Cereal yield trials to provide valuable insights for growers at Goondiwindi GRDC updates

Author: Toni Somes | Date: 06 Feb 2017

Agronomist Andrew Erbacher believes the cereal yield trials, which tested varieties across different regions of Queensland and northern NSW, will have some key learnings for growers and advisers.

Goondiwindi agronomist Andrew Erbacher believes cereal trials stretching across Queensland’s grain growing region and into northern New South Wales will provide invaluable insights for growers into how and what they can do to lift crop yields.

Mr Erbacher from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), along with Emerald-based DAF agronomist Darren Aisthorpe and a team of Queensland researchers, has contributed two years of trial data for the presentation into ‘Optimising yield in new cereal varieties’ at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Updates in Goondiwindi on March 7 and 8.

The Queensland trials are part of a broader GRDC-funded project investigating time of sowing, variety, plant density and nitrogen rates led by New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

“One of the key learnings for growers from this research is know your climate risk; know when you are likely to get a frost and when you are likely to get heat stress,” Mr Erbacher said.

“We also found more than anything else time of sowing and in turn timing flowering for your region’s ‘perfect’ flowering date to reduce the frost risk and the potential for heat stress, was the way to drive up yields.”

He said the Queensland trial sites were located at Goondiwindi, Warwick, Brookstead, Meandarra, Jambin and Emerald.

“The sites were chosen because generally they reflected the state’s extremes: Central Queensland is hot, dry and a short growing season; Warwick is cooler, but has a high frost risk and a longer growing season; and Goondiwindi has a slight frost risk, but a high chance of heat stress,” Mr Erbacher said.

“As a result I think we have some very tangible data for growers and advisers that will offer some clarity in terms of how new varieties perform in different geographic regions.”

The ‘Optimising yield in new cereal varieties’ presentation will be on day two of the Goondiwindi GRDC updates at the Goondiwindi Community Centre. Data from this research project will also be presented at the Condamine Grains Research Update on March 9.

Other topics on the Goondiwindi agenda for this year’s updates include:

  • Chickpea disease management
  • Tips for reducing spray drift
  • How to set up boom sprays for different spray jobs
  • New fungicides and disease control strategies for wheat and barley
  • Nitrogen timing and placement for better use efficiency
  • How does canola fit in northern farming systems?

GRDC Grower Services Manager – North Sharon O’Keeffe said the annual Goondiwindi updates focused on bringing industry the latest research and development (R&D) from short and medium term projects that address on-farm priority issues, from farming systems, agronomy, soils and weeds to pests and diseases.

“These updates play a vital role keeping growers and advisers informed of the latest tools, advice, information and innovation to improve on-farm productivity and profitability,” Ms O’Keeffe said.

“The grains industry is constantly changing in terms of climate variability, technology and market conditions, so it is critical growers have up-to-date knowledge to make informed decisions and adopt practice changes that bring cost efficiencies, promote sustainability and grow productivity.”

The Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update is on March 7 and 8, followed by the Condamine Grains Research Update at Condamine Sports Club on March 9.

For a full program of both events or to register, follow this link or contact John Cameron or Erica McKay, ICAN, on 02 9482 4930, e-mail or visit the ICAN webiste.

Contact Details 

For Interviews 

Sharon O’Keeffe
0400 596 978


Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878387

GRDC Project Code ICN00021

Region North