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.

To download the proceedings booklets from the 2014 Updates, visit the 2014 Update Proceedings Booklets page.

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  • Grazing strategies and timing of stock removal from dual purpose cereals and canola

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    28.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    CSP00160
    Presented At
    Presented at the Wellington GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Lindsay Bell.
    Region
    North

    Take home message
    Timing of lock up and residual biomass influence grain yield recovery in both cereals and canola.
    Early lock-up enables a crop sufficient time to achieve biomass levels at flowering to fully recover grain yield but lower residual biomass at lock-up can reduce crop recovery during a sensitive window around or shortly after GS30 in cereals and bud visible in canola.
    Light defoliation with sufficient residual biomass even after GS30 can allow cereal crops to fully recover grain yield in some seasons.
    To avoid risk of yield loss in canola, residual biomass levels greater than 2.5 t DM/ha are required if grazing continues after late July. A similar critical level is less clear in cereals but appears to be about 1-1.5 t DM/ha required at lock-up in mid-August.

  • Managing crown rot through crop sequencing and row placement

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    DAN00116
    Presented At
    Presented at the Warialda GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Andrew Verrell.
    Region
    North

    Take home message
    • Crop sequencing results in average yield gains of 17-23% over continuous wheat
    • Sow break crops between standing wheat rows, which need to be kept intact
    • Sow the following wheat crop directly over the row of the previous years' break crop and NOT between the old rows
    • This system will only work for zero tillage systems where wheat stubble is kept intact

  • Drones and UAVs: What is available now and what is possible in the future

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    ICN00014
    Presented At
    Presented at the Wellington and Spring Ridge GRDC Grains Research Updates in July 2014 by Brad Donald.

    Take home message
    • The goal of the UAV is to provide another Precision Technology tool to growers in the decision making process to identify better management practices that achieve higher yield and profit outcomes for growers. The UAV is not a silver bullet.
    • Flight times of 30-35mins, with 150-180 ha imaged that can be converted into basic NDVI imagery that requires further interpretation and ground truthing. It is limited by the software, cost, and current imaging techniques.
    • To be used as in combination with other monitoring tools to produce more site specific inputs, lowering input usage and increasing productivity.
    • Technology is still being developed and will continue to grow into the future.

  • Dual purpose crops: economics and their management

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    ICN00014, CSP00160
    Presented At
    Presented at the Warialda GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Lindsay Bell.
    Region
    North

    Take home messages
    • Dual-purpose crops can provide flexibility in sowing time, forage at a key time of the year and in some cases can increase returns from crops.
    • Frequent early sowing opportunities provide potential to use long-season dual-purpose varieties which can provide up to 2000 DSE grazing days/ha in autumn and early winter and achieve similar grain yields to traditional grain-only systems.
    • Typical ‘grain-only’ spring cultivars can be grazed without greatly reducing grain yield – though grazing provided is much less than from early sown dual-purpose varieties.
    • Early sown canola can also be grazed but later sown crops are likely to suffer larger yield penalties unless grazing pressure is reduced.

  • Summer weed control reduces moisture and nitrogen losses

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    CWF0013
    Presented At
    Presented at the Wellington GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Colin McMaster.
    Region
    North

    Take home message
    • Where weeds were controlled, 58 % of Canola (Hyola® 575CL) grain yield in 2011 was attributed to increased stored moisture and nitrogen retained via clean weed free fallow.
    • Controlling summer weeds increased:
    - Canola grain yield by 830 kg/ha where full weed control was implemented.
    - Plant available water (PAW) at sowing by 86 and 50 mm in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
    - Mineral nitrogen by 69 and 45 kg N/ha in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
    • For every 1 mm of moisture lost through summer weed growth during the fallow period, there was also reduced mineral nitrogen levels of approximately 0.56 kg N/ha.
    • Summer weeds affected soil moisture to a depth of at least 1.2 m.
    • Every dollar invested in controlling summer weeds returned up to $ 7.20 /ha.
    • Where full fallow weed control was implemented, the return on investment (ROI) was up to 720%.

  • Grain storage best practice A strategic mix to achieve valuable results

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    PAD00001, ICN00014
    Presented At
    Presented at the Warialda GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Philip Burrill.

    Take home message
    Integrating a strategic mix of good hygiene practices, regular monitoring of grain and aeration cooling is a firm foundation for achieving effective pest control and reliable grain quality outcomes.
    Always use gas-tight sealable storages when fumigating.
    For grain stored in non-sealable storages and where there is no impact on potential grain markets, treatment with a grain protectant insecticide provides valuable storage pest control.

  • Sorghum yield risk vs starting soil moisture

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    CSE00055, CSA00029
    Presented At
    Presented at the Burren Junction GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Jeremy Whish.
    Region
    North

    Take home message
    • Identify the target yield required to be profitable before planting
    • Do a simple calculation to see how much water you need to achieve this yield
    • Know how much soil water you have (treat this water like money in the bank)
    • Think about how much risk your farm can take
    • Consider how this crop fits into your cropping plan, will the longer-term benefits to the system outweigh any short-term losses.
    • Avoiding a failed crop saves money now and saves stored water for future crops
    • Not planting is sometimes the best decision.

  • Sorghum hybrid evaluation trial in Liverpool Plains season 2013-14

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    HUN0001, AMPS00005
    Presented At
    Presented at the Spring Ridge GRDC Grains Research Update July 2014 by Peter McKenzie.
    Region
    North

    Take home message
    Evaluations of sorghum hybrids were conducted across 4 sites on the Liverpool Plains encompassing the Mullaley, Pine Ridge, Goran Lake and Quirindi districts. These included yield, grain quality and phenology evaluations of new and existing genetic material, comparing 17 cultivars in total with 5 new cultivars expected to be released over coming years.
    Average yield across the combined sites was 3.24 t/ha. Flowering date (DTF) of individual cultivars correlated with yield at the Mullaley site only. Quirindi, Pine Ridge and Goran Lake were difficult to correlate Days to Flowering (DTF) with yield due to other seasonal influences.
    A significant weather episode in March caused grain to shell out prior to harvest at the Mullaley, Pine Ridge and Quirindi site. This had an impact on final yield although this data was not collated as part of the initial evaluations.
    It must be noted that this is one seasons’ data only and results would be expected to vary significantly with median rainfall years.

  • Reducing yield losses from waterlogging

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    Presented At
    Presented at the July 2014 GRDC Grains Updates at Spring Ridge and Burren Junction by Bernie Martin.
    Region
    North

    Take home message
    • RTK tractor GPS provides the same data accuracy as survey grade GPS. The data collection process (surveying) can be carried out during normal farming operations
    • Drainage and erosion issues can be evaluated based on data probably already collected.
    • Software packages can model water flows, quantify existing drainage issues, calculate lost revenue, design drainage solutions and provide complete machine control designs
    • Solutions to drainage and erosion problems can be designed, evaluated and ready for construction at the right time in cropping rotations

  • Rapid soil water monitoring using EM38

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.07.2014
    GRDC Project Code
    CSA0003
    Presented At
    Presented at the Burren Junction GRDC Grains Update July 2014 by Neil Huth
    Region
    North

    Total plant available soil water can be monitored quickly and easily in multiple paddocks using EM38 techniques. This allows farmers to make better decisions in situations where soil moisture is important.