Victorian grains industry gears up for 2019 cropping season

image of Bendigo Grains Research Update
GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Courtney Ramsey, says the annual two-day GRDC Grains Research Update at Bendigo plays a pivotal role in equipping the State’s grains industry with new knowledge, insights and outcomes from cutting-edge research and development. Photo: GRDC

Considered the State’s premier grains research, development and extension (RD&E) forum, the Bendigo Update featured a line-up of experts from throughout Australia who delivered relevant and impactful information for the season ahead and beyond, such as:

  • Game-changing ‘green on green’ in-crop weed control technology is a reality for the grains industry;
  • Identifying paddocks at risk of root disease prior to sowing using PREDICTA® B testing enables strategies to minimise yield loss to be implemented;
  • Mouse numbers are currently low across most regions of Victoria – at this stage, there is low potential for economic damage at sowing in 2019;
  • To ensure seed treatments remain a long-term viable control option for Russian wheat aphid, growers are urged to use neonicotinoid seed treatments judiciously and according to the regional risk;
  • Three new pulse varieties released in 2018 (two faba beans and a lentil) are available for production this year;
  • Disease symptoms in canola are caused by a variety of pathogens – correct identification is critical to ensure appropriate control strategies are selected;
  • Highest yield of winter wheats come from early to late April establishment;
  • Economic analysis of long-term trials has highlighted the importance of seasonal and crop sequence response effects on the cost benefit outcomes of amelioration of sandy soils;
  • Mixtures of pre-emergent herbicides can help manage resistance in annual ryegrass populations when coupled with seed set control tactics;
  • Site-specific weed control creates the opportunity to use alternative physical weed control technologies;
  • Growers need to carefully adhere to recommended plant back periods for sensitive crops and be especially careful if the seasons have not lent themselves to conditions suitable for complete herbicide breakdown. Carryover can result in reduced nitrogen fixation in a following legume crop;
  • Inoculation of faba bean, lentil and field pea with rhizobia is critical to pulse crop performance on acid soils;
  • Liming to maintain good soil pH levels and avoid yield losses is just as important as applying fertiliser for maximising yields;
  • Stocks of soil organic matter and nitrogen are limited resources and current trends across Australian agricultural soils indicate that these are declining;
  • Crop management is critical to reducing the gap between actual and potential yields;
  • Reviewing paddock performance at the end of the season and using paddock records is essential for sustained improvement in agronomic performance.

Papers presented at the Bendigo Grains Research Update can be viewed here.

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