Southern region grain growers are being urged to adjust their cropping programs and priorities for the 2013 season following a generally dry summer that is expected to impact on sowing and growing conditions throughout south eastern Australia.
The latest advice from industry leaders on key issues facing the grains sector in 2013 and beyond has been relayed to agronomists and growers attending recent Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Updates in the southern region.
GRDC Southern Region Panel chair David Shannon said cropping experts speaking at Updates in Ballarat (Victoria), Adelaide (South Australia) and Temora (New South Wales) had asked growers and their advisers to shift their considerations when planning this year’s crop.
“The focus at the moment is more about making good variety choices, making sure you’ve got the rotations right, being prepared for a season where we could have minimal stored moisture, getting the seeding right, getting the timing of it right and making sure we’ve got the rotations right so that weeds don’t come up to be a major issue for us,” Mr Shannon said.
“This season is hard to predict because we’ve generally had a dry summer - very different from some of the summers we’ve had in past years where the focus has been on summer weed control, stored moisture and making the best of those conditions.
“Despite dry conditions across the Southern Region for much of the summer, rains last week delivered a welcome boost to stored soil moisture in parts of southern New South Wales and Victoria. However, growers who benefitted from that rain still need to allow for cropping conditions that can follow a dry summer.”
Mr Shannon said that after severe crop damage during late cold snaps in 2012, frost remained a priority issue for the GRDC which would continue to work to deliver resources to southern region growers to help them prepare for and address frost damage.
He also said changing challenges with weeds and cereal rust, and the implications of larger, faster sprayers now available to growers would be key topics on GRDC’s research, development and extension agenda this year.
“On a more tactical level we’re certainly looking at emerging weeds, particularly herbicide resistant weeds and how to tackle them.
“We’re looking at rusts, and in particular rusts in wheat and what are good strategies around dealing with that problem.
“GRDC is very supportive of only growing those varieties which have some good rust resistance, so (we are) relying on the genetic ability of the plants to deal with rust - rather than using fungicide sprays to always deal with it – and trying to reduce input costs for growers,” Mr Shannon said.
The GRDC Updates have also delivered the latest information on management of pests such as slugs and snails, diseases such as blackleg in canola, yellow leaf spot and rhizoctonia, as well as soil and crop nutrition and sowing dates.
Information presented at the GRDC Grains Research Updates is available via www.grdc.com.au/updates.
Video: GRDC Southern Regional Panel Chair David Shannon talks 2013 research and development priorities.
Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon says grain growers need to shift their priorities for the 2013 cropping season after a dry summer.
For more information:
David Shannon, GRDC Southern Regional Panel Chair
Tristan Price, Porter Novelli
03 9289 9555 / 0400 363 006