Trial to stop snail in­fes­ta­tion

Countryman - - NEWS - Melissa Wil­liams

WA bar­ley grow­ers stand to ben­e­fit this har­vest from an ex­ten­sion to the up­per pro­tein limit in the pre­mium Malt 1 grade, from 12.5 to 12.8 per cent, and more tol­er­ance of dis­torted grain.

But CBH and Bunge are im­pos­ing tighter re­stric­tions on snails found in canola loads de­liv­ered in the Esper­ance and Al­bany port zones this year, as part of a trial likely to lead to per­ma­nent changes for the 2019-20 har­vest.

New snail sam­pling meth­ods and lim­its on num­bers were tested in the Esper­ance port zone dur­ing last year’s har­vest and have now been ex­panded to Al­bany to cater for an in­creased preva­lence of this pest in canola grain re­ceivals.

CBH grain tech­nol­ogy man­ager Jodie Kley­weg said this year’s trial meant canola de­liv­er­ies that con­tained fewer than 10 snails per 500g, and mea­sur­ing less than 10mm, could be de­liv­ered into the non-GM canola CAN1 and CAN2 grades and GM canola grades of CAG1 and CAG2.

She said above this level, there were new “off grade” seg­re­ga­tions avail­able for non-GM grade CANS and GM grade CAGS canola.

“The aim of the trial is to help canola de­liv­er­ies from the Al­bany and Esper­ance port zones meet Aus­tralian and ex­port mar­ket phy­tosan­i­tary re­quire­ments,” she said. “The Ger­ald­ton and Kwinana Zones are not in­cluded in the trial.”

Stir­lings to Coast Farm­ers re­search co-or­di­na­tor Nathan Dovey said sev­eral of its mem­bers were reg­u­larly af­fected by snail in­fes­ta­tions in canola crops and the group had been test­ing tac­tics to ad­dress the prob­lem for sev­eral years.

Sep­a­rate to the south­ern re­gion canola snail de­liv­ery tri­als, a suite of changes to bar­ley de­liv­ery stan­dards were an­nounced last week by the Grain In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of WA. GIWA bar­ley coun­cil chair­man Lyn­don Mickel said the slight in­crease in up­per pro­tein lim­its for Malt 1 grades to 12.8 per cent would give bar­ley grow­ers more lee­way to hit pre­mium mar­kets that could be worth an ex­tra $50 per tonne.

Bunge WA qual­ity su­per­vi­sor Si­mon Lit­tle said the Malt 1 change was a big win for WA bar­ley grow­ers, many of whom had been af­fected by frost and dry con­di­tions in spring.

Pre­vi­ously, the dis­torted grain mea­sure came from a 100 seed sub­sam­ple us­ing clean grain. But this year — and for the 2019-20 har­vest — a black plas­tic mea­sure con­tain­ing a sub-sam­ple of about 400 seeds of ‘as is’ grain will be taken from the grower load com­pos­ite sam­ple.

New lim­its in­clude a five-fold in­crease in al­low­able dis­torted grain in this sam­ple for Malt 1 de­liv­er­ies, with an up­per limit of 20 grains per 400 seeds — or 5 per cent. This is up from the pre­vi­ous level of 1 per cent, or the equiv­a­lent of four dis­torted grains per 400 seeds.

For Malt 2, the new stan­dard is 30 dis­torted grains per 400 seeds (7 per cent) and for feed bar­ley grades, tol­er­ance lev­els have risen to be­tween 11 and 20 per cent dis­torted grain al­low­able in the sam­ple.

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