Happy harvest hits halfway mark
Birchip Cropping Group’s trials harvest is beyond the halfway mark, with about 64 percent of the 144 trials harvested.
Excellent yields, lodged crops, small rain events and machinery break-downs have hampered progress, mirroring the common experience of many Wimmera farmers at this time of the year.
Nevertheless, harvest is expected to be complete early in the new year.
With most of the Mallee research trials now harvested, the Wimmera is the focus.
Already trials at Kalkee, Nhill and Longerenong have been harvested, including a barley variety comparison trial at Kalkee.
Outstanding yield results are a reflection on the season, with some barley varieties yielding an impressive 8.6t-ha.
Among the best yielding barley varieties have been Fathom and Rosalind, while Compass, which has been a consistent performer in BCG and National Variety Trials in recent years, failed to finish in the top five – for yield.
The results for BCG crop variety trials are distributed to members within 48 hours of harvest. This allows growers to make early and informed variety choices for 2017.
Last-minute assessments have also been keeping the research team busy, including barley head-loss counts.
This information will be critical in helping to understand how different barley varieties respond to wet spring conditions and harvest delays that can occur due to inclement weather.
The results will indicate if varieties reached their peak or if yield was reduced due to lodging or other factors.
Wimmera canola trials have also undergone final pod-shatter assessments before desiccation and harvest.
After Christmas the BCG team will look to finish harvest so results can be interpreted and written up for publication in the BCG 2016 Season Research Results compendium.
Many of the results from BCG’s 2016 research program will be presented at a BCG Trials Review Day at Birchip on February 17. For details log on at www.bcg.org.au.
ON TRACK: Birchip Cropping Group trials at Kalkee, Nhill and Longerenong, above, have been harvested.