Start planning for next winter’s cropping now

Start planning for next winter’s cropping now


Cropping
Researchers checking new crop varieties last spring at Sydney University research plots on the Narrabri Wheat Research Institute. A host of new winter crop varieties has recently been released.

Researchers checking new crop varieties last spring at Sydney University research plots on the Narrabri Wheat Research Institute. A host of new winter crop varieties has recently been released.

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Winter crop planning for 2018 and what the breeders are offering should be on your agenda now.

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NOW is a good time to plan ahead for next year’s winter crop in respect to choosing new varieties.

Big variety advances are occurring in most crops. While new releases are continuous the majority of what will be available next season is now well and truly in the pipeline.

Cartwheel triticale is a relatively new dual-purpose variety suited to early March onwards sowing. Its big advantage is stripe rust resistance (plus leaf and stem rust resistance), particularly important for early sown varieties. Cartwheel has good straw strength and yield. 

Astute is a recently released grain triticale and according to NVT trials is equal or slightly higher yielding than other options. It particularly suits medium- to higher-rainfall areas and has good straw strength and resistance to the three rusts. Based on very limited public data (NVT) RGT Planet is one of several promising new barley varieties and with malt grade potential (already acceptable overseas but still requiring Australian grading).

Planet is a mid-season variety, with good straw strength and in 2016, a high yielding year, performed exceptionally well. Rosalind, a broadly adapted feed barley quality line, has also yielded exceptionally well across NSW. Spartacus CL, a Clearfield variety with good yield and possible malt classification, provides extra weed control options.  

DBA Aurora, a new Durum wheat, with limited testing, has in NVT trials out-yielded previous generation varieties or is similar to Hyperno. It is mid-season maturity. Newer grain oat varieties Williams and Durack are averaging similar to Mitika in some NSW regions. Durack is faster maturing than Mitika, which can be a plus in drier areas or later sowing. Williams is slightly later than Mitika.

PBA Jurien is a new broadly adapted high-yielding narrow leaf lupin variety with resistance to anthracnose, phomopsis and grey spot. With limited testing it has yielded similar to Mandelup and superior to other varieties.

Canola experiences an avalanche of new varieties each year with eight new hybrids released for 2017.

These include TT hybrids, Clearfield hybrids and Roundup Ready hybrids.

New chickpea variety PBA Seamer has been widely covered in The Land and has performed as a well-adapted high yielding variety, also has good phytophthora resistance, although slightly below Yorker.

Chickpea breeder Kristy Hobson with PBA Seamer plants at Tamworth Agricultural Institute. It represents a significant improvement in ascochyta resistance.

Chickpea breeder Kristy Hobson with PBA Seamer plants at Tamworth Agricultural Institute. It represents a significant improvement in ascochyta resistance.

It is important to check varieties for characteristics not detailed here, such as disease resistance rankings, sowing time window, traits such as seedling vigour and quality. Sometimes disease resistance ranking changes because of new strain developments. More variety details for all winter crops are available from the outstanding NSW Primary Industries Department publication “2017 Winter Crop Variety Guide” authored by senior agronomists Peter Matthews, Don McCaffery and Leigh Jenkins. 

Next week. Update on crop herbicides.

  • Bob Freebairn is an agricultural consultant based at Coonabarabran. Email robert.freebairn@bigpond.com or contact (0428) 752 149.
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