Heat and drought events can happen at any stage during the cropping season, and many Western Australian grain crops were adversely affected by these environmental stresses in 2014.
Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) yield traits program manager Jorge Mayer said to ensure continued crop productivity gains, crop traits were needed to deal with various environmental stresses at every developmental stage of the crop.
Dr Mayer said Managed Environment Facilities (MEFs), established in recent years with GRDC support, were being used to validate water productivity traits and to develop and apply new research methods.
MEFs, located at Merredin in WA and Yanco and Narrabri in New South Wales, can mimic moisture stress patterns typical of particular seasons and regions.
“Trait values generated from research at the MEFs will be provided to plant breeders, along with genotyping and phenotyping tools for incorporation of selected traits in to new crop varieties,” Dr Mayer said.
More information about research conducted at the MEFs is available in a GRDC Ground Cover Managed Environment Facilities Supplement. The supplement was included in the September-October edition of the GRDC magazine Ground Cover and can be downloaded at www.grdc.com.au/GCS112.
Jorge Mayer, GRDC
02 6166 4500
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827
GRDC Project Code