Local BCG research progresses with spring weather

Recent warm weather has produced an expected spike in visits by BCG researchers to trial sites across the Wimmera Mallee to collect results and protect their vital research from disease and insects.

“The warm weather means our crops are flowering, insects such as Heliothis and Etiella are taking flight and need to be managed. We are also undertaking several treatments and completing biomass cuts. It is a great time of year for our team who enjoy being hands-on out in the field seeing and protecting their research,” explained Senior Research Manager James Murray.

James said BCG’s main trial sites at Watchupga, north of Birchip, were looking good despite approximately 140mm of growing season rainfall—a decile 2 season.

“We are currently talking biomass cuts to calculate hay assessments for vetch and wheat. The results will be particularly important this year.

“We are also undertaking frost assessments. We do this by opening up the florets and noting any damage to the pollen.”

The research team is seeing some damage in the early sown wheat treatment of the frost trial which “aligns with what we expected” James said. This research will inform how time of sowing, variety selection and grazing practices can help growers mitigate frost risk.

For more information on BCG’s research contact Senior Research Manager James Murray on 0427 566 449.

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