Wheat varieties – 2011

BACKGROUND “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius Farmers have been growing wheat for decades, yet we are constantly changing varieties to avoid the risk of disease and to increase yield. When comparing varieties, it is important to understand which risks are manageable and which are not. For example, in […]
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Stem rust control in wheat

BACKGROUND After the stem rust (Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici) outbreak at the end of 2010, followed by an extremely wet summer, there was an expectation that this disease would pose a serious threat to Yitpi and other susceptible wheats crops throughout the Mallee in 2011. With this in mind, two trials were set up to […]

Late nitrogen application to increase grain protein in barley

BACKGROUND Often one of the challenges of high yielding seasons is ensuring the grain protein falls within the premium malt grades (9-12% protein). Premiums for Malt barley are attractive, especially if there is not a lot around, but attempting to increase proteins with late applications becomes difficult. Rates and timing can dramatically influence the increase […]

Adapting crops to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide

BACKGROUND Increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will affect all aspects of agriculture, irrespective of changes in temperature and rainfall. Atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased by 40% since 1860 and, by 2050, will increase another 40% from current levels to 550 parts per million. Research has shown that rising CO2 increases biomass and yield, […]

Using flutriafol (Intake®) in combination with foliar fungicides for the control of yellow leaf spot and stem rust

BACKGROUND In response to the heightened risk of stem rust (Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici), a majority of growers and advisors saw value in treating fertiliser with flutriafol (Impact® or Intake®). The residual activity of flutriafol for stripe rust control is assumed to be 8 to 12 weeks after sowing, depending on growing conditions (e.g. moist or […]

Legume Inoculation

BACKGROUND Legumes are used as a break crop for cereals. Legume roots are capable of developing a symbiotic relationship with the root-nodule to form soil bacteria rhizobia. Rhizobia in legume root-nodules, fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2) and convert it into ammonia (NH3), making it available to the plant for growth. The amount of nitrogen (N) fixed […]

Barley agronomy: time of sowing

BACKGROUND Determining the optimum time to sow is challenging enough, but understanding where new varieties should fit within that sowing window is difficult. The risks of frost, heat stress and more recently, sprouting add to the complexity. By targeting the optimal sowing date, seasonal risks can be minimised. Crops are particularly sensitive to stresses in […]

Selection of canola lines for low rainfall environments in south eastern Australia

BACKGROUND The development of a profitable break crop in a low rainfall cereal growing areas is essential for sustainable and profitable systems. Canola has many valuable characteristics as a break crop for cereals (eg nonhost for nearly all cereal diseases, herbicide tolerance, high value grain and well-anchored stubble). GRDC has supported a small program for […]

Break crops for the Mallee

BACKGROUND In the BCG region, the area sown to broad leaf break-crops declined dramatically in response to the Millennium Drought. This was a rational response by farm managers, given the high risk and poor profitability of many break crops in drought years. However, following a wet 2010/2011 summer, many farmers took the opportunity to include […]

Managing leaf rust in barley

BACKGROUND During the 2011 growing season, barley crops were subject to severe leaf rust (Puccinia hordei) infection. Other stubble-borne diseases, such as spot form of net blotch (Pyrenophora teres f. maculate), were also present but were less of an issue. This was due to an extremely wet summer, which favoured the carry over of rust […]

Conserving moisture during summer

BACKGROUND Capturing, storing and making best use of summer rainfall is one of the most effective ways of improving crop yields in low to medium rainfall environments. The value of storing summer soil moisture has been proven in recent years through various BCG trials (1999 to 2010). Results have shown time and time again the […]

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