Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.04.2005

No more flowering guesswork for WA growers

Table showing the predicted flowering dates in three regions using the Flowering Calculator

The choice of sowing date and variety is the key to maximising yield potential. Earlier sowing should mean better wateruse efficiencies and higher yields.

However, the successful adoption of this strategy hinges on matching variety to sowing time to maximise growth and to minimise the likelihood of frost damage after flowering - and also to minimise the impact of hot weather and terminal drought during grain fill.

The Flowering Calculator is a tool that enables an adviser or grower to compare flowering dates relative to the risks of frost and the likelihood of experiencing water stress during grain development.

The calculator provides a procedure to determine flowering date using average daily temperature and day length.

The user can "interrogate" daily temperature records to provide information on:

Outcomes for a range of crop varieties can be assessed relative to user-defined flowering windows and end-of-season dates, for any date of sowing. The user can define frost, and critical high temperature events, in terms of severity and duration.

Parameter data enables flowering time to be calculated for a selection of varieties for each of several crop species, using a range of phenological models.

The table shows the predicted flowering dates in three regions using the Flowering Calculator.

Dark-shaded areas represent the estimated "flowering window" for the three regions. From the mid-May sowings, the predicted flowering dates closely correspond to actual flowering dates observed in the field. Early May predictions tend to underestimate the flowering time. Additional information on varieties and regions will be available at the Crop Updates.

GRDC Research Code DAW00012.
For more information: Wal Anderson, 08 9892 8412, wanderson@agric.wa.gov.au

New varieties summarised, pages 16-19

Region National, North, South, West