Variety selection skills in focus at new technical workshops

Author: | Date: 20 Jun 2011

Variety selection skills in focus at new technical workshops

Key points:
• New variety selection technical workshops funded by GRDC
• Scheduled for Adelaide, Birchip and Wagga Wagga in August
• Science, performance and end use of varieties a key theme

THE GRAINS Research and Development Corporation is funding three new technical workshops for agronomists and farm advisers on variety selection and the National Variety Trials to enable them to provide the most relevant and up-to-date advice to growers.

The one-day workshops – titled ‘Variety Selection and NVT - Putting science into selection’ – will be held in Adelaide, South Australia, on Friday, August 12; Birchip, Victoria, on Wednesday, August 17; and Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, on Friday, August 19.

The workshops focus on helping agronomists, consultants and advisers to better understand the science behind selection and variety performance.

Workshop participants will hear from industry experts and decision-makers on a range of topics including:

• Plant breeding – what varieties are available, how they perform, technologies used in new variety development as well as varieties of the future.

• Plant physiology – understanding the relationships between developmental genes, frost, drought, heat stress, flowering and seeding time and their impacts on variety performance.

• Agronomy and variety decision-making – steps to selecting a variety, how to improve your decision-making and whether you are getting it right, and regional relevance of selections.

• Sorting and searching NVT information – how to sort NVT data to get the information clients need and tailoring variety recommendations to changing seasonal situations, such as an early or late break. Accessing and interpreting information from the NVT Online website and providing feedback for its improvement.

GRDC southern regional panel chair David Shannon says variety selection is one of the key decisions that growers make every year which makes the role of agronomists, advisers and consultants crucial.

“The GRDC’s latest technical workshops will enable participants to provide growers with more relevant advice and information on the varieties they are considering as well as factors to consider in evaluating a variety’s place in future cropping programs,” he said.

“The GRDC is investing in these workshops because variety selection is such a vital tool in cropping rotations, disease management and overall farm profitability.

“For example, this year growers in the southern region are facing the worst risk of a devastating rust outbreak in 40 years. Variety selection has been a key tool used by grain growers in development of rust management strategies to reduce this threat.

“With National Variety Trial plots now sown throughout southern Australia, there will be many varieties that advisers can be drawing growers’ attention to now with the view of potentially introducing them in next year’s program.”

Presenters include Steve Jefferies, AGT; Jason Eglinton, University of Adelaide; Alan Bedggood, NVT Online; and Alison Smith, University of WA.

The workshop will feature interactive sessions, enabling advisers to further develop their skills in putting variety selection theory into practice.

Each participant will receive a workshop manual that highlights the latest in variety selection, research, trends, science and industry information. For those who cannot make it to the workshops, a technical manual of proceedings will be available for purchase from the GRDC.

The workshops are open to advisers, on-farm agronomists, consultants and growers with an interest in learning more about variety selection, performance and end use.

The workshop cost is $75 per person, including interactive sessions, meals and a workshop manual. Places are strictly limited to 20 per workshop.

For more information or to register contact Belinda Cay, Raising the Barr Communications, or 0423 295 576.


Editors’ notes:

• GRDC Project Code: RBC00002

• This media release and other media products are available via

GRDC Project Code RBC00002