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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  • 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.

  • Impact of soil acidity on crop yield and management in Central Western NSW

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    26.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    CWF00019
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Forbes 26 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Soil acidification is a natural process accelerated by high crop yields and fertiliser use. It is an unseen cost of doing business.
    • To maintain a good soil pH profile, producers should aim for a pHCa above 5.0 in the 0-10cm of topsoil or 5.5 if subsoil acidity issues are present. The target in the 10-30cm zone is greater than pHCa 4.8.
    • Correct pH is paramount when growing legumes, especially if the decision to grow them is to increase soil nitrogen levels.
    • Liming needs to be thought of as a farm input, like checking and changing the oil in the tractor (maintaining capital), rather than buying urea (dollars returned per dollar invested).

  • Harnessing the benefit of crop residues and tillage to enhance the supply of nitrogen phosphorus and sulphur in the soil

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    26.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    DAN00169
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Forbes 26 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Crop residue incorporation in soil (without being burnt) can enhance the supply of major nutrients (nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S)) to the value of $150 to $250 per hectare, depending on soil type and management practices.
    • In the soils incorporated with residues, the release of plant-available P and S can exceed the amount of total P and S in the residues.
    • Tillage can enhance carbon (C) mineralisation and simultaneously increase plant-available N, P and S in soil, compared to no-till and perennial pasture.
    • But beware! Growers must consider advantages and disadvantages of tillage before changing systems (such as enhanced nutrient supply versus preservation of soil structure and carbon)! It is essential that enhanced nutrient supply via tillage and crop residue input before sowing are matched to times of crop demand to minimise nutrient losses, while supporting crop productivity and profitability.

  • Dual purpose crops do they have a fit in your system and how can they be managed to optimise forage and grain production

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    26.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    CSP00160, CSP00132, CSP00174, FLR00005
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Forbes 26 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Dual-purpose crops can increase net crop returns and provide a range of benefits across the whole farm.
    • There is a range of winter and spring cereal and canola varieties that can be used for dual-purpose in a wide range of environments. Winter cultivars allow earlier sowing with more grazing, however yield outcomes are highly variable in warmer and drier environments. Spring cultivars provide less grazing but more reliable yields in these environments.
    • The risks of dual-purpose crops (failed crop establishment, under-utilised feed, reduced grain yield from grazing) can be mitigated by good planning and management.
    • Attention to detail is critical to maximise profits - good management of both crop and livestock is required.
    • Lock-up time is the key to reduce risk and maximise overall profit. Lock-up time is based on crop growth stage AND residual biomass.

  • Longer season wheat varieties what are the opportunities

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    26.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    CSP00178
    Presented At
    GRDC Grains Research Update in Forbes 26 July 2016.
    Region
    North

    • Longer season wheat varieties have the potential to give greater yields than quicker varieties, particularly when sown into high levels of stored moisture.
    • Effective fallow weed control and stubble retention increase the chances of successful early sowing.
    • The combination of variety choice and sowing date is crucial in ensuring that crops flower in the preferred window.
    • Higher yielding varieties for early sowing are being developed.

  • Killing storage pests without mercy Narrabri

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    22.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    PBCRC3150
    Presented At
    Presented at the Narrabri GRDC Grain Research Update, July 2016 by Pat Collins
    Region
    North

    Results of trial fumigations with phosphine conducted in 1,400 t silos to test the capability of these large storages have led us to make the following conclusions:
    • Recirculation greatly facilitates the distribution of gas in large silos
    • Fumigation in large silos without recirculation results in much lower concentrations in the base of the silo.
    • Peak concentrations of phosphine typically occur between day 4 and 6 and decline for the rest of the fumigation.
    • The current pressure half-life Australian Standard (AS2628) of 5 minutes is appropriate for large silos and is vital for effective fumigation.
    • Fumigations are likely to fail where there are points of gas / fresh air leaks in a silo. Pressure testing prior to fumigation is a vital step in identifying and locating gas leaks.
    • Strongly phosphine resistant rusty grain beetle can only be controlled by extending fumigation time beyond the label direction (of 20 d for blankets) or by implementing active recirculation.

  • Resistance and tolerance Where we are with crown rot breeding

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    22.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    US00075
    Presented At
    Presented at the Narrabri GRDC Grains Research Update, July 2016, by Philip Davies
    Region
    North

    Significant variation exists in varieties performance under crown rot, representing opportunities for intervention in crown rot management.
    Varietal performance under crown rot is made up separately of resistance and tolerance, as well as the yield potential of the variety.
    The current simplistic R to S resistance rating system does not adequately represent a variety’s true performance in crown rot conditions, as it neglects both the tolerance and yield potential of the variety.
    A more informative rating system for crown rot is required which accounts for a variety’s resistance and tolerance to crown rot, and the variety’s yield potential.

  • Stopping spray drift and the Aust Ground Spray Calculator that helps manage spraying operations

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    22.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    UQ00060, UQ00072
    Presented At
    Presented at the Narrabri GRDC Grains Research Update, July 2016 by Chris O'Donnell
    Region
    North

    The Australian Ground Spray Calculator is a decision-support tool that provides spray applicators with information on droplet size, target coverage and drift potential specific to particular nozzles and tank mixes. Spray applicators now have a unified tool that provides science-based reliable information to help with their drift management strategies.

  • Is there an issue with sorghum following canola

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    21.07.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    NGA00004
    Presented At
    Presented at the Mullaley GRDC Grains Research Update July 2016 by Richard Daniel.
    Region
    North

    1. Field observations suggest that sorghum can be less thrifty when following canola in the rotation
    2. Duplicate trials were planted in adjacent canola and durum stubble, with a 3-5 fold difference in levels of Arbuscular Mycorrhizae (AM) fungi shortly prior to planting
    3. Sorghum following canola had delayed head emergence and yields were ~1.4t/ha less than same trial following durum
    4. Application of Granulock Z Extra to 80kg/ha at sowing did not have any impact
    5. These trials strongly suggest AM may be involved but need to be repeated in a planned design to allow proper evaluation