Agronomy packages close yield gaps
New research in variety-specific agronomy is closing the gap between potential and achieved yields in key wheat, barley and canola varieties of the northern grains region.
Matthew Gardner, NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) research agronomist, Tamworth says the Variety Specific Agronomy Packages (VSAP) project is using trial results from 2008-12 to guide growers.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is supporting the project which covers a wide spectrum of agronomic areas, including Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) and lodging management; delayed harvest; nitrogen management in barley; wheat Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE); and time of sowing new varieties.
Mr Gardner presented the findings at the recent round of GRDC Updates and is confident the recommendations can help growers maximise the performance of their selected varieties.
He says the “take home” messages from the northern NSW research include:
- PGRs have been shown to be an effective means to reduce the lodging severity in barley and wheat in northern NSW. However, there is a large degree of variability in plant height and grain yield responses to PGR application between crop species, varieties and seasons that requires further investigation.
- Delayed harvest due to wet weather can result in yield losses and downgrades in grain quality, which varies significantly between wheat and barley varieties. Varietal differences in yield loss with delayed harvest can be in excess of 1.5 tonnes per hectare.
- Commander barley more consistently meets malting specifications under a range of nitrogen nutrition, especially compared to older varieties. New malting varieties Bass and Navigator are more protein responsive to high residual nitrogen situations than Commander
- LongReach Spitfire has the capacity to achieve significantly higher grain protein than other varieties at a given yield level. Suntop appears to behave similarly to EGA Gregory in terms of high yield and resulting low protein with regards to nitrogen response.
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GRDC Project Code DAN00169 – Variety Specific Agronomy Packages