Moveable feast of farm trials
Growers through the GRDC have invested in an expanded and 'mobile' crop-testing network that is paying off with the earlier release of new varieties.
The investment in seeding, plot maintenance and harvesting machinery and its transportation from farm to farm is affording a major advance on earlier systems of testing cultivars in a few research stations.
Plant breeders now can test promising cultivars over an expanded network of sites across the grain belt. The system is based on uniformity in site management and precision in harvesting and yield analysis, giving plant breeders, agronomists and farmers the assurance that research results are relevant to the region.
The new network has already contributed to the release of Goldmark and Silverstar wheats, Lassetter chickpea, Picola barley, Charleton canola and Fiesta faba bean. The project has been revitalised as a three-State collaboration: the Southern Region Crop Evaluation Program.
Contact: Mr Ian Smith 03 5430 4447