Grains Research and Development

GRDC Update Papers

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This page contains papers from the GRDC Update series for both growers and advisers.

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  • Farming systems strategies to manage fleabane and feathertop Rhodes grass

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    NGA00003, DA00137, UQ00055, UQ00062
    Presented At
    Presented at the Roma GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Richard Daniel.
    Region
    North

    1. Glyphosate resistant and tolerant weeds are a major threat to our reduced tillage cropping systems
    2. Although residual herbicides will limit re-cropping options and will not provide complete control, they are a key part of successful management
    3. Double-knock herbicide strategies (sequential application of two different weed control tactics) are useful tools but the herbicide choices and optimal timings will vary by weed species
    4. Incorporate other weed management tactics e.g. crop competition to assist herbicide control
    5. Cultivation may need to be considered as a salvage option to avoid seed bank replenishment

  • Summer pulse agronomy including plant population row spacing varieties yields and nitrogen fixation

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    UQ00067
    Presented At
    Presented at the Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Kerry McKenzie.
    Region
    North

    • Reducing row spacing to 50cm and below will maximise summer pulse yields
    • The improvement in yield is evident in differing environments and seasons
    • Reducing row spacings may also increase the amount of nitrogen fixed
    • Plant population has less influence on yield – continue with current recommendations
    • Pulses should not be considered as only break crops but viable, profitable cropping options

  • Disease control in summer crops and management strategies to minimise financial losses

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    DAQ00186
    Presented At
    Presented at the Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update by Jo White August 2015.
    Region
    North

    • Management of charcoal rot and fusarium stalk rot in sorghum relies on good agronomy, crop rotation, use of appropriate varieties and timely application of desiccants
    • Management of powdery mildew in mungbean and sunflower relies on timely fungicide application(s) and the best available resistance (mungbean)
    • Management of halo blight in mungbean relies on the use of seed with the lowest possible levels of infection, the use of clean harvesting equipment, weed management and crop rotation
    • Diaporthe species which cause stem canker and other diseases in sunflower and soybean have wide host ranges including weeds; infected living plants and dead residues of these hosts act as “Green” and “Brown” bridges that need to be managed

  • Weed issues and action items

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    UQ00062: Improving IWM practise in the northern region, NGA00003: GRDC Grower Solutions for Northern NSW and Southern Qld
    Presented At
    Presented at the Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Michael Widderick.
    Region
    North

    • The incidence of glyphosate resistance in common sowthistle is increasing. However no cases have currently been identified on the Eastern Darling Downs
    • A range of double knock treatments which did not include glyphosate provided excellent control of small and large sowthistle plants
    • Strategic tillage can reduce the emergence of common sowthistle, but some forms of tillage will bury weed seeds and increase their persistence
    • There are a range of residual herbicides that provide effective control of feathertop Rhodes grass, but the efficacy can differ as a result of environment (eg rainfall)
    • Using Group A herbicides for fallow control of summer grasses is a risky practice and poses a resistance and crop damage threat

  • Deep phosphorus placement case study integrating research into Darling Downs farming systems

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    CLI00001
    Presented At
    Presented by John Cameron and Bede O'Mara at the Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update, August 2015
    Region
    North

    • Soil test and monitor each paddock for P status to ascertain the Colwell P and BSES P numbers at 0-10cm and 10-30cm soil depths before commencing a deep P investment.
    • Also have a good understanding of soil type, soil origin and any subsoil constraints in the profile to lower effective PAWC, through additional soil testing at 30-60cm, 60-90cm depths.
    • Deep P can be applied without investing in new equipment; rather, adapting or simply using what is already on farm.
    • Identify a time in your crop rotation aiming to minimise impact on your following crop and rotation.
    • Any substantial applications of deep P will take more than 1 year to provide a return on investment, more likely 2-3 years.

  • Managing barley and wheat diseases priority issues and actions for 2015

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    DAQ00245; DUS0053
    Presented At
    Presented at the Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Greg Platz and Ryan Fowler.
    Region
    North

    • Sowing resistant varieties is the best means of avoiding serious yield losses to disease.
    • Timely application of fungicides can be very profitable in susceptible varieties.
    • Keep abreast of NVT disease resistance ratings. Changes in pathotypes in one growing season can have major implications for varietal selection in the following season.

  • Surveillance and forecasts for mouse outbreaks in Australian cropping systems

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    IAC00002
    Presented At
    Presented at the Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Julianne Farrell.
    Region
    North

    • Successful mouse management requires growers to be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE
    • High numbers of mice are predicted on the Darling Downs during summer 2015-2016
    • Use MouseAlert to record mouse activity

  • Managing the yield gap to achieve your yield potential on the western Downs

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    Presented At
    Presented at the Roma GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Simon Fritsch.
    Region
    North

    Good crop yields result from storing water in the soil and converting this water and the in-crop rainfall efficiently into grain. Water Use Efficiency (WUE) Benchmarks can help to make better decisions on the use of soil moisture by developing yield estimates. They can be also used to compare yields or examine them in hindsight to check whether the crop has performed well at turning water into grain. More accuracy can be derived by using WUE benchmarks which are set for low, medium and high yields.

  • Improving fertilizer decisions for P on the Western Downs

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    UQ00063, UQ00078
    Presented At
    Presented at the Roma GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Mike Bell.
    Region
    North

    Crops access P from both the topsoil (0-10cm) and subsoil (especially the 10-30cm layer, where there are lots of roots). Supplying adequate P for early growth stages (starter P) is essential for early vigour and to set grain number and yield potential in grain crops, while P in deeper soil layers helps to meet the demand to grow the crop – especially when topsoils dry out and crops live on stored soil moisture. Low subsoil P can be a substantial yield limitation in all but the toughest seasonal conditions.
    Seasonal rainfall will affect the relative importance of topsoil and subsoil P, while crop species and seasonal moisture influence the yield response to starter P and deep P bands. Responses to deep bands are maximized when there is a rainfall event after establishment, to allow secondary root and tiller development, provided there is subsequently enough water and available N to allow that higher yield potential to be achieved. While residual benefits of deep P bands will persist for a number of years, the economics of deep P banding will be influenced by seasonal conditions in the years following application.

  • Emerging insect threats in northern grain crops

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    31.07.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    DAQ00196, DAQ00153
    Presented At
    Jondaryan GRDC Grains Research Update August 2015 by Hugh Brier and Melina Miles.
    Region
    North

    • Monitor crops frequently so as not to be caught out by new or existing pests.
    • Look for and report any unusual pests/damage symptoms – photographs are good.
    • Just because a pest is present in large numbers in one year doesn’t mean it will necessarily be so next year – it maybe the turn of another spasmodic pest, e.g. soybean moth, to make its presence felt.
    • However be aware of cultural practices that favour pests and rotate cops each year to minimize the build-up of pests and plant diseases.