New GRDC guide helps growers fine-tune winter crop variety selection

image of Laurie Fitzgerald
GRDC NVT officer Laurie Fitzgerald said Queensland grain growers should benefit from the 2019 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide, which is the first to include wheat, barley and chickpeas. Photo GRDC.

Planning for the upcoming winter season has just become easier for Queensland growers following the release of the first Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) variety sowing guide to include wheat, barley and chickpeas.

The 2019 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide for Queensland is a collation of data from the GRDC’s National Variety Trials (NVT) investment, which benchmarks the performance of crop varieties to develop individual disease and agronomic ratings, varietal information and recommendations on planting windows.

GRDC NVT Officer North Laurie Fitzgerald said the comprehensive guide had been developed to allow growers to drill down into specific crops, as well as variety characteristics such as yield performance and disease ratings to ensure selected varieties were ideally suited to their local production conditions.

He said the NVT work also involved collecting the most relevant varieties for each region and testing them alongside the elite lines from industry breeding programs.

“This guide then combines NVT data with expert advice with the aim of providing growers with the necessary data to make informed choices about what winter crop variety to plant this season,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“Only varieties deemed suitable for Queensland conditions have been included in the guide.

“If a variety is not mentioned, there is either no commercial seed available or there is concern that it may not carry robust resistances and may compromise the industry.”

Queensland winter crop variety sowing guide 2019 cover image

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The development of a comprehensive guide covering wheat, barley and chickpeas represents an important investment for industry according to GRDC Grower Relations Manager North Richard Holzknecht, as it enables growers to keep up-to-date with the performance of new and existing varieties.

“Being able to make an informed decision about selecting the right variety can mean the difference between a profitable and unprofitable crop,” Mr Holzknecht said.

“Variety selection is a critical management decision that impacts everything from sowing time to disease management, fertiliser requirements and herbicide use and these elements in turn all effect input costs and ultimately farm profits.

“So this GRDC guide is an important tool for growers to assist in making informed crop choice decisions.”

The 2019 guide includes three new wheat varieties available for sowing:

  • Sunprime (PBR) a quick maturing Australian Prime Hard (APH) variety
  • LongReach Kittyhawk (PBR) a slow maturing APH variety
  • LongReach Oryx (PBR) a SOFT1 variety.

There are also two wheat classification changes with Kennedy changed to a feed wheat, while Strzelecki (PBR) has been changed to Australian Hard (AH).

When it comes to barley varieties changes, RGT Planet, has been under evaluation for malting accreditation with a decision expected in March 2019.

There is only one new chickpea variety available for planting this season and that is PBA Drummond (PBR) an early season variety developed for Central Queensland.

The guide is available as a hard copy or for download on the GRDC and NVT online websites or at

For all the information on the released wheat, barley and chickpea varieties in the NVT trials conducted in Queensland, visit the website

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