Dual Purpose Cereals: Varieties and Management for the Northern Slopes and Plains

Loretta Serafin1, Matthew Gardner1, James Fleming2, Dougal Pottie3 and Steve Harden1

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth1 and Gunnedah3
2Pursehouse Rural Pty Ltd, Narrabri, formerly NSW Department of Primary Industries, Coonabarabran

Key words

Grazing value, grain recovery, dry matter, dual purpose, oats, barley, wheat, triticale

GRDC code

DAN00135 National Variety Trials

Take home message

  • Oats and barley produced more dry matter than wheat or triticale across sites and seasons.
  • Triticale produced the highest grain yield following grazing.
  • No one variety excelled in terms of ranking in the top 10 for dry matter production and grain yield. Urambie  barley was the best overall performer, followed by El Alamein  and Endeavour  triticale and Tennant, a winter wheat.
  • Dual purpose varieties should always be selected based on individual enterprise needs.

Background

Dual purpose cereal trials have been conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries for over 40 years. This paper contains the results of two trial sites located in northern NSW during the period from 2008 – 2012.

These trials include a range of wheat, oat, barley, triticale and cereal rye varieties, both commercial and experimental lines, which amounted to 127 different entries over the five year period. For this paper the results from only 40 commercially available varieties have been presented, across four species, wheat, oats, barley and triticale.

 Trial information

Somerton trial sites were located at “Clermont Park” in 2008 – 2012, while Purlewaugh sites where located at “Naparoo” in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and “Kurrajong Vale” in 2011. The trials were sown each year in the first three weeks of April. In each year dry matter assessments were conducted around the end of June for dry matter 1 and at the beginning of August for dry matter 2. Dry matter assessments were followed by a “crash” grazing using both sheep and cattle to remove the dry matter evenly across all plots. The second dry matter assessments did not occur at either site in 2008-09 due to the dry seasons. Following the final grazing in each trial animals were excluded for the remainder of the season to allow grain recovery to be assessed in late November/ Early December. Trial plots were harvested using a KEW plot header. The data assessments made from each trial are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Measurements taken from dual purpose cereal trial sites in sequential years from 2008-2012

Year

Site

No. of dry matter assessments

Harvested for grain yield

2008

Somerton

One

Yes

2009

Somerton

Purlewaugh

One

One

Yes

Yes

2010

Somerton

Purlewaugh

Two

Two

Yes

Yes

2011

Somerton

Purlewaugh

Two

Two

Yes

Yes

2012

Somerton

Purlewaugh

Two

Two

Yes

Yes

Data from each of the trial sites was collated and analysed to compare variety dry matter accumulation and grain yield across sites and seasons to give an indication of the most suitable varieties for Northern NSW.

Results

Which species provides the greatest dry matter and grain yield?

Dry matter and grain yield data for each of the four species, wheat, oats, barley and triticale were compared, across varieties for an indication of their respective performances (Table 2).

Species selection should be based on the priority end use for each individual paddock. The best early dry matter production was provided by oats. Oats were also comparable to barley by providing the best total dry matter production over the length of the season. Triticale was significantly superior to all other species for final grain recovery. Wheat produced the least amount of dry matter but the second highest grain yield. Oats in comparison had the poorest grain recovery of all species. Barley appeared to give the best balance between dry matter production and grain recovery. It should be noted that wheat has a higher return price for the sale of the grain.

Table 2: Species mean dry matter and grain yields from 2008-2012 trials

Species

Dry matter 1 yield (t/ha)

Dry matter 2 yield (t/ha)

Grain yield (t/ha)

Barley

2.796

3.313

3.076

Oats

2.923

3.307

2.390

Triticale

2.502

3.074

3.975

Wheat

2.384

2.982

3.304

* Data for dry matter 2 was only available for 2010-2012.

Which variety should I grow for both high dry matter production and grain yield?

A total of 40 varieties were selected from the overall 127 varieties that data was collected for. The dry matter assessment and grain yield results for 8 barley, 13 oat, 5 triticale and 14 wheat varieties are presented in Table 3. The number of times a variety was included in trials over the period of 2008-2012 varied, with the highest number of trials being nine such as for Urambie PBR logo, while other varieties were only entered once such as DictatorPBR logo.

Total dry matter production from the two assessments totalled over 8 t/ha for some varieties and 4.5 t/ha for grain recovery. A total dry matter production was calculated for all varieties with the exception of the varieties DictatorPBR logo, GeniePBR logo, TaipanPBR logo, AmarokPBR logo and WhistlerPBR logo , which were only trialled in seasons where one dry matter assessment was possible.

No one variety was ranked in the top 10 for both dry matter production and grain yield. The barley variety UrambiePBR logo was the most consistent performer for grazing and grain recovery ranking number 11 for dry matter production at 6.12 t/ha and number 5 for grain yield at 3.72 t/ha. Three other strong performers were the two triticale varieties; El AlameinPBR logo (6.08t/ha dry matter and 4.14 t/ha grain yield) and EndeavourPBR logo (5.91t/ha DM and 4.08 t/ha grain yield); and TennantPBR logo, a winter wheat that produced 5.78 t/ha DM and 3.57 t/ha.

Table 3: Across sites and seasons variety performance of commercially available dual purpose cereal varieties tested in Somerton and Purlewaugh trials between 2008-2012

Variety

Species

Dry matter 1
yield (t/ha)

Dry matter 2
yield (t/ha)

Total dry matter (t/ha)

Grain
yield (t/ha)

Trial
number

Dictator PBR logo

B

2.59

-

-

2.66

1

GairdnerPBR logo  

B

2.42

3.72

6.14

2.78

3

Moby PBR logo

B

2.20

3.38

5.59

2.69

4

Oxford PBR logo

B

2.20

3.12

5.33

3.43

4

Urambie PBR logo

B

2.80

3.32

6.12

3.72

9

Westminster PBR logo

B

2.28

3.31

5.59

3.22

2

White Stallion PBR logo

B

2.28

3.10

5.38

2.85

2

Yambla

B

3.27

2.96

6.23

3.26

5

AladdinPBR logo

O

2.27

2.99

5.26

2.20

2

Bimbil

O

3.11

3.36

6.47

2.26

7

Cooba

O

4.39

3.69

8.08

2.03

2

Cooee PBR logo

O

2.11

2.88

4.99

1.75

4

Dawson PBR logo

O

3.79

3.25

7.05

2.13

4

Drover PBR logo

O

3.79

3.35

7.15

2.20

4

Eurabbie

O

3.20

3.39

6.59

2.63

7

Genie PBR logo

O

2.80

-

-

2.30

3

Graza 51PBR logo

O

1.95

3.26

5.22

1.56

2

Graza 80 PBR logo

O

3.18

3.22

6.40

2.08

6

Outback PBR logo

O

2.11

2.93

5.04

1.72

4

Taipan PBR logo

O

2.86

-

-

2.10

2

Yiddah PBR logo

O

3.18

3.76

6.94

2.07

6

Crackerjack PBR logo  

T

1.93

3.63

5.56

4.27

5

El Alamein (AT573) PBR logo  

T

2.66

3.41

6.08

4.14

7

Endeavour PBR logo

T

2.50

3.41

5.91

4.08

9

Tobruk PBR logo

T

2.75

2.82

5.56

4.58

7

Tuckerbox PBR logo

T

1.79

3.05

4.84

3.49

4

Amarok PBR logo

W

1.81

-

 

3.20

3

Brennan PBR logo

W

2.50

2.80

5.30

3.27

7

EGA Eaglehawk PBR logo

W

2.38

2.91

5.30

3.30

9

EGA Gregory PBR logo

W

4.55

3.27

7.82

2.66

2

EGA Wedgetail PBR logo

W

2.38

3.15

5.53

3.43

9

Forrest (HRZ030086) PBR logo

W

2.67

3.04

5.71

3.07

6

Mackellar PBR logo

W

2.50

2.52

5.02

3.39

7

Mansfield PBR logo

W

1.49

2.67

4.16

3.12

2

Marombi PBR logo

W

2.90

2.78

5.68

3.59

5

Naparoo PBR logo

W

2.38

3.24

5.62

3.55

9

SQP Revenue PBR logo

W

2.67

2.80

5.48

3.61

6

Tennant PBR logo

W

2.90

2.87

5.78

3.57

5

Whistler PBR logo

W

1.99

-

 

3.15

2

Wrangler PBR logo

W

1.53

2.94

4.47

3.26

4

* Species included are B = Barley, O = Oats, T = Triticale and W = Wheat

Which variety should I choose if dry matter production is the priority?

A majority of entries ranking in the top 10 for dry matter production were oat varieties (Table 4). The top four varieties produced between 0.52 and 1.28 t/ha more dry matter than other varieties for the first dry matter assessment, whereas this same advantage was not evident for the second dry matter assessment.  The public oat variety Cooba produced the most dry matter at 8.08 t/ha over the two dry matter assessments, however, this variety was only included in two trials at Somerton in 2009 and 2010.

The wheat variety EGA GregoryPBR logo  also performed very well, at 7.82 t/ha, and as a Prime Hard classified variety this is worth further consideration. Two barley varieties YamblaPBR logo, a designated dual purpose variety and the popular malting variety GairdnerPBR logo also produced dry matter in excess of 6 t/ha.

None of the triticale varieties were ranked in the top ten, however El AlameinPBR logo and EndeavourPBR logo ranked 12 and 13 respectively.

Table 4: The top 10 ranked varieties for total dry matter production from Somerton and Purlewaugh dual purpose cereal trials between 2008-2012

Variety

Species

Dry matter 1
 yield (t/ha)

Dry matter 2
yield (t/ha)

Total dry matter
production (t/ha)

Dry matter
ranking

Cooba

O

4.39

3.69

8.08

1

EGA GregoryPBR logo

W

4.55

3.27

7.82

2

Drover PBR logo

O

3.79

3.35

7.15

3

DawsonPBR logo

O

3.79

3.25

7.05

4

YiddahPBR logo

O

3.18

3.76

6.94

5

Eurabbie

O

3.20

3.39

6.59

6

Bimbil

O

3.11

3.36

6.47

7

Graza 80 PBR logo

O

3.18

3.22

6.40

8

Yambla

B

3.27

2.96

6.23

9

Gairdner PBR logo

B

2.42

3.72

6.14

10

* Species included are B = Barley, O = Oats, T = Triticale and W = Wheat

Which variety should I choose if grain yield is the priority?

The triticale varieties came to the fore when grain yield was taken into consideration with all five triticale varieties ranking in the top 10 for grain yield. Only one barley variety, UrambiePBR logo  placed in the top 10; and none of the oat varieties. Of the wheat varieties, SQP RevenuePBR logo, MarombiPBR logo, TennantPBR logo and NaparooPBR logo  were the best, producing over 3.5 t/ha following two grazing events.

Table 5: The top 10 ranked varieties for grain yield from Somerton and Purlewaugh dual purpose cereal trials between 2008-2012

Variety

Species

Grain yield
(t/ha)

Grain yield
Ranking

Tobruk PBR logo

T

4.58

1

Crackerjack PBR logo

T

4.27

2

El Alamein (AT573) PBR logo

T

4.14

3

Endeavour PBR logo

T

4.08

4

UrambiePBR logo

B

3.72

5

SQP RevenuePBR logo

W

3.61

6

MarombiPBR logo

W

3.59

7

TennantPBR logo

W

3.57

8

NaparooPBR logo

W

3.55

9

TuckerboxPBR logo

T

3.49

10

* Species included are B = Barley, O = Oats, T = Triticale and W = Wheat

Managing dual purpose cereals for optimum results

Managing the timing and intensity of grazing dual purpose cereals is critical to achieving maximum dry matter and grain yield. In order to achieve this some knowledge of individual varieties growth rates is useful. The rate of growth of each variety needs to be monitored carefully to ensure grazing is timely.

Grazing can commence once the plants are adequately anchored with secondary roots. This is to prevent stock from removing plants from the ground. Identifying when to commence grazing is easier than identifying when to cease grazing.

Once a variety reaches Zadoks growth stage 30 it is changing from vegetative to reproductive phase. Beyond this stage nodes may be felt inside the stem of the plant indicating that the developing head has now moved above ground level. At this stage livestock should be removed and the paddock locked up for grain recovery or hay production. If livestock are allowed to continue grazing beyond this point, developing heads may be grazed off leading to significant reductions in grain yield and tiller death. Growth stage assessment should always be carried out of the primary tiller as it is the most advanced.

The time taken to reach growth stage 30 varies with variety, temperature, grazing intensity and several other factors. Quick maturing varieties offer a reduced length of grazing, while long season varieties are often slow to produce dry matter and slower to reach growth stage 30.   

As an example from Table 6, the Barley variety MobyPBR logo,  had reached growth stage 31 (one node present) by the 27th June, in comparison to a slower maturing variety such as Graza 51PBR logo , which is only early tillering at growth stage 24 on the same day. This information highlights the benefits of sowing more than one dual purpose variety.

Table 6: Somerton dual purpose cereal trial 2011 growth stage records in crop
(planted 19th April, 2011)

Variety

Species
(O=oats,
B=barley,
W= wheat,
T = triticale)

Zadoks growth stage
27th June, 2011

Zadoks growth stage
16th August, 2011

Zadoks growth stage
14th September, 2011

GairdnerPBR logo

B

29

33

58

MobyPBR logo

B

31

39

67

OxfordPBR logo

B

29

34

57

UrambiePBR logo

B

29

32

56

Bimbil

O

26

31

48

CooeePBR logo

O

24

31

37

Graza 51PBR logo  

O

23

33

37

Graza 80PBR logo

O

25

31

39

OutbackPBR logo

O

26

32

37

Yiddah PBR logo

O

29

31

57

CrackerjackPBR logo

T

26

39

64

El Alamein (AT573) PBR logo

T

23

33

53

EndeavourPBR logo

T

24

32

51

TuckerboxPBR logo

T

27

39

64

BrennanPBR logo

W

29

30

43

EGA EaglehawkPBR logo

W

31

32

49

EGA Wedgetail PBR logo

W

26

31

51

MackellarPBR logo

W

29

30

41

Mansfield PBR logo

W

28

30

37

NaparooPBR logo

W

29

30

46

SQP RevenuePBR logo

W

29

30

37

Wrangler PBR logo

W

29

30

46

Other factors to consider before selecting a dual purpose variety

There are many other factors that can lead to selecting one crop species or one variety over another.

Generally speaking two major considerations which have developed more in recent years include variety classification and disease resistance, particularly with the increased number of strains of stripe and leaf rust. If a varieties grain is able to be delivered into a higher priced market such as prime hard then overall returns are likely to be greater.

The overall gross margin returns for any crop should also be calculated. In the case of dual purpose crops, the biggest financial advantage is where livestock are on hand to take advantage of the additional dry matter produced. There is also the additional benefit of resting pastures during this period.

Sowing time and opportunity also has an important bearing on selection of the right crop and variety. Generally speaking it is acceptable to start sowing oat varieties during February in some areas, while most of the barley and triticale varieties cannot be sown until March or into April. Ensuring that grazing cereal crops are sown early as possible for a variety is pivotal to allow sufficient time for biomass to accumulate for winter grazing and flowering to still occur within the optimum window.

The main window of feed deficit on any property may also affect selection of the most appropriate dual purpose cereal. If a feed shortage is not likely until later in the winter such as August, then some of the slower maturity winter wheats may be more suitable as they are slow to start but generally produce feed later into the season when varieties such as Cooba oats have moved into the reproductive phase and are approaching maturity.

Recovery after grazing is also worth considering, particularly in seasons where heavy frosts are combined with heavy grazing such as in 2012. In that season, some varieties of oats in particular suffered significant tiller death as a result of the combination of grazing and heavy frosts.

Seed costs also vary substantially between varieties and species. As an example, in some cases the cost of oat seed can be close to double for a new variety compared to some of the older varieties. Additional dry matter or grain yield must be produced to compensate for this higher initial cost.

Conclusions

In all situations the selection of a dual purpose cereal is based on the individual enterprise and property needs.

In general terms oat and barley varieties produce more dry matter in a season than wheat or triticale. Conversely triticale produces more grain yield than the other species.

The most ideal dual purpose variety ultimately depends on your end use. There were only a small number of varieties that excelled in producing both high dry matter and grain yield. UrambiePBR logo, El Alamein PBR logo, EndeavourPBR logo  and TennantPBR logo  were the best dual purpose performers of the 40 varieties evaluated in this paper.

In all situations it is recommended to split the variety selection and sowing time of dual purpose cereals where possible. This will spread the period when grazing can occur and also the risk of crop failure due to dry conditions or disease.

Contact details

Loretta Serafin & Matthew Gardner
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Ph: 02 67 63 1100
Fx: 02 67 63 1222
Email: Loretta.serafin@dpi.nsw.gov.au or Matthew.gardner@dpi.nsw.gov.au

James Fleming
Pursehouse Rural Pty Ltd, formerly NSW Department of Primary Industries
Ph: 02 67 92 9500
Email: j.fleming@pursehouse.net.au

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Frank McRae and Peter Matthews, NSW DPI for funding these trials prior to 2011 and to GRDC for providing additional support to allow the trials to continue in 2011 and 2012.

Thanks to our co-operators Andrew & Belinda Davidson “Clermont Park” Somerton, Peter & Debbie Redden “Naparoo” and Alan & Marlie Poyner “Kurrajong Vale” Purlewaugh for their generous provision of the trial sites, stock for grazing and support of the trials.

Thanks also to Peter Formann and Ben Frazer for technical assistance.

Further information

For additional information on growth stages in cereals consult: Zadoks, J.C., Chang, T.T. and Konzak, C.F. "A Decimal Code for the Growth Stages of Cereals", Weed Research 1974 14:415-421

PBR logo  Varieties displaying this symbol beside them are protected under the Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994.

GRDC Project code: DAN00135 National Variety Trials