Grains Research and Development

GRDC Update Papers

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This page contains papers from the GRDC Update series for both growers and advisers.

To download the proceedings booklets from the 2014 Updates, visit the 2014 Update Proceedings Booklets page.

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  • Harvester fires - a research update

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    05.03.2015
    Presented At
    Talwood GRDC Update 2015
    Region
    North

    South Australian operators experience in 2013 and 2014 shows harvester fires may be reduced with improved harvester hygiene, maintenance and exhaust system shielding treatments, particularly in volatile crops.
    Further research is required to further quantify crop ignition temperatures and the areas of harvesters that exceeding these temperatures and therefore require safeguarding.

  • Profit suckers - understanding salinity sodicity and deep drainage

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    05.03.2015
    Presented At
    Talwood GRDC Update 2015
    Region
    North

    Develop an integrated management strategy by having a thorough understanding of landscape systems, soil profile properties, plant salt tolerance/capabilities and how current/past farming practices contribute to the salinity and sodicity of your soils.

  • Deep phosphorus soil testing on the darling downs

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    02.03.2015
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    A very low proportion of samples from the Central Darling Downs have been analysed for Deep P. Is this representative of the Northern Grains Region?
    “Test to know” and “measure to manage” for better understanding of agronomic and economic responses to deep placed fertiliser.
    Soil sampling strategies for both surface and subsoil should be consistent and repeatable to allow critical analysis of results over time (N, P, K & S).
    Be mindful of previous P fertiliser band locations for accurate sampling.

  • Impact of crop varieties on RLN multiplication

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    NGA00003; DAN00143; DAQ000154
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    1. Know your enemy - soil test to determine whether RLN are an issue and which species are present
    2. Select wheat varieties with high tolerance ratings to minimise yield losses in RLN infected paddocks
    3. To manage RLN populations, it is important to increase the frequency of RLN resistant crops in the rotation
    4. Multiple resistant crops in a rotation will be necessary for long term management of RLN populations
    5. There are consistent varietal differences in Pt resistance within wheat and chickpea varieties
    6. Avoid crops or varieties that allow the build-up of large populations of RLN in infected paddocks
    7. Monitor the impact of your rotation

  • Crown rot tolerance in new wheat cultivars is there enough to base varietal decisions on

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    CRA00004, DAN00175
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    In 7 trials over 3 years (2012-2014), recently released varieties demonstrated improved yield performance in the presence of crown rot relative to EGA Gregory , Sunguard (+17%), Suntop (+16%), LRPB Lancer (+15%), Spitfire (+12%).

    Growers should consider alternatives to EGA Gregory unless they have confirmed their paddock has a LOW crown rot risk.

    Crown rot tolerance, whilst important, should not necessarily be the most critical factor to choose a variety, nor should it be the first line of defence to combat the disease.

    Growers/advisors should determine the level of crown rot risk for every paddock so they can choose the optimal variety to plant.

  • Barley agronomy and varieties

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    DAN00167
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    Time of sowing trials highlighted the ability of barley to maintain yield across a wide sowing window.
    The malt accredited variety GrangeR achieved good yields from early to main season sowing, as did Navigator a longer season domestic malt variety from an early sowing window.
    Fathom an early maturing feed variety showed good yield potential in sowing time and NVT trials.
    There are a number of potential malting varieties undergoing evaluation that show promise.
    Compass performed well across a range of environments and appears agronomically similar to Commander but has improved yield potential and adaptability.
    La Trobe a sister line to Hindmarsh also shows good adaptability and yield potential.
    Skipper an early maturing variety appears to perform well in lower yielding/shorter season environments, but does have an increased risk of lodging in higher yielding environments.

  • Improving the accuracy of PreDicta B soil testing

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    DAS00137; DAN00175
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    PreDicta B® is a good technique for identifying the level of risk for crown rot (and other soil-borne pathogens) prior to sowing within paddocks. However, this requires a dedicated sampling strategy and IS NOT a simple add on to a soil nutrition test.
    Soil cores should be targeted at the previous winter cereal row if evident and RETAIN any stubble fragments.

    Short pieces of stubble (two from each PreDicta B® soil sampling location) from previous winter cereal crops and/or grass weed residues can be added to the soil sample to enhance detection of the Fusarium spp. that cause crown rot.

    ‘Spiking’ with stubble will reduce the likelihood of ‘failure to warn’ situations for crown rot but unfortunately will also increase the probability of false warnings.

  • Accurate and efficient measurement of soil water in dryland systems

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    EM38’s are a mobile soil moisture monitoring tool

    Removes the hassle of installing, maintaining and removing permanent probes

    Ability to monitor soil moisture in more than one site in large broad acre paddocks

    Fine tune WUE calculations and monitor water infiltration in soil

  • A new way to estimate and monitor the water content of soil

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    USQ00014
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    Soil water provides a buffer to support crop growth between rainfall events.

    A simple and reliable estimate of soil water content can guide key management decisions:whether to plant or delay, how to better match inputs to yield expectations when determined by soil water stress.

    A Soil Water App for smartphones (SWApp) has been developed and is ready for testing by users over the next 12 months.

    SWApp uses rainfall inputs from Bureau of Meteorology sites, a local rain gauge - or a wireless rain gauge being developed in the project. A number of soil water sensors are being trialled whose readings can be entered manually or added wirelessly.

    Growers and consultants will be able to track soil moisture during a fallow and up to anthesis in a crop for any number of paddocks.

    The SWApp will be further refined based on feedback from early testers - we are looking for potential users to test the App now.

  • A calculator to assess the economics of deep placement P over time

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    CSA00036, UQ00063
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update 2015
    Region
    North

    Recent research has indicated that there are potential yield benefits from replenishing supplies of phosphorus (P) in the sub-surface layers (10-30cm) if the Colwell and BSES soil tests indicate a potential deficiency; however, it was unknown if it has economic merit.

    Deep-P placement is a longer-term decision because of the initial investment costs in P fertiliser (MAP), machinery issues and the benefits over many seasons. Additionally, this increases risk due to unknown future season types. We have developed bio-economic framework which includes soil conditions, PAWC, climatic conditions as well as input and output prices.

    A fundamental question of deep-P placement is “how much P and how often?” Using a case study with a deep-soil Colwell-P of 5 mg/kg in the Goondiwindi region, we compared the risk and benefit of applying amounts of P at depth for a “short-rotation” (3 years) against a “long-rotation” (7 years).

    The results indicate that the optimal MAP rate was 135 kg/ha and 270 kg/ha for the short- and long-rotations, respectively, resulting in real-annual returns of $43/ha/year and $76/ha/year. However, there is risk of a loss with the short-rotation (-$14/ha/year) under the worst-case scenario (consecutive low-rainfall years).

    Under the best-case scenario (high-rainfall years) the long-rotation resulted in far better net benefits ($139/ha/year).

    Due to the lower investment cost with the short-rotation, the expected return on investment was 142%, compared to 67% p.a. for the long-rotation. However, the short-rotation had the risk of a negative return on investment. The payback period for both decisions was around 2-years.

    These results will greatly change when biophysical or economic parameters change. As with all risky decisions, the farmer will have to weigh up the benefits, risks and their financial situation when making a decision.