While Birchip Cropping Group plot harvesters are making their way around various research sites in the Mallee, harvest of a different kind is also occurring in the Wimmera.
2Q 2FWREHU WKH ¿UVW PDWXULW\ FXWV ± D PHWK od of taking a small quadrat sample of a mature crop – were collected from particular plots as part of the Grains Research Development CorSRUDWLRQ 2SWLPLVLQJ &DQROD 3UR¿WDELOLW\ SURMHFW at Longerenong.
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Maturity cuts started in the Wimmera early because some of the plots were ripe.
This early maturity is a result of some of the eight varieties, two sowing dates and two nitroJHQ DSSOLFDWLRQ WLPLQJV IDYRXULQJ DQ HDUO\ ¿QLVK Remaining plots will mature at later dates. To get the most out of these trials, yield information needs to be collected at the maturity of various maturities.
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Collecting maturity cuts also allows researchers to collect the whole plant, meaning not only are yields collected, but a harvest index – the ratio between grain and dry matter produced – is recorded as well.
+DUYHVW LQGH[ LV WKH UDWLR RI VWUDZ WR JUDLQ ,W provides an understanding of the reproductive HI¿FLHQF\ RI WKH SODQW RU KRZ ZHOO LW WXUQV JUHHQ leaf matter into grain.
7KHUH DUH PDQ\ IDFWRUV WKDW LQÀXHQFH KDUYHVW index, including the energy and protein content of seeds, long-term breeding achievements, extreme temperatures, delayed sowing and more.
Delayed sowing shortens the length of the vegetative phase, resulting in less plant matter to grain as a ratio, and therefore harvest index would be higher.
Most importantly for the grower, yield data is collected to assess canola varieties and management strategies.
Two other trials in the Wimmera from which maturity cuts were taken are the GRDC Development of Crop Management Packages for Early Sown, Slow Developing Wheats in the Southern Region and the GRDC National Frost Initiative.
For more information on the BCG Wimmera research program stay tuned to this column. AlWHUQDWLYHO\ SKRQH WKH %&* RI¿FH RQ