Field day spotlight on Tasmania's hyper yielding cereals project
Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 20 Oct 2016
A project aimed at boosting Tasmania’s production of high quality feed grain cereals and thereby reducing its reliance on supplies from the mainland will be the focus of a field day at Hagley on November 17.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation-funded “Hyper Yielding Cereals Project” will be front and centre at the field day which will showcase the research site dedicated to improving the ability of the State’s farmers to grow high quality feed wheat and barley.
The project is being led by FAR (Foundation for Arable Research) Australia in collaboration with Southern Farming Systems (SFS).
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair, Keith Pengilley, of Conara, says the five-year Hyper Yielding Cereals Project is now well into its second year and progress has been pleasing.
“The GRDC recognised some time ago that a huge opportunity exists for Tasmania to be producing much greater volumes of feed grain cereal crops with higher levels of quality to meet the needs of the State’s burgeoning dairy sector,” Mr Pengilley says.
“Despite a more favourable climate for grain production, compared with the mainland, and greater yield potential, Tasmania remains a net importer of cereal grains. We want to see Tasmania become more self-sufficient in its capacity to supply feed to the State’s dairy industry.”
The project was established to bridge the gap between actual and potential yields through genetic improvement of crops, best practice in terms of management of those crops and recognition of quality. “To that end, much progress has already been made,” Mr Pengilley says.
FAR Australia’s Managing Director Nick Poole says with input from national and international cereal breeders, growers, advisers and the dairy industry, the project is working towards setting record yield targets as aspirational goals for growers of feed grains.
Mr Poole says the project has been set the challenge of:
- Increasing average Tasmanian red feed wheat yields from 4.4 tonnes/hectare to 7t/ha by 2020;
- Delivering commercial wheat crops which yield up to14t/ha by 2020;
- Identifying and endorsing the value of metabolisable and digestible energy in feed grain cereals through engagement and collaboration with the dairy industry.
“The project will result in the creation of an internationally-linked centre of excellence for feed grain cereal production, based in Tasmania,” Mr Poole says.
“This centre will be focused on developing improved varieties, generating variety specific agronomy packages and introducing new parameters for describing feed grain quality for dairy industry end users.”
Key findings from the research to date will be presented to growers, dairy advisers and industry personnel attending the field day.
The field day will feature research trial demonstrations and a line-up of international, mainland and Tasmanian speakers who will discuss various aspects of improved germplasm and agronomy, grain quality and dairy nutrition strategies.
Keynote speaker will be leading United Kingdom agronomist Patrick Stephenson who will share his international agronomy expertise with Tasmanian growers as they aim to lift feed grain yields.
The field day on Badcock Lane, Hagley, will be from 10am to 4pm. A full program can be viewed at the FAR website.
More information is also available by phoning event co-ordinator Rachel Lowther on 0420 503603 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Panel
Nick Poole, FAR Australia
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli