Grain growers attending upcoming events in the Geraldton port zone will learn about new research that aims to generate information that can provide growers with better guidelines for using potassium (K) more strategically and profitably.
Murdoch University researcher Richard Bell will address the topic ‘Managing and measuring potassium in a year like this’ at Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Open Forums scheduled for Morawa and Geraldton on August 23 2018.
These events, coordinated through the GRDC’s Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) initiative, are among 15 GRDC Open Forums being held in July and August 2018 throughout the Western Australian grainbelt.
Growers attending the Open Forums can express their ideas, hear where GRDC investment is occurring, talk with researchers leading local RCSN projects and speak with GRDC Western Regional Panel members and RCSN representatives.
Professor Bell says fertilisers are one of the highest variable costs for WA grain growers and, due to changes in climate and farming systems in recent years, current scientific knowledge that drives K fertiliser management decisions needs to be updated.
“Potassium (K) supply is critical for optimal plant growth and development, from early growth through to grain development,” he said.
“Adequate K allows the plant to use water more efficiently, increasing the vigour of the plant. Importantly, K also contributes to the synthesis of both protein and starch in grain, influencing grain filling and quality.”
Professor Bell said the K research was part of three WA soils and crop nutrition research projects, worth $14.6 million, that were announced earlier in 2018 – involving a GRDC partnership with multiple organisations from the public and private sectors.
The K research is part of one of the projects – worth $9.7 million across five years – which is investigating soil nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium supply to crops, with a focus on providing a better understanding of fertiliser requirements.
This project is being led the University of WA (UWA) – through the SoilsWest alliance with the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) – and Murdoch University and the University of Adelaide, with involvement from other grains industry stakeholders.
In addition to Professor Bell’s presentation at Morawa and Geraldton, several other speakers, addressing locally-relevant topics, are addressing the GRDC Open Forums which are being held in the following locations:
- Cranbrook Sporting Club, 2-6pm, July 16 2018
- Jerramungup Community Resource Centre, 8-11am, July 17 2018
- Kukerin Hotel, 2-6pm, July 17 2018
- Dunn Rock Tennis Club, 2-6pm, July 23 2018
- Munglinup Sports Pavilion, 8-11am, July 24 2018
- Condingup Tavern, 2-6pm, July 24 2018
Kwinana West zone
- Goomalling Sport and Community Centre, 2-6pm, July 31 2018
- Bedford Arms Hotel, Brookton, 8-11am, August 1 2018
- Kondinin Aquatic Centre, 2-6pm, August 1 2018
Kwinana East zone
- Bruce Rock Shire Council building, 2-6pm, August 6 2018
- Westonia Bowling Club, 8-11am, August 7 2018
- Bencubbin Recreation Complex, 2-6pm, August 7 2018
- Eneabba Recreation and Sporting Club, 2-6pm, August 22 2018
WA College of Agriculture Morawa, 8-11am, August 23 2018
- Lavender Valley Farm, Chapman Valley Road, Yetna, 2-6pm, August 23 2018.