Golden, swaying crop adds diversity

SPRING: Canola crops such as this one beside Main North Road near Laura are ripening with the advent of spring. Enterprising farmers are diversifying with these paddocks throughout the Mid North.
SPRING: Canola crops such as this one beside Main North Road near Laura are ripening with the advent of spring. Enterprising farmers are diversifying with these paddocks throughout the Mid North.

Canola is worth $82 million to the state economy and is blossoming as an alternative crop in the Mid North.

The Flinders News admired two magnificent canola crops beside Main North Road at Stone Hut and Laura at the weekend.

The yellow carpet extended towards the haze in the distance as spring provided ideal conditions.

Canola is now the predominant oilseed crop in South Australia with more than 136,000 hectares grown. It is used to make oil.

This is according to Primary Industries and Resources SA and the research and development institute. Canola is the third biggest crop in the state after wheat and barley.

It is grown in all agricultural districts in the state, even where yearly rainfall is as low as 325mm. The crop has provided an opportunity for diversification on farms.

The CSIRO is developing canola crops that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Nutritionists have recognised the health benefits of this substance for many years. They are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are considered “healthy oils”.