GCTV13: Wheat Optimal Flowering for More Yield Part 2

GCTV Ep#13 Optimal Flowering Part 2 Narrator: Darryl Anderson
So you are open to the idea that an early-sown slow-maturing wheat variety added to your
planting schedule can help maximise the amount of crop flowering during the optimal period,
and so increase whole farm yield. But what about crop management? For one thing
early sown varieties are dual purpose wheats right? Don’t they actually need to be grazed
to get a decent yield? Well the latest research has produced some surprising results. James Hunt: CSIRO Plant Industry
We have got a lot of experiments now that show grazing winter wheats even if you sow
them really early like February, does not increase yields in fact in a lot of cases
it actually reduces it to the ungrazed control. So if you are going to grow them for grain
only you have to change management a little bit, maybe reduce plant density, defer nitrogen
but yeah they are underrated as grain only options. Narrator:
Sowing early with a slow maturing variety also means you have to think differently about
where you sow, disease can be an issue. Ideally you’d sow into a paddock that’s had a
double break of a pulse and a canola crop. Even there think about pest and disease risks
and do what’s necessary to avoid or manage any outbreak. James Hunt:
The really bad ones are Barley Yellow Dwarf virus which can be quite devastating fortunately
there’s an easy solution and that’s to use an imidacloprid seed treatment and that
gives you usually enough protection for the aphid pressure to die down. You do have to
keep monitoring because you do have some situations where aphids go late into the season and they
need to be controlled with a foliar spray. Narrator:
Septoria tritici can also be an issue, especially in southwest Victoria and the use of a preventative
fungal spray earlier than you would for Stripe rust is recommended, as is getting advice
from your agronomist. And there is also Wheat Streak Mosaic virus,
a disease that devastated southern NSW early sown Wedgetail crops in 2005. James Hunt:
The best way of managing that if you want to sow early is to tissue test in winter,
in June, to see if you have any infection after you have been grazing usually, and if
you do have any infection you are probably better off spraying the crop out and resowing
with a really fast maturing spring wheat or barley. Narrator:
The good news is breeding companies are once again selecting for slow maturing wheats,
so varieties with improved grain quality and better disease resistance are being bred.
In the meantime some of the old germ plasm is still dependable.
And as the research from GRDCs water use efficiency initiative and new early sowing investment
shows, long season winter wheats are a viable option if you want to increase whole farm
yield. Ends 1

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