All ears newsletter - Issue 37

Author: | Date: 01 Dec 2018

Charlie Thorn, Senior Regional Manager - West

It’s that time of the year when the finish line is in sight for many growers harvesting crops and they can hopefully look forward to a well-earned break over the festive period. I wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, and look forward to seeing many of you in 2019.

With the New Year around the corner, it’s time to diarise and register for some informative and interesting GRDC events in February. These include the GRDC Farm Business Updates and GRDC Grains Research Updates. Attending these events will help equip you with the latest farm business and agronomic information to optimise profitability in 2019 and beyond. Also watch out for details of GRDC summer weeds workshops being delivered in the Kwinana (East) and Geraldton port zones in early February. Details of WA events will be made available on the GRDC website here.

Many of you may have already been listening to and watching GRDC’s engaging new series of podcasts and videos addressing topics relevant to grain growers in WA and other parts of Australia. If you haven’t already I encourage you to subscribe to GRDC podcasts here and videos here.

Some recently released GRDC videos - on the topics of GRDC National Variety Trials™, root lesion nematodes, and pulse options for WA grain growers - are below. Or listen to a WA podcast on nematodes here.

Feel free to forward All Ears to colleagues or clients. I can be contacted at charles.thorn@grdc.com.au.

Research with GRDC investment being carried out by SEPWA is finding grain can be stored in these types of grain bags at harvest with limited risks of quality damage or poor germination in retained seed for the following year. Photo by SEPWA.

Bagging grain no impediment to quality

An increasing trend by Western Australian growers to use grain bags after harvest has led to new research into the impacts of this type of on-site storage on cereal seed quality.

Results to date from the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association’s (SEPWA) Bagging grain profits project are giving this tactic a tick of approval, with minimal evidence of adverse impacts on grain quality or seed germination rates after planting the following year.

The group conducted trials of grain bags across the Esperance region during the 2017-18 harvest, as part of a suite of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investments into local issues that have been identified by grain growers as impacting on their profitability.

Read the full story here.

Image of Chris Gazey, GRDC grower relations manager - west, Jo Wheeler, SoilsWest director and UWA Associate Professor Frances Hoyle and Professor Dan Murphy
Demonstrating the digital publication ‘Soil Quality 3: Soil Organic Matter’ are, from left, DPIRD soil and nutrition portfolio manager Chris Gazey, GRDC grower relations manager - west, Jo Wheeler, SoilsWest director and UWA Associate Professor Frances Hoyle and Professor Dan Murphy, head of UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment. Photo by GRDC.

Soil organic matter ebook launched on World Soil Day

Western Australian growers and industry representatives can access the latest information about soil organic matter in a new digital publication launched at an event in Perth coinciding with World Soil Day.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and SoilsWest - a partnership between the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) - worked together to publish ‘Soil Quality 3: Soil Organic Matter’. The Australia-China Joint Research Centre also provided support for the ebook.

The publication is the third in a series of ebooks on Soil Quality for WA and includes current knowledge shared by experts and best practice techniques presented in layers of information, in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read the full story here.

Growers share strategies for HWSC scenarios

Growers’ experiences in using the newer harvest weed seed control (HWSC) techniques of chaff lining and chaff tramlining, as well as strategies for harvesting low biomass crops, are shared in two new Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) publications.

GRDC grower relations manager - west, Jo Wheeler, said the two grower case study booklets were produced after these issues were raised as priorities by Western Australian GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) groups.

“Specifically, the Kwinana East RCSN has been interested in investigating HWSC techniques in Western Australia’s dry, eastern grainbelt conditions, where there are often smaller crop residues,” Ms Wheeler said.

Read the full story here.

Leading weeds initiative focus of panel visit

Weeds and herbicide resistance, which cost Australian grain growers $3.3 billion each year, continue to be a major area for investment by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

A significant focus for this investment is the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) at The University of Western Australia (UWA), which is recognised internationally for its leading and innovative work into herbicide resistance and its management in cropping systems.

GRDC Western Region Panel members recently visited UWA to observe AHRI’s facilities and to hear from leading researchers, including recently appointed director Hugh Beckie, a prominent international weed scientist.

Read the full story here.

Unearthing information on microscopic pest

Increasing grain growers’ understanding about the impact that root lesion nematodes (RLN) have in their farming systems, and how they can effectively deal with them, is the aim of a new Western Australian project.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) invested in the work after members of its WA Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) initiative identified RLN as an issue of significant concern for growers, especially in the Albany port zone and western areas of the Kwinana port zone.

GRDC grower relations manager - west, Curtis Liebeck, said the microscopic pests could significantly reduce crop yields by feeding on root tissues, reducing water and nutrient uptake and compromising plant growth.

Read the full story, including a video and podcast, here.

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