New GRDC GrowNotes for southern region

Author: Rachel Bowman | Date: 08 Feb 2016

Keith Pengilley, GRDC southern panel chair says the new wheat, barley and canola GrowNotes are a great resource for growers.

Southern grain growers have the opportunity to tap into a new world of crop management advice with the release of three new winter cropping GrowNotes by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Incorporating the latest research findings and management advice for southern region growers and advisers, a new suite of GrowNotes on Wheat and Canola will be launched at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide on Tuesday, 9 February. The Barley GrowNote will be launched at the GRDC Update at Bendigo on 23 February.

GRDC GrowNotes have become an essential ‘go to’ resource for growers throughout Australia. The crop-focused publications can be found at the GrowNotes web page

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley describes the GrowNotes as “living documents” that are regularly updated when the latest research results come in.

“The biggest thing I see with GrowNotes is they give every grower the ability to look at the latest research that is coming out and use that to help them make the best management decisions they can on their farms,” he says.

Mr Pengilley says one of the key features of the GrowNotes is the comprehensive list of links that are within them.

“If we, as growers, need to know more information or contact the researchers and experts in those fields we have a pathway to get more in-depth information and have a discussion on how to use the information to enhance the crops that are about to be planted or are in the ground,” he says.

“Because it is a living document that is regularly being updated we can go back and refer to it any time throughout the year when there is an issue in the paddock or we are planting.”

The new southern GrowNotes contain a wealth of valuable information from planning and planting advice to the latest in nutrition, weed, insect and disease management.

‘Hot off the press’ topics covered in the new GrowNotes include the latest findings on frost management developed through the GRDC’s National Frost Initiative.

South Australian agricultural consultant, Mick Faulkner, Agrilink Agricultural Consultants, Watervale, says a lot of work has been done on identifying varietal differences that relate to frost.

“GRDC projects are identifying varieties that are more damaged by frost than others, and those that are handling frost slightly better. No variety is frost resistant and is ever likely to be. There are minor differences in varieties when frost occurs at flowering time,” he says.

“While flowering isn’t the only susceptible time, it is still important to have some tools that can reduce the damage, even if it is by the smallest amount.

“Researchers and farmers are becoming far more adept at identifying frost damage and are mapping where it is occurring. They can put in strategies that might help them avoid frosts, reduce the financial exposure if they receive frost and have an action plan for frosted areas.

“There is a lot more understanding. Work is happening in the identification area and, even though it is in its infancy, there is a delivery strategy to offer tools that might mean identification is more timely and more accurate.”

The GrowNotes also highlight the changing frequency of frosts in southern regions which Mr Faulkner says is occurring as weather patterns track further south and cloud cover decreases.

“With the high pressure systems traversing more southerly across the latitudes, once a front has moved through, the air behind it is coming from far deeper latitudes and can be much colder,” he says.

“Bursts of cold air move in behind the fronts, the wind drops at night, there are clear skies and we have the conditions for a radiation frost.”

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Rachel Bowman, Seedbed Media

0412 290 673

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