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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  • Microwave technology for weed management

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    UM00053
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update
    Region
    North

    Microwave heating, using a suitable device to project the microwave energy onto plants and the soil, can:
    1. Kill weeds and their seeds in the field, without limitations of wind or moisture;
    2. Kill dormant seeds in the soil;
    3. Significantly reduce bacterial numbers in the top layer of the soil; however these populations recover to become significantly higher than their initial values within a month of treatment;
    4. Not significantly affect fungi or protozoa in the soil; and
    5. Significantly increase grain yields in a number of crops, including canola and wheat.

  • Planting date row spacing and plant population impacts in wheat

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.02.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    DAQ00162
    Presented At
    Presented at the Walgett GRDC Grains Research Update February 2016 by Mick Brosnan and Jo Weier
    Region
    North

    Yield penalties become increased with delayed planting dates so when faced with the decision to replant, a plant density of low populations can be more successful than replanting. Moisture seeking to plant on time achieves better results than waiting for a rain fall event and planting later than ideal. Narrow row spacing did not make any difference to yield so wide rows are fine if yield expectations don't exceed 3t/ha and provided you can control weeds.

  • Doing the right thing by our growers, markets and industry

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    16.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update Wagga Wagga, 17th and 18th February, and Ballarat 24th and 25th February 2015
    Region
    National, Overseas

    • Agriculture businesses are operating within a changing landscape, with the grain market shifting from a commodity-based delivery system to a more defined quality supply chain system
    • There is a need for all aspects of industry to work together to assure and protect the Australian grains industry
    • Careful management of agricultural chemical use is important to avoid unintentionally exceeding acceptable chemical residues in the grain
    • MRLs vary from country to country, and therefore there is a need for the awareness of oversees trading partners’ MRLs to protect our export markets
    • As advisers to the agriculture sector, we all have a responsibility to understand the impact MRL breaches can have on the market, and be aware of the issues uninformed advice can have.

  • Viable growth in the pulse industry

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    16.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga 16-17 February 2016; GRDC Grains Research Update in Bendigo 23-24 February 2016.
    Region
    North, South

    • Where do pulses fit in broadacre cropping? In the world? In Australia?
    • Differences and similarities to cereals for marketing
    • Will the 2016 International Year of the Pulse trigger a shift towards plant protein as a diet alternative to animal protein, driven by water and energy usage and health benefits?

  • Understanding wheat phenology: flowering response to sowing time

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    16.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga 16-17 February 2016 and Corowa 18 February 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Flowering time is determined by responses to vernalisation, photoperiod and earliness per se
    • Match variety and sowing time to ensure flowering occurs during optimal period for your growing environment

  • If that was an El Niño, we’ll take it

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    16.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update Wagga Wagga 16/17 February 2016
    Region
    North

    • El Niño does not guarantee drought. Historically there was a 25 per cent chance of average or wetter. The card southern New South Wales (NSW) drew, was average or wetter, and Victoria received the drier
    • The Indian Ocean was very warm, a better moisture source than any other El Niño in history
    • The positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM) in winter was helpful to NSW, but was not for Victoria

  • Transforming Australian agriculture

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    16.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update 16-17 February 2016.
    Region
    North

    To tap into the growth opportunities before us and to properly enable the growth in the agricultural industry those involved need to:
    • Leverage opportunities for collaboration/co-creation
    • Link insight collection and product development processes
    • Customer is always right, but sometimes needs to be led
    • Focus on future as high end, value product
    • Branding and traceability are hard, but necessary for success.
    • Architecture for collaboration needed – as a commodity and across industry.

  • What is the impact of land values on the family farm?

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    11.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Farm Business Update in Dalwallinu 11 February 2016.
    Region
    West

    • Capital growth in land is a major component of agricultural investment performance.
    • You will get on average one great expansion opportunity every decade – be ready.
    • Scale is good, but so is great management. Tick this box before you expand.
    • Farming is cyclical, make the trend your friend and push your gearing at the bottom of the cycle, not the top.

  • Can imperfect seasonal climate forecasts improve farm profit

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    09.02.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide 9-10 February 2016; GRDC Grains Research Update in Bendigo 23-24 February 2016.
    Region
    South

    • Seasonal climate forecasts have been described as too good to ignore, but not good enough to rely on. The skill of seasonal forecasts is likely to improve as the Bureau of Meteorology moves from Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA) to Australian Community Climate and Earth System Seasonal Simulator) ACCESS-S. Even after these improvements, seasonal climate forecasts may be a bit harder to ignore, but still not good enough to rely on for straightforward decision making. Seasonal climate forecasts can be part of risk management, but they cannot replace risk management.
    • In the study reported in this paper, we used Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) to calculate the value of information from POAMA to a top dressing decision at Hart. Over the 30 year period from 1981 to 2010 a farmer following POAMA would have received the correct guidance 19 times and incorrect guidance 11 times (right, twice as often as wrong).
    • Following POAMA increased the gross margin by $23/ha or 9 per cent. Forecasts didn’t reduce the risk of nitrous oxide emissions or N leaching. Under the assumptions of this simulation study, the most economically sound N strategies come from a focus on fertiliser N use efficiency and marginal return to the investment. This keeps rates at levels where losses to de-nitrification or leaching are minimal.

  • Outsmarting the weed seed bank

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    09.02.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    UWA00171, UWA00146, DAW00196
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide 9-10 February 2016

    • What matters is attitude. If you want to have a win, you can. Make a plan, including non-herbicide tools and stick to it for at least six years.
    • Once the seed bank is very low, keeping it there is a walk in the park.