Boosting Profits Value-added variety trials

Photo of crops swaying in the wind

Three years of trials have yielded timely and practical wheat and barley data beyond basic yield comparisons that should aid profitable decisionmaking. The work is aimed at rapid adoption of new varieties by WA graingrowers.

The trials conducted by Agritech Crop Research (formerly Lamond Burgess & Associates) were supported by growers through the GRDC. According to Peter Burgess, "rapid adoption of successful varieties has seen increased grower profitability from replacement of inferior performing varieties. With increased trading and contracts, farmers are growing varieties targeting specific yield and quality traits in order to value-add".

The trials took into account not only yield but other agronomic issues such as disease, insect control and time of sowing, and how they affected variety performance and gross margin.

Some outcomes from the trials

Westonia — APW

High-yielding short-season variety with good grain size. Amery replacement. Higher leaf-disease resistance than Amery. High rust pressure had an influence on Westonia in 1999, but it still yielded well. A rust-resistant replacement is being developed.

Ajana —ASW

Similar acid soil tolerance to that of Westonia with better black point resistance. Susceptible to leaf rust, but still yields well. Yields better than Arrino under high leaf-rust pressure.

Arrino — ASWN

High-yielding noodle. Arrino generally disappointing in 1999 due to the severe impact of leaf rust.

Brookton —APW

Good grain size, long season, similar to Spear. Prone to sprouting. Susceptible to powdery mildew, still yields well.

Calingiri —ASWN

Longer-season noodle variety. Less susceptible to small grain than Cadoux. Yellow spot will be a problem for this variety. Stem-rust susceptibility a problem.

Carnamah — AH

Good quality wheat with high level of grower adoption across a range of soil types and rainfall regions.

Cascades—APW, AH

Performs on the south coast due to reasonable Septoria nodorum resistance. Performs poorly compared to Carnamah in most other zones.

Cunderdin —APW

High-yielding variety. Prone to small grain in a tight finish as a result of production of late tillers. Reasonable resistance to leaf rust with a high level of resistance to yellow leaf spot.

Tincurrin — A. Soft

Still preferred by many growers over the leaf rust-resistant sister line of Datatine. A bad rust year like 1999 will show the deficiencies of this variety.

Tamaroi — Durum

Appears to be slightly better adapted to the high to medium rainfall zones. Tolerates slightly more acidic soils provided there is no free aluminium. Soils should tend to alkaline with depth for this variety to perform. Generally too long-season for most zones.

Growers can access the up-to-date information from the trials specific to their region by contacting consultants who have received the results (see below).

Region North, South, West