Dual-purpose cereal variety performance in NSW farming systems

Author: Mehrshad Barary (NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga) and Peter Matthews (NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange) | Date: 27 Feb 2018

Call to action / take home messages

  • Cereal varieties differ in their forage production; growers need to balance this against grain yield recovery and maximum grain quality (based on varietal grade classification).
  • Matching a variety’s flowering time and maturity to the local growing environment is important for maximising grain yield recovery following grazing of a dual purpose variety.
  • Selecting a suitable variety based on the region, an appropriate sowing time, grazing management and crop nutrition are the main parameters for growing a successful dual-purpose crop.
  • The newly released wheat varieties LRPB Kittyhawk and Longsword are suited for use as dual-purpose grazing crops across NSW and have performed comparably with the industry benchmark EGA Wedgetail.

Introduction

Mixed farming systems in NSW including dual-purpose grazing crops have a long history. In recent years dual-purpose cropping systems have attracted more consideration because of greater profitability and sustainability.

Dual-purpose grazing crops give growers an opportunity to produce additional forage in key periods of the year when pasture systems might not be able to meet livestock requirements. They can be substituted for grain-only crops or, in more intensive livestock operations, for forage-only crop types. Selecting the right crop type, variety and then managing them properly can boost returns across both the livestock and grain production units in the farm business. The most common crops used in mixed farming and dual-purpose cropping are cereals. A jointly funded project between the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has been evaluating new cereal varieties for suitability as dual-purpose types across NSW for the past four years. This paper presents some of the results of this project.

Methods

The project included a series of grazing cereal trials across NSW in 2016 and 2017. The trials were sown from the first week of April to the first week of May in 2016, and from the last week of March to the first week of April in 2017.

Key measurements recorded at all sites included dry matter (DM) production through the season at key periods – mid tillering and then before stem elongation i.e. growth stage (GS)31 on the Zadoks scale (Zadoks et al. 1974). The experiments are then grazed by livestock following DM measurement and allowed to recover for either further DM assessment or carried through to grain production. Growth stages were also recorded for all varieties when DM measurements were taken. Grain yield and the grain quality parameters such as grain protein, screenings, grain size and test weight were also measured at harvest.

At Wagga Wagga, the core research site, as well as measuring variety performance, also assessed the influence of sowing time on DM production by varieties, and the time of flowering response by varieties of wheat and triticale. Additional plant measurements such as flowering time, number of tillers and leaf area on a core group of varieties were recorded at the Wagga Wagga site to better understand how the different varieties accumulate DM and then recover for grain production.

Results and discussion

Seasonal overview

The results discussed in this paper are from the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The 2016 season was one of above-average rainfall compared with 2017. 2017 was dominated by below-average rainfall through winter and early spring (Table 1), with seasonally late frosts throughout NSW. The growing season rainfall (April–November) for the sites in 2016 was 24–75% above the long-term average (LTA) for the sites, whilst 2017 was 9–68% below LTA. When viewing the results, the distribution and amount of rainfall needs to be considered, as this significantly affected the early forage production and then the opportunity for varieties to recover and produce grain.

Table 1.a and 1.b Monthly rainfall (mm) for trial sites in NSW for 2016, 2017 and the long-term average (LTA; mm) rainfall for the closest Bureau of Meteorology weather station.

Bathurst

Cudal

Holbrook

Purlewaugh

Month

LTA

2016

LTA

2016

LTA

2016

2017

LTA

2016

2017

January

68

105

63

49

45

75

31

90

111

48

February

58

13

53

0

66

28

12

81

23

21

March

52

40

52

47

54

24

37

63

35

142

April

42

23

44

58

42

16

78

52

18

9

May

41

39

47

63

49

100

44

54

63

19

June

44

104

53

122

67

94

6

57

126

10

July

49

105

53

95

67

80

58

55

39

2

August

50

88

52

78

70

69

80

53

74

15

September

47

139

49

163

64

147

20

51

183

4

October

59

49

56

53

54

45

53

59

63

67

November

61

60

54

57

61

37

78

65

20

19

December

66

45

59

24

45

43

95

71

33

26

Total

640

810

636

809

714

756

593

751

788

381

Somerton

Spicers Creek

Wagga Wagga

Month

LTA

2016

2017

LTA

2016

2017

LTA

2016

2017

January

79

97

82

72

88

0

38

59

11

February

64

18

11

61

0

0

37

20

16

March

43

2

100

53

46

113

38

43

35

April

34

2

10

45

19

6

39

11

33

May

39

80

55

47

63

51

44

102

20

June

41

124

55

52

108

13

51

100

3

July

38

33

14

52

95

10

49

87

60

August

37

101

20

51

76

17

48

68

33

September

39

122

3

48

162

7

49

178

4

October

53

65

80

56

79

86

51

79

52

November

60

10

74

64

37

64

41

28

48

December

66

38

48

61

26

42

41

54

131

Total

594

693

552

656

798

408

527

827

444

Wheat, triticale and barley variety evaluation

In recent years breeding companies have increased investment in evaluating and releasing cereal varieties that are potentially suitable for grazing and grain production. The newer releases now offer growers a wider choice of maturity compared with EGA Wedgetail, which has been the industry benchmark for over a decade. These newer varieties not only offer differences in maturity and flowering time, grain quality and disease tolerance, they have different lengths of vegetative and reproductive phases, which allows growers to more closely match their local growing conditions to maximise forage production and grain yield.

The project evaluated 48 wheat, triticale and barley entries in 2016 and 36 in 2017, of which over half were new or late stage breeding lines from various companies across Australia.

In this paper, only the dry matter and grain yield results are presented; the full seasonal report for 2016 is available on the NSW DPI website and includes grain quality for the wheat, triticale and barley lines, dual-purpose oat evaluation and a brief economic comparison of the varieties at selected sites.

When comparing individual varieties, not only look at the difference in dry matter and grain yield, but also the stability of rank across the various trials as an indicator of reliable performance.

There are significant difference between early dry matter production by varieties (Tables 2 and 3), with the slower winter types being less vigorous compared with the fast–medium winter types and the mid-season spring types. These differences were not as significant for the second dry matter reading following grazing (Tables 4 and 5). The impact of grazing on a variety’s ability to recover is also shown in Tables 4 and 5. The shorter season varieties such as Tuckerbox and EGA Gregory which had high initial dry matter production, showed poor dry matter production at the second measurement as the plants were damaged (loss of growing points) compared with the more prostrate later developing varieties.

Grain yield recovery (Tables 6 and 7) was driven in both seasons by rainfall following grazing, with the later-maturing varieties taking advantage of the wet spring in 2016. In 2017 it was combination of the late rain and frosts that affected a variety’s ability to perform. Varieties in 2017 that were less developed at the time of the frost events avoided damage and also matured later, so were able to take advantage of the rain in October and early November.

Recently released and evaluated lines include:

  • Cartwheel – A long-season dual-purpose triticale that is suitable for an early March to early April sowing. A stripe rust resistant replacement for Tobruk. Straw strength is good and has shorter stature than Tobruk. In each of the 2016 and 2017 multi-environment trial(MET) analyses, there was no significant difference in dry matter production compared with Tobruk. Grain yield after grazing was also equivalent to Tobruk.
  • Kowari – A new triticale variety registered in 2016. This longer season variety is a tip-awned, dense grained triticale that suits early sowing and grazing. Limited testing in 2016 only at Wagga Wagga, more widely tested in 2017. Kowari showed no difference in DM1 compared with Tobruk, but significantly lower dry matter production at DM2 in the across sites MET analysis. Grain yield was significantly lower than Tobruk.
  • Longsword – A fast-maturing winter wheat, derived from Mace, most suited to April sowings. Longsword is a true winter wheat and has three winter genes and is relatively quick to mature. This earlier flowering and quicker maturity provides growers in medium–low rainfall environments a more suitable variety for their growing environment then EGA-Wedgetail or similar mid-winter types. Longsword’s DM1 and grain yield in the across site MET analysis for 2016 and 2017 was not significantly different from EGA_Wedgetail. In 2016 DM2 compared across all sites was significantly higher than EGA_Wedgetail.
  • LRPB Kittyhawk – A winter wheat, with a similar maturity and planting window to EGA Wedgetail. Has improved stripe rust resistance and grain quality over EGA Wedgetail. Dry matter production and grain yield from the MET analysis across all sites in 2016 was not significantly different from EGA Wedgetail. In 2017 across all sites LRPB Kittyhawk had lower dry matter production at the first grazing, but DM2 and grain yield were not significantly different from EGA Wedgetail.
  • RGT Accroc – A red winter wheat of feed grain quality, suited to the higher rainfall zones. Suitable for sowing late February to early April for early grazing. Good stand ability. Flowering time and maturity is later than EGA Wedgetail. RGT Accroc’s performance compared with EGA Wedgetail, has been variable with consistently higher grain yield following grazing in 2016, but not significantly different in the 2017 season. Dry matter production has been consistently lower than EGA Wedgetail at the first grazing.
  • Sunlamb – An awnless, long-season spring wheat suited to early April plantings, with strong photoperiod sensitivity. Suited to grazing and grain recovery across NSW. Similar flowering time to EGA Wedgetail, and a few days earlier than Naparoo (Matthews et al. 2017). Grain yield performance has been variable across seasons, with equivalent grain yield in 2016, but significantly lower grain yield in the 2017 season. Dry matter production was significantly lower in both 2016 and 2017 seasons for the first and second grazing.

Table 2. Dry matter (DM1) (kg/ha) for wheat, triticale and barley varieties across NSW in 2016. Each varieties rank in the respective trial is shown, 2016. (Note: only released varieties are reported).

Variety

Crop type

Bathurst

Holbrook

Cudal

Purlewaugh

Spicers Creek

Somerton

Wagga

All sites

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

Urambie

Barley

4290

4

595

47

1751

16

2883

25

3218

4

2301

21

1422

29

2081

10

Cartwheel

Triticale

3778

18

1463

12

1645

28

2882

26

2634

16

1827

41

1417

30

1946

24

Crackerjack2

Triticale

4630

1

1498

9

1865

11

2708

36

2379

28

2267

26

1559

12

2145

8

Endeavour

Triticale

4272

5

1492

10

2112

1

3097

19

2887

10

2318

18

1554

14

2182

6

Kowari

Triticale

1565

10

1983

18

Tobruk

Triticale

3293

40

1559

6

1553

33

3293

12

2587

19

1864

39

1438

26

1911

29

Tuckerbox

Triticale

3478

31

2020

1

1838

13

3766

2

3407

1

3234

1

2042

1

2385

1

DS Pascal

Wheat

3506

30

1322

22

1565

32

3224

13

2183

36

2180

30

1433

27

1894

30

EGA Gregory

Wheat

4391

2

1202

26

1692

24

3649

3

3162

6

2553

7

1450

25

2271

3

EGA Wedgetail

Wheat

3579

24

1368

19

1853

12

3200

15

2710

14

2521

10

1601

6

2078

11

Longsword

Wheat

4200

6

1426

16

2023

4

3790

1

2627

17

2446

14

1732

3

2215

5

LRPB Kittyhawk

Wheat

3442

33

1325

21

2029

3

2661

37

2891

9

2313

19

1489

20

1990

17

Mackellar

Wheat

3079

46

874

43

1448

42

2041

47

1674

46

1838

40

916

47

1451

45

Manning

Wheat

3813

17

1383

17

1685

25

2861

29

2513

21

2482

12

1323

38

1951

21

Naparoo

Wheat

3413

34

1184

30

1910

7

3356

9

2699

15

2548

9

1495

19

2023

15

RGT Accroc

Wheat

3100

45

1202

27

1987

6

3002

23

2354

30

1922

36

1577

7

1881

33

SF Adagio

Wheat

3459

32

953

40

1575

31

2579

41

2172

37

1907

38

1249

43

1724

41

SF Scenario

Wheat

4069

9

1052

33

1884

9

3323

11

1989

43

2914

2

1283

39

1977

19

Sunlamb

Wheat

3283

41

1375

18

1631

29

2575

42

2717

13

2896

3

1431

28

1889

31

 

Wheat

3650

23

1543

7

1551

34

3627

4

3382

2

2426

16

1663

4

2177

7

Whistler

Wheat

Trial mean

 

3631

 

1260

 

1679

 

2989

 

2504

 

2236

 

1433

 

1933

LSD 5%

 

845

 

200

 

441

 

713

 

568

 

475

 

195

 

158

Table 3. Dry matter (DM1) (kg/ha) for wheat, triticale and barley varieties across NSW in 2017. Each varieties rank in the respective trial is shown, 2017. (Note: only released varieties are reported).

Variety

Crop type

Holbrook

Purlewaugh

Spicers Creek

Somerton

Wagga

All sites

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

DM1

Rank

Urambie

Barley

2001

27

1056

28

1798

17

1693

28

1213

22

1563

25

Cartwheel

Triticale

2219

12

1447

7

1736

19

2016

6

1326

14

1772

11

Crackerjack2

Triticale

Endeavour

Triticale

2562

2

1370

10

1962

10

1807

23

1291

18

1754

12

Kowari

Triticale

2320

6

1167

22

2075

6

1909

12

1388

10

1750

13

Tobruk

Triticale

2177

15

1450

6

1808

15

2031

5

1360

12

1775

10

Tuckerbox

Triticale

DS Pascal

Wheat

1567

36

1205

19

1647

25

1487

35

980

35

1369

35

EGA Gregory

Wheat

2104

18

1032

30

1682

20

1817

22

1163

24

1543

27

EGA Wedgetail

Wheat

2510

4

1391

9

1947

11

1712

27

1444

7

1822

4

Longsword

Wheat

2043

22

1212

18

1907

12

1900

14

1342

13

1681

17

LRPB Kittyhawk

Wheat

2041

24

1473

5

1657

22

1832

21

1128

27

1606

21

Mackellar

Wheat

1885

30

1104

26

1128

36

918

36

913

36

1240

36

Manning

Wheat

1663

35

873

35

1328

35

1860

17

1048

31

1389

34

Naparoo

Wheat

2028

26

1532

4

1664

21

1838

18

1000

34

1565

24

RGT Accroc

Wheat

1849

33

905

34

1507

32

1615

31

1305

15

1525

28

SF Adagio

Wheat

SF Scenario

Wheat

Sunlamb

Wheat

2051

21

1045

29

1644

26

1664

30

1088

28

1523

29

Sunmax

Wheat

2166

16

1713

2

2031

7

1937

10

1386

11

1822

5

Whistler

Wheat

2318

7

1215

17

1819

14

1882

16

1474

5

1793

9

Trial mean

 

2123

 

1239

 

1786

 

1826

 

1286

 

1656

 

LSD 5%

 

393

 

326

 

384

 

534

 

265

 

168

 

Table 4. Dry matter (DM2) (kg/ha) for wheat, triticale and barley varieties across NSW in 2016. Each varieties rank in the respective trial is shown, 2016. (Note: only released varieties are reported).

Variety

Crop type

Bathurst

Holbrook

Cudal

Purlewaugh

Spicers Creek

Somerton

Wagga

All sites

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

Urambie

Barley

3654

18

373

47

2599

13

2543

14

2237

14

3011

1

1451

24

2304

14

Cartwheel

Triticale

3696

17

1101

11

2488

18

2669

12

2769

6

2399

10

1566

9

2374

10

Crackerjack2

Triticale

3449

25

1027

14

2222

30

2150

34

1735

34

2026

28

1512

19

2057

27

Endeavour

Triticale

4058

7

1220

5

2773

6

2406

21

2523

11

2333

14

1558

11

2400

6

Kowari

Triticale

1391

27

2163

23

Tobruk

Triticale

3928

10

1204

6

3165

2

3124

7

2758

8

2128

23

1533

15

2384

8

Tuckerbox

Triticale

2434

44

1114

8

1174

47

1229

47

1334

45

2449

7

1260

39

1820

45

DS Pascal

Wheat

1907

48

714

32

1528

44

1426

45

1293

46

1877

39

1170

45

1604

48

EGA Gregory

Wheat

2092

46

660

37

1439

46

1347

46

1242

47

2179

20

1118

48

1404

50

EGA Wedgetail

Wheat

3401

26

1005

15

2604

12

2449

15

1745

33

2115

24

1543

13

2164

22

Longsword

Wheat

4246

2

1131

7

2730

9

2419

20

1924

24

1913

36

1674

5

2380

9

LRPB Kittyhawk

Wheat

3722

15

907

23

2164

32

2429

17

1896

25

2358

13

1453

23

2196

21

Mackellar

Wheat

3324

27

617

39

2144

35

2427

18

1660

37

1620

46

1146

46

1823

44

Manning

Wheat

3306

28

805

28

2336

22

2256

32

1846

27

1842

40

1342

29

2047

28

Naparoo

Wheat

3939

9

809

27

2303

25

2323

27

2148

16

2662

4

1787

2

2354

11

RGT Accroc

Wheat

3132

35

923

20

2451

20

2383

23

2344

13

2271

15

1415

25

2075

26

SF Adagio

Wheat

2845

38

825

26

2330

24

2281

28

1780

32

1935

33

1319

35

1914

38

SF Scenario

Wheat

4015

8

613

40

2250

27

2373

24

2047

18

1411

47

1201

43

1935

36

Sunlamb

Wheat

2753

43

780

30

1915

38

1897

38

1586

39

1798

44

1335

31

1859

41

Sunmax

Wheat

2816

41

897

24

1583

43

1812

39

1484

42

1913

37

1307

36

1767

46

Whistler

Wheat

Trial mean

 

3384

 

885

 

2284

 

2379

 

2026

 

2136

 

1424

 

2105

LSD 5%

 

640

 

169

 

406

 

450

 

386

 

560

 

258

 

146

Table 5. Dry matter (DM2) (kg/ha) for wheat, triticale and barley varieties across NSW in 2017. Each varieties rank in the respective trial is shown, 2017. (Note: only released varieties are reported).

Variety

Crop type

Holbrook

Purlewaugh

Spicers Creek

Somerton

Wagga

All sites

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

DM2

Rank

Urambie

Barley

1214

6

1444

14

1065

16

2181

31

1975

20

1685

15

Cartwheel

Triticale

1250

4

1588

8

1015

23

3091

7

2137

7

1753

9

Crackerjack2

Triticale

Endeavour

Triticale

1013

17

1506

13

1007

24

3111

6

2295

3

1750

11

Kowari

Triticale

556

33

867

34

922

31

2300

27

2049

18

1402

31

Tobruk

Triticale

1193

7

1929

3

935

29

2772

14

2040

19

1755

8

Tuckerbox

Triticale

DS Pascal

Wheat

450

36

492

36

600

36

1821

36

1588

31

1091

36

EGA Gregory

Wheat

593

32

640

35

1066

15

2173

32

1766

29

1310

34

EGA Wedgetail

Wheat

983

21

1432

15

1086

14

2630

21

2089

10

1657

19

Longsword

Wheat

1087

11

1588

7

1410

2

2422

25

2091

9

1751

10

LRPB Kittyhawk

Wheat

1009

18

1512

12

1047

18

2225

29

2061

14

1665

17

Mackellar

Wheat

1029

16

1273

22

986

26

2168

33

1535

33

1458

27

Manning

Wheat

893

26

1054

29

756

33

3123

5

1541

32

1360

33

Naparoo

Wheat

998

19

1288

21

1088

13

3148

4

1970

21

1714

13

RGT Accroc

Wheat

1036

14

1375

17

933

30

2768

15

1598

30

1486

25

SF Adagio

Wheat

SF Scenario

Wheat

Sunlamb

Wheat

706

29

1061

28

1032

20

2299

28

1879

25

1456

28

Sunmax

Wheat

474

35

1048

30

1190

7

2130

35

1810

27

1370

32

Whistler

Wheat

1113

10

1390

16

1138

9

2857

12

2223

4

1760

7

Trial mean

 

961

 

1335

 

1053

 

2694

 

1945

 

1597

LSD 5%

 

211

 

333

 

243

 

770

 

278

 

173

Table 6. Grain yield (GY) (kg/ha) for wheat, triticale and barley varieties across NSW in 2016. Each varieties rank in the respective trial is shown, 2016. (Note: only released varieties are reported).

Variety

Crop type

Bathurst

Holbrook

Cudal

Purlewaugh

Spicers Creek

Somerton

Wagga

All sites

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

Urambie

Barley

6400

24

1926

47

7755

17

5770

8

5153

30

3816

45

4802

23

5190

35

Cartwheel

Triticale

6342

25

6648

10

8864

5

4555

43

6106

7

5449

5

5911

4

6384

5

Crackerjack2

Triticale

4990

41

4134

42

5525

47

5132

35

2849

47

4367

41

2976

48

4362

47

Endeavour

Triticale

7016

11

5818

15

7352

26

6045

3

5086

32

5035

14

4516

25

5769

19

Kowari

Triticale

3544

44

5355

32

Tobruk

Triticale

5794

32

7775

2

8297

10

5192

26

6638

2

5313

7

5826

5

6388

4

Tuckerbox

Triticale

6034

28

4923

27

4943

48

4957

37

4519

40

4319

42

3325

47

4587

46

DS Pascal

Wheat

3690

47

4789

29

7318

29

5464

14

5334

25

4666

32

4414

27

5064

42

EGA Gregory

Wheat

4110

46

4134

41

6387

46

5779

7

5406

24

4106

44

3859

40

4816

45

EGA Wedgetail

Wheat

7104

9

5337

21

7524

23

4548

44

5876

10

4885

23

4273

29

5378

29

Longsword

Wheat

5447

38

4475

35

7708

19

5260

20

5505

22

4861

25

3927

38

5252

33

LRPB Kittyhawk

Wheat

4187

40

7201

33

5218

25

5128

31

4959

19

3364

46

5106

39

Mackellar

Wheat

6414

23

4563

33

7006

37

5176

27

5211

29

4589

37

5100

16

5564

21

Manning

Wheat

7474

3

6311

14

6634

41

5507

13

4878

36

3673

47

5480

9

5840

18

Naparoo

Wheat

5750

34

4880

28

6504

45

5373

18

5675

14

4887

22

4250

31

5388

28

RGT Accroc

Wheat

7283

5

6831

7

8113

13

6000

4

5931

9

5048

12

6356

1

6468

2

SF Adagio

Wheat

6949

13

5014

26

8348

9

5086

36

5846

11

5030

15

5524

7

6063

13

SF Scenario

Wheat

7170

7

4606

32

6908

39

5253

21

4908

35

3750

46

5211

14

5558

22

Sunlamb

Wheat

6449

22

5506

17

6626

43

5560

10

4986

33

4566

38

3835

41

5361

31

Sunmax

Wheat

5654

37

5488

18

7024

36

5220

24

4817

37

4814

28

4199

33

5498

27

Whistler

Wheat

Trial mean

 

6127

 

5343

 

7551

 

5243

 

5348

 

4827

 

4656

 

5619

LSD 5%

666

 

951

 

632

 

896

 

414

 

529

 

539

293

Table 7. Grain yield (GY) (kg/ha) for wheat, triticale and barley varieties across NSW in 2017. Each varieties rank in the respective trial is shown, 2017. (Note: only released varieties are reported).

Variety

Crop type

Holbrook

Purlewaugh

Spicers Creek

Somerton

Wagga

All sites

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

GY

Rank

Urambie

Barley

5034

16

1826

23

1867

18

2636

16

1632

7

2642

13

Cartwheel

Triticale

6073

9

2604

2

2897

1

3249

3

1637

6

3357

2

Crackerjack2

Triticale

  

Endeavour

Triticale

5312

14

2083

12

2453

6

2617

17

1232

29

2893

9

Kowari

Triticale

4416

31

1984

17

2040

12

2518

22

1499

16

2712

12

Tobruk

Triticale

6689

3

2550

3

2458

5

2968

7

1568

13

3123

5

Tuckerbox

Triticale

DS Pascal

Wheat

4853

21

1963

18

1440

34

2474

24

1009

33

2305

31

EGA Gregory

Wheat

4225

33

1608

32

1457

33

2386

26

1107

31

2276

32

EGA Wedgetail

Wheat

4490

28

1950

20

1738

25

2864

10

1321

24

2599

16

Longsword

Wheat

4431

30

1616

31

1790

20

3148

6

1336

23

2559

21

LRPB Kittyhawk

Wheat

4292

32

1622

30

1776

22

2862

11

1198

30

2457

26

Mackellar

Wheat

5556

13

2415

6

1799

19

2592

18

1569

12

2634

14

Manning

Wheat

6634

4

1652

29

1154

36

2151

33

1452

18

2174

35

Naparoo

Wheat

4991

17

1926

22

1679

28

2284

29

1310

26

2431

28

RGT Accroc

Wheat

6937

1

1945

21

1545

31

2075

35

1447

19

2402

30

SF Adagio

Wheat

SF Scenario

Wheat

Sunlamb

Wheat

4490

29

1666

28

1555

30

2077

34

1061

32

2187

34

Sunmax

Wheat

4615

26

2078

13

1925

17

2277

30

1470

17

2581

19

Whistler

Wheat

3760

36

1579

33

2002

13

2518

21

1575

10

2590

17

Trial mean

 

5220

 

1987

 

1942

 

2628

 

1452

 

2644

LSD 5%

433

 

286

 

242

 

324

 

367

 

282

Variety flowering time response

Crop flowering time plays an important role in a cereal variety’s suitability for use as a dual purpose crop, for grazing and grain recovery (Harrison et al., 2015). The balance between sowing early for adequate forage production and the need to delay reproductive development to avoid physical damage to the plant (grazing damage), have it flower in a period that avoids frost damage and heat (high temperatures >30°C) at grain filling can be challenging.

The main mechanisms used in dual purpose varieties are either a vernalisation requirement or a photoperiod response to delay the shift from the vegetative phase to reproductive development. These are controlled by the presence of vernalisation (Vrn) genes or photoperiod (Ppd) genes, or a combination of both.  A series of flowering-time experiments were run at Wagga Wagga to help characterise a variety’s flowering time response in relation to EGA Wedgetail the industry benchmark.

Table 8 shows the days to flowering for a group of varieties tested. There are strong winter types such as Manning and RGT Accroc, mid-winter types such as EGA Wedgetail and LRPB Kittyhawk, fast winter types such as the newly released Longsword and varieties more dependent on a photoperiod response like Sunlamb a long-season spring wheat. The availability of these varieties allow growers the opportunity to choose a variety that matches their local growing region and provide the best opportunity to maximise grain production after grazing.

Table 8. The number of days to flowering for wheat varieties sown at Wagga Wagga over four years (2014–2017).

Variety

Year

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

EGA Gregory

2014

2015

146

150

141

129

2016

130

136

137

128

2017

149

153

142

131

EGA Wedgetail

2014

174

157

145

125

2015

177

162

145

132

2016

173

161

144

129

2017

179

163

145

132

Longsword

2014

2015

2016

165

153

142

127

2017

177

158

143

128

LRPB Kittyhawk

2014

173

158

146

129

2015

178

165

149

133

2016

173

162

150

135

2017

182

164

148

132

Manning

2014

194

177

162

136

2015

193

176

159

142

2016

201

186

172

150

2017

194

176

156

142

Naparoo

2014

181

165

150

131

2015

185

165

150

135

2016

186

167

153

139

2017

184

165

147

134

RGT Accroc

2014

192

171

154

131

2015

189

171

150

134

2016

196

175

158

140

2017

189

173

150

135

Sunlamb

2014

174

161

147

128

2015

177

165

151

137

2016

183

170

163

143

2017

173

160

149

136

Whistler

2014

2015

2016

2017

176

159

143

129

Year

Sowing date 1

Sowing date 2

Sowing date 3

Sowing date 4

2014

1-Apr

24-Apr

14-May

11-Jun

2015

2-Apr

22-Apr

14-May

4-Jun

2016

4-Apr

26-Apr

17-May

14-Jun

2017

31-Mar

21-Apr

12-May

2-Jun

When matching a variety’s flowering time with the preferred flowering window in a region, consider the delay in flowering caused by grazing. The length of this delay varies depending on when the last grazing occurred and the amount of residual plant biomass left.  In experiments in Wagga Wagga in 2016 (Figure 1) and in 2017 defoliation (mechanical grazing) of EGA Wedgetail through the season, before GS31 delayed flowering by nine and four days respectively compared with an ungrazed treatment.

Figure 1. Flowering time for wheat varieties mechanically grazed(G) and non-grazing (UG) treatments, at Wagga Wagga in 2016.

Figure 1. Flowering time for wheat varieties mechanically grazed(G) and non-grazing (UG) treatments, at Wagga Wagga in 2016.

Summary

Varieties differ in forage production and grain yield recovery across the different growing environments in NSW. These differences are influenced by a variety’s growth and development phases, which are driven by the different combinations of vernalisation and photoperiod genes each variety has. Matching flowering time to the growing environment is important in dual-purpose varieties to maximise grain recovery. The newly released varieties with their differences in flowering time provide greater opportunity to match a dual-purpose variety to the different growing regions of NSW, maximising grain yield recovery.

Acknowledgements

The research undertaken as part of this project is made possible by the significant contributions of growers through both trial cooperation and the support of the GRDC. The authors would like to thank them for their continued support.

This research was co-funded by NSW DPI and GRDC under project DAN00184: ‘Evaluation and agronomic management of dual-purpose cereal varieties for NSW mixed farming systems’.

Sincere thank you to the project staff Jennifer Pumpa, Philip Armstrong, Peter Roberts and Ryan Potts for technical assistance in managing the field trials and the grower co-operators across NSW for hosting the on property trials.

References

Harrison M.T., Kelman W.M. and Virgona J.M.(2015). Effects of grazing on crop crown temperature: implications for phenology. Crop & Pasture Science 66: 235–248. doi:10.1071/Cp13380.

Matthews, P., McCaffery D. and Jenkins L. (2017). Winter crop variety sowing guide 2017;  pp. 31–35.

Zadoks, J.C., Chang T.T. and Konzak C.F. 1974). A decimal code for the growth stage of cereals. Weed research 14:415-421.

Contact details

Mehrshad Barary
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga
Ph: 02 69381887
Email: mehrshad.barary@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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