Member trials update

In total, BCG has established 130 research trials this year at more than 20 sites across the Wimmera, Mallee and North Central regions. The highlight for many BCG Members each year are those trials funded by the payment of their membership. The aim of this research is to focus on topical, local issues that growers are finding challenging.

The majority of member funded research has been established at BCG’s two major regional sites for 2019: Kalkee in the Wimmera, which is situated two kilometres south of the Kalkee football oval on the Blue Ribbon Road and Karyrie, in the Mallee, located 9 km west of Birchip on the Sunraysia Highway. The underlying theme this year has an emphasis on return on investment and ensuring each dollar counts.

The various research topics have been developed from the BCG advisory committees which have provided a range of perspectives on issues in their regions over several years. From this, recurring themes have been identified, with trial aims and treatment lists then developed. The three major areas this research is focusing on are, management of nitrogen risks disease and weeds.

The nitrogen management trials focus on understanding soil water and nitrogen dynamics and their impacts on yield potential, and consequently nitrogen management in canola, bread wheat and durum wheat. This is particularly relevant for those situations where summer rainfall is significant, resulting in large quantities of stored soil moisture. The use of decision support systems, particularly Yield ProphetR, will play a major part in the management of nitrogen quantities and timings in these trials.

The disease management trials include, management of Septoria tritici blotch of wheat in the Wimmera, emerging chemistry for canola blackleg management and management of crown rot in wheat. These trials aim to improve the knowledge of effective and economical management of these diseases.The weed management research focusses on three major areas: understanding how herbicides work, crop safety and herbicide efficacy of emerging herbicides. It is envisaged that the examination of approximately 60 different herbicides on 13 different crop types will provide a wealth of knowledge for growers on the use of these newer herbicides.

As regional issues are ever evolving, additional trials may be added, in order to continue to address the needs of the BCG members. Examples of this in the past are the BCG response to the use of adjuvants in summer weed control in 2019. Therefore, as issues begin to emerge this season, please stay in contact with any of the BCG team or James Murray, Senior Research Officer or Louisa Ferrier, Engagement and Member Services Lead, so we can ensure the value of your membership is maximised.

BCG office: 03 5492 2787 or

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