading System (retention/spreading and coverage)
Alex’s experiences from the UK stretch back to 2007. At first he and his colleagues were skeptical towards these products, due to some issues with early adoption with products like spodnam back in the late 90’s.
Alex stated that, “We knew we had issues with mechanical losses through direct heading and windrowing where timings were compromised. It wasn’t possible to be at every paddock for harvest at the perfect timing and the British weather at harvest could delay us further leaving over ripe crops sitting in the paddock and vulnerable.”
“Our theory behind the use of the product started off with increased yields though losses from machinery at harvest. We were soon able to provide data of this use to growers.
Growers and agronomists would select top performing paddocks in the program to protect that investment and lock away yield. As we understood the product more it became more about assessing risk and value of the crop already in the paddock and the money already invested. It wasn’t a case of just picking between high yield and low yield potential, it became about protecting that total investment.
Each farm large or small has challenges, from contractors turning up on time, break downs with machinery impacting optimum harvest timing along with trying to beat the weather. We couldn’t guarantee harvest in every paddock at the optimum harvest timing.”
We also could never predict when or where on the farm a shatter event or harvest delay would occur. Over time this became a fit and the mainstay option in total farm programs where they didn’t already have a variety with the shatter resistant tolerance.
In 2016 working closely with I K Caldwell agronomists and a group of clients, the results gave us confidence of the marginal gains the growers were getting. They had large canopies on the winter type canola’s they were growing. This made harvest and mechanical losses a huge factor.
The challenge to the team was our own perception and that of others that the benefits of MESH weren’t solely for HRZ in southwestern Vic but had a fit across our entire footprint.
It’s clear that MESH, has a fit in the Australian farming system even in low rainfall areas as we know the spring weather can heat up quickly the ability for the crops to turn from optimum timing for windrowing and dissociation can happen quicker than in cooler climates. The challenge with a large canola program is we start windrowing a fraction to early and can leave us getting to the end of the program and finishing on the late side. Which is costing yield.
Between the 2017-2019 the development was slow due to weather challenges and 2018 with widespread frost and large areas being cut for hay. Which made product testing very difficult in this period outside the HRZ.
Case Study 2
West Wyalong, NSW 2021
> 82.33ha Paddock
> 10.82 hectares treated as a trial
> Either side of the treatment a 10 hectare and 10.32ha untreated was analysed for fair comparison
> ROI on the 10.82ha trial $1520
Application and timing
Originally recommended for co application with Glyphosate, earlier applications of Pod sealants alone have gained favoured due to increased yields in large studies overseas.
In the onset of early colour change when the pods are still pliable without splitting (bend into V) is optimum timing for application
WA/SA/Tasmania – Contact Alex Greetham 0475 839 519 & Paul Gerrard 0457 419 688
Victoria & NSW Contact your nearest AGnVET branch