NORADJUHA farmer John Heard is pinning his hopes on a higher-than-average yield for his genetically modified canola crop this season.
The young farmer, who owns 3000ha in partnership with his mother, Janet, southwest of Horsham, planted his first Roundup Ready canola this year.
"It was dry-sown on the 20th of April, so it is a fair bit ahead of the Clearfield," he said.
Mr Heard decided to try the GM crop in the hope of improving yields.
In an average year, a good Wimmera canola crop would normally harvest 1.5 tonnes/ha.
This season, Mr Heard hopes for at least two tonnes/ha from the Roundup Ready variety.
He said the decision to try the GM crop was not a difficult one.
"It is just another crop and we hope we'll get better yields on it," he said.
Mr Heard said there was no local opposition to GM crops.
"It is no secret and there are a lot of farmers growing Roundup Ready canola around here now. It is spoken about like you'd talk about growing a variety of wheat," he said.
Mr Heard said being able to dry-sow Roundup Ready canola and spray before the six-leaf stage had an advantage in that it broke up the seeding program.
"And this gives us another month of flowering, so hopefully that will translate to higher yields," he said.
The GM canola is now about three weeks ahead of conventional varieties.
Mr Heard said 70 per cent of his canola crop was Roundup Ready. Noradjuha has received 313mm of rain during the growing season.
"If we could snag another inch early this month it could make for an incredible season," he said.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace has found commercial beehives with evidence of GM pollen in the honey.
Greenpeace tested the hives on a nature reserve 15km from Geelong last week and found it contained GM pollen from a nearby crop.
Spokeswoman Louise Sales said the test didn't show the percentage of GM material in the honey, however, she said it was likely to be about 0.2 per cent. A 2004 study found canola pollen in honey sampled from across Australia was approximately 0.2 per cent.
Ms Sales said if the honey contained less than 1 per cent GM material it wouldn't have to be labelled as containing GM. However, it could not longer be labelled as GM free.