Stubble Initiative

GroundCover Supplement on StubbleAcross Australia, stubble is retained on approximately 60 per cent of cropped land, with about three-quarters of this retained as standing stubble. The adoption of stubble retention has required significant changes in other farming practices. Yet growers have embraced stubble retention and adapted both their equipment and their farming practices.

The GRDC initiative, Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble, or the “Stubble Initiative” supports grain growers across New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania through the development of regional guidelines for managing each aspect of a stubble-retained farming system.

GRDC invested $17.5 million in the initiative that ran from 2014 to 2018. The July-August 2018 GroundCoverTM Supplement feature on Stubble highlights some of these research outcomes.

Guidelines developed by local Farming Systems groups will help growers manage a stubble-retained system at each phase of the growing season as listed below.

We will progressively add information on the research outcomes for each phase and links to the local guidelines during spring 2018.

Short URL:

Topics coming soon include;


  • Stubble type
  • Machinery setup

Post harvest

  • Managing stubble
  • Stubble reduction
  • Levels of stubble

Preparation for seeding

  • Break crops
  • Inter-row seeding
  • Herbicides and weeds


  • Machinery setup
  • Row spacing


  • Diseases
  • Pests