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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.