Ex­plor­ing re­gion’s po­ten­tial

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Aglife -

Birchip Crop­ping Group will again sow two tri­als at Lon­gerenong as part of a Grains Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion man­agin­gearly-sown-wheat pro­ject.

This pro­ject is in­ves­ti­gat­ing three key ar­eas in the man­age­ment of early-sown wheat in­clud­ing op­ti­mum sow­ing dates for va­ri­eties, rain re­quired to es­tab­lish and aid early growth of win­ter lines, and what sow­ing rate, ni­tro­gen and graz­ing strat­egy suits some of these win­ter lines.

The pro­ject aims to in­crease con­fi­dence in adap­tion and man­age­ment of new win­ter wheat cul­ti­vars and see them adopted by grow­ers, open­ing up sow­ing win­dows in suit­able sea­sons and in­creas­ing the aver­age farm yield.

Se­nior re­search and ex­ten­sion man­ager Kelly An­gel said pro­ject re­sults had so far shown that March to April-sown win­ter wheats per­formed com­pa­ra­bly to main-sea­son spring va­ri­eties.

“Op­ti­mal time of sow­ing for win­ter wheats was late March to mid-april. Early sow­ing might present op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease over­all farm prof­itabil­ity by spread­ing the sow­ing win­dow with­out ex­ces­sive risk of frost and heat,” she said.

Re­searchers have also es­tab­lished a site at Nar­ra­port, where BCG will hold its Main Field Day on Septem­ber 12, and the same two tri­als would be sown at this site for a Mallee com­par­i­son and ap­pli­ca­tion.

Tri­als will in­clude nine va­ri­eties of win­ter and spring wheats and four sow­ing times tar­geted at March 20, April 4, April 20 and May 4.

Part of the trial will be ir­ri­gated at sow­ing with drip­per lines, with three ir­ri­ga­tion rates of 10, 20 and 50 mil­lime­tres. The first time of sow­ing at Nar­ra­port was Tues­day last week.

The Nar­ra­port re­search site has a heav­ier soil type, which is fairly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Birchip area and due to a dry sum­mer the ground was hard and cloddy.

Ms An­gel said half of the trial was ir­ri­gated, and ir­ri­ga­tion treat­ments soaked in ‘nicely’.

“The site will be mon­i­tored over the next few weeks to record emer­gence dates for all treat­ments,” she said.

“The first time of sow­ing at the Lon­gerenong site will be tomorrow.”

Most of the trial sites for 2018 have now been selected, with BCG main re­search sites at Nar­ra­port and Lon­gerenong.

BCG will also host a brome grass site at Kinnab­ulla and Mallee NVT sites will be lo­cated at Manan­gatang, Bal­ranald, Mer­ri­nee, Mur­rayville, Hopetoun, Walpeup and Quam­bat­ook.

The BCG re­search team is plan­ning tri­als and de­vel­op­ing pro­to­cols. Seed or­der­ing, soil sam­pling, peg­ging out sites and seed pack­ing has started for early-sown tri­als.

The full BCG sow­ing pro­gram will most likely start in a month with north­ern Mallee NVT sites to be sown first.

RE­SEARCH: BCG re­search and tech­ni­cal staff sowed the first trial for 2018 on March 20.

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