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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  • Evapotranspiration service helps lift farm water productivity

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    28.07.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Evapotranspiration (ET) provides an objective estimate of plant water use and irrigation requirement.
    • The use of ET data can provide valuable learnings about irrigation management on farm, particularly when it is used in conjunction with other scheduling methods.
    • Irrigators have been using a free weekly ET email service to inform irrigation scheduling decisions and some have improved farm water productivity as a result.
    • GRDC Update delegates are welcome to ‘get on board’ and subscribe to the ET email updates. Contact Rob O’Connor at robert.oconnor@ecodev.vic.gov.au

  • Lessons learnt from using soil moisture probes

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    28.07.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Soil moisture probes can be regarded as another tool in the farmer’s tool box to better understand the interaction of soil and crop water use.
    • A probe will enable you to see where the water extraction is coming from, and how much moisture capacity there is in the profile as the crop develops.
    • Collecting crop water use data allows you to make better irrigation decisions for future crops.
    • A probe gathers the moisture information day in day out, it doesn’t change its mind or forget nor does it only remember the good bits.
    • Develop a good relationship with your probe supplier/installer.

  • Markets for hay whats under the bonnet

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    28.07.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • In 2016 additional cereal hay has been welcomed by buyers and absorbed into the market.
    • The scale of pasture hay production has a massive impact on cereal hay demand.
    • The dairy sector is likely to avoid buying hay in 2017 and a broad range of buyers is advised.
    • Export hay should be in the marketing mix as it should be a high paying market in 2017.
    • The Chinese glut of dairy products should reduce this year, supporting continued growth in hay imports of oaten hay from Australia.

  • The future of irrigation whats in store

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    28.07.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Rainfall changes over time and these changes are amplified in streamflows / dam inflows. The extent of this amplification will be greater in systems where the source catchments are drier.
    • Reductions in runoff under long dry periods are larger than reductions that occur for short droughts irrespective of catchment location.
    • Generally drier, flatter and more cleared catchments are more susceptible to larger than expected runoff reductions and reduction has been less pronounced in our main water supply catchments.

  • Winter canola for grazing and grain production

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    28.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    CSP00160, SFS00020, SFS00028
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Dual-purpose winter canola can provide significant benefits to the farm enterprise. High crop growth rates in suitable conditions results in nutritious feed on offer during the summer and autumn period. Forage value is comparable to commercially available dedicated forage rapes over summer and autumn with the added benefit of oil seed production.
    • Current winter canola cultivars are suited to a wide sowing window from spring through to early autumn as the crop requires cold temperatures to initiate flowering. Experiments from the medium and high rainfall zones of south-eastern Australia indicate that established crops can survive harsh summer conditions. However, further research is advisable prior to widespread adoption in irrigated areas to ensure the crop flowers in an appropriate window.
    • Grazing management and the timing of livestock removal is critical to maximise yield.

  • The new pest Russian wheat aphid on our radar

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    27.07.2016
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Griffith 27 July 2016, GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016 and GRDC Grains Research Update in Ardrossan 2 August 2016
    Region
    North

    • Russian wheat aphid (RWA) is a significant new pest of Australian cereal crops.
    • The known distribution of RWA is still limited to parts of SA and VIC. Suspect aphids found outside of the known distribution area should be reported to Biosecurity authorities in all state jurisdictions.
    • RWA is a manageable pest with a combination of effective cultural, chemical, biological and (longer-term) plant resistance controls available.

  • Understanding surface temperature inversion conditions takes the guesswork out of spraying

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    27.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    MRE00002
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Griffith 27 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Quality observing systems can take the guesswork out of spraying decisions.
    • Hazardous-inversion conditions leading to quite-high concentrations of pesticides drifting across farmland can be forecast, observed and reported to spray operators.
    • Nationally applicable observing and forecast systems for spraying will benefit all of agriculture, the environment and the wider community.

  • Soils under an irrigated environment investigating limitations to higher irrigated wheat yields

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    27.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    ICF00008
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Griffith 27 July 2016; GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Set a target yield for irrigated crops based on your water availability. Make sure row spacing, seed / fertiliser rates and water inputs are matched to this target yield.
    • The two key factors limiting irrigated winter crop yields in southern irrigated areas are:
    o Waterlogging after irrigation or prolonged rain; and,
    o water stress during the period from 20 days before flowering to 10 days after.
    • Waterlogging damage is minimised by ensuring good drainage of bays so irrigation water is on and off in under 10 hours. This is particularly problematic in rice layouts.
    • Water stress in the period from flag leaf fully emerged to milky dough is avoided by ensuring soil water potential at 30cm depth (15cm depth for sprinklers) is less than 60-70kPa.

  • Achieving 10t ha of irrigated wheat and 4t ha of irrigated canola in the Murrumbidgee Valley region

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    27.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    DAN00198
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Griffith 27 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Varietal selection has a significant impact on grain yield and quality of irrigated wheat in the Murrumbidgee Valley.
    • Irrigated canola yields can be significantly increased with correct varietal selection.
    • Matching the correct variety with correct time of sowing (TOS) is critical to maximising grain yields.
    • Agronomic management practices can also affect irrigated wheat and irrigated canola grain yield and quality.

  • Crop sequencing for irrigated double cropping within the Murrumbidgee Valley region

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    27.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    VIC00010
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Griffith 27 July 2016; GRDC Grains Research Update in Moama 28 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Growers should be aware commodity prices have changed considerably since writing this report and should make allowance for this when comparing gross margins (GM).
    • The single crop treatment of cotton produced a much higher GM return per hectare and per megalitre than any other single commodity. This was due to a combination of high yield by high price in the season of the experiment.
    • The crop sequencing treatment of fallow/cotton/faba bean/fallow produced a higher GM return per hectare and per megalitre than any other cropping rotation.
    • The canola/maize/faba/fallow rotation had the second highest GM return per hectare while the wheat/fallow/wheat/fallow rotation had the lowest GM return per hectare.