Victorian grain growers are being armed with new knowledge from grains research to inform their tactical decision-making for the 2018 cropping season.
The latest cropping insights and recommendations have been delivered to growers and their advisers from across the State who attended the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Grains Research Update in Bendigo.
GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Darren Arney, says the Update is regarded as Victoria’s premier grains research, development and extension event.
“The forum plays an important role in enabling researchers to transfer their knowledge from GRDC investments to advisers and growers, and for showcasing the latest developments in technology,” Mr Arney said.
“Industry is now well informed about high priority cropping issues, and as a result growers can implement practice change to reduce the potential impact of those constraints and to realise opportunities for increased profit throughout the course of the coming season.”
The two-day Update was attended by a more than 300 agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel.
Some of the key messages delivered at the GRDC Grains Research Update which have application for the coming season included:
- Potential exists for economic damage by mice at sowing in parts of Victoria – timely application of bait at the prescribed rate is paramount for reducing the impact of mice at sowing;
- Early sowing in low rainfall areas increases the risk of autumn infestations of Russian wheat aphid;
- Cereal diseases will need to be actively managed in 2018 to prevent yield losses;
- If there is a history of sclerotinia stem rot in your district causing yield losses, be prepared to use a foliar fungicide in canola to reduce yield loss;
- Increasing incidence of brome grass in cropping paddocks appears to be associated with selection of biotypes with greater seed dormancy through growers’ crop management practices;
- Three years of data have reinforced that certain barley varieties can be used as a non-herbicide option for grass weed control;
- Grass weeds with resistance to pre-emergent herbicides (Groups D and J) and broadleaf weeds with resistance to Group I herbicides are emerging problems that will test growers’ management skills;
- Match canola varietal phenology with sowing date so that flowering starts at the optimum time for your environment;
- Canola can recover well from major frost damage especially where frost occurs in the early stages of reproductive development and where there is enough water available for the crop to set new pods;
- Agrochemicals and fertilisers applied at sowing of pulse crops can affect rhizobial survival – avoid contact between these and rhizobia;
- Reduced sensitivity of the septoria tritici blotch pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici to triazole fungicides is likely to be an increasing problem;
- Deep banding nitrogen (N) can improve N uptake, yield and protein of crops, especially in stubble-retained systems;
- Under-fertilising appears to be a major cause of yield gaps in cropping systems in the high rainfall zone;
- Profit could be reduced by up to $50 per day for every day that canola crops are windrowed before they are ready;
- Timely harvest will be important for retaining pulse grain quality attributes;
- Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) remains an important aspect of integrated weed management and reducing the risk of herbicide resistance – match the HWSC tactic to your farming system, crop types and location.