National O&C Register- Public Version
Opportunity & Constraint TitleNGN Reference IDOC Description - with subregion specificsComment for external feedback (approx 100 words)RegionSubregionCapture DateSource (event)Allocation %DurationPredecessors
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1
Access to long coleoptile varieties and agronomy to match
NGN0002This issue has been a high priority in WA, with all subregions rating this as a high priority in 2021. An issues capture was completed in the Albany and Esperance Port Zones. It's a two-part issue; growers want access to these genetics through breeding program AND they want to understand the agronomy for these crops in order to be able to adopt them as quickly as possible.GRDC currently invests in a local Demonstration and Extension project with SLR Pty Ltd with trial sites in all Port Zones to extend the current opportunities and best practices for commercially available varieties and new long coleoptile varieties in development. This project started in 2021 and will have trial sites continuing into 2022. Project Code: SLR2103-001RTXWestAll WA Subregions12/08/21
2
Earwig management and control
NGN0004High earwig and slater numbers are becoming more of a common occurrence, particularly on heavy soil types. This is costing many growers in establishment especially for canola and pulses. While Grower Network members note that case studies are great, they also note that unfortunately they are not showing anything different than has already been figured out, with growers noting that the current case study information is not helping them learn more about these pests, particularly earwigs. Adding to the issue is the fact that there are very limited registered control options particularly for earwigs. To get around this, growers are making their own wheat baits that are not registered.GRDC is analysing this issue to identify research and development opportunities for difficult to control, emerging pests that currently have limited management options available.

GRDC investments related to this issue:

CSP1805-016RTX: Post-doctoral fellowship - When are earwigs pests and when are they beneficial (earwig biology, ecology and management)

Research findings: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/08/earwigs-latest-research-on-these-damaging-pests

UOM1403-002RTX: PhD - Predicting insect pest issues in Australian grain crops (slaters, Portugese millipedes)

Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information.

Useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/new-knowledge-on-pests-and-beneficials-in-grains
WestAlbany Port Zone
Esperance Port Zone
12/08/21
3
Low rainfall non-glyphosate options
NGN0007Grower Network members from the Esperance and Albany low rainfall zones have ranked non-glyphosate options as a high priority this year again after a number of years having it in their top issues. These zones have raised this over time, and it is of particular interest to them, as they are pushing cropping boundaries and often using a glyphosate pass 3-5 times in a cropping season, increasing the risk of this chemical being lost. This use of glyphosate is also increased due to the frequency of summer rains in those zones, with glyphosate being a herbicide of choice (often as a mix) to tackle summer weeds.GRDC is analysing this issue in a bigger context as a priority. As part of this, GRDC commissioned a Special Workshop titled “Profitable cropping in a herbicide limited world” and an earlier Workshop focussed on “Market access requirements and the implications for managing weeds.” The workshops developed a number of recommendations which GRDC will assess as part of its strategic analysis in this space.

GRDC continues to invest in reducing the impact of weeds on farm and providing growers cost effective solutions to weed control and has a suite of investments for non-chemical alternatives and integrated weed management. Investments include:

UOA1707-005RTX: Crop competition for weed management and maintenance of crop yield
RnD4Profit 115-02-005: Biocontrol solutions for sustainable management of weed impacts to agricultural productivity (https://www.agrifutures.com.au/related-projects/csiro-weed-biocontrol-rnd4profit-15-02-005/)
UOS1806-002AWX: Intelligent robotic non-chemical weeding

An Alternatives to Glyphosate project has been developed and is funded by DPIRD, evaluating the effectiveness of single herbicides that have an Australian registration, as well as potential herbicide mixtures. For more details, contact Megan Broad or Alex Douglas from DPIRD.
WestAlbany Port Zone
Esperance Port Zone
12/08/21
4
Marshmallow management
NGN0010Growers in the Albany and Esperance port zone raised the issue of marshmallow management as a sporadic problem, though growers who had little or no stock did not find marshmallow to be an issue in crop. Those that had experienced issues, noted that they had a lot of difficulty trying to kill marshmallow, and ensuring that it is dead before running the seeder through. These growers also noted, however, that while marshmallow was in most paddocks with some years worse than others, it was normally worse in a dry start.GRDC have recently approached the market with a tender to address this issue:
Demonstrating effective management of late summer/early autumn germinating marshmallow (Malva parviflora) in southern Western Australia

GRDC investments related to this issue:

UOA1505-001RTX: Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds)
DAW00257 (DAW1607-002RTX): Locally important weeds

Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information.

Useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2010/07/taming-small-flowered-mallow-marshmallow

https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/the-seedbank-life-of-emerging-problem-weeds

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/ecology-of-major-emerging-weeds

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/common-weeds-of-grain-cropping-the-ute-guide
WestAlbany Port Zone
Esperance Port Zone
12/08/21
5
Russian Wheat Aphid management
NGN0013Growers and advisors in the Esperance port zone experienced Russian Wheat Aphid (RWA) for the first time in 2020, when they were found late in the growing season.

Many farmers sprayed – but in hindsight many said they did it because they panicked, and because they were already going over the paddock for other issues so thought they would include a budworm spray as well.
GRDC has a number of investments related to this issue:

UOA1805-018RTX: Russian Wheat Aphid Risk Assessment and Regional Thresholds
PPL00001-A: Evaluation of insecticide options for the control of Russian Wheat Aphid (RWA) in wheat and barley

Search the contract number (UOA1805-018RTX or PPL00001-A) on the GRDC website for more information.

Research findings and useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/russian-wheat-aphid
WestEsperance Port Zone03/02/21
6
Caltrop management and seed bank reduction
NGN0014Esperance Port Zone growers recognize the need to manage caltrop in problem areas to reduce spread across their properties. Caltrop flowers prolifically and is hard seeded (up to 7 years seed viability), and germinates from spring to autumn after rain, growing rapidly and producing deep roots (Borger 2020). In WA it can grow all year round, though grows mainly in the warmer months. This ability to grow rapidly and its ability to seed set quickly makes this weed difficult to manage.GRDC is analysing this issue to identify research and development opportunities for difficult to control, summer weeds, particularly caltrop, for Australian grain growers.

GRDC investments related to this issue:

UOA1505-001RTX: Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds)

Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information.

Useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/weed-ecology-the-key-to-weed-control

https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/west/2020/november/paddock-practices-caltrop-can-be-controlled-with-careful-management

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/common-weeds-of-grain-cropping-the-ute-guide

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2014/05/grdc-manual-summerfallowweedmanagement
WestEsperance Port Zone06/08/20
7
Better thresholds for Budworm and Aphids
NGN0015Budworm in wheat have been present for the last 3 seasons (2018-2020). This is unusual – normally they are found in pulse crops but numbers and damage caused by them in wheat is less common and less is known about them in that scenario. Knowing what is driving this pest presence and knowing what potential yield damage they may cause by feeding on green leaf material would be beneficial. Severtson (2020) notes that this is most likely occurring due to the presence of wild radish and volunteer hosts when moths lay eggs, as well as cyclone activity in breeding areas of the rangelands in February. If this is the case, then 2021 is likely to again see increased incidence of budworm in cereals as cyclone activity was again experienced in the NAR in early April.

Another concern for the Grower Network members is that budworm damage is being seen in lupins and canola at later growth stages as pods are leathering. Do the thresholds change when pods start to mature? Little research appears to have been done on pod maturity vs damage, with old DAFWA economic thresholds now not adequate for grain buyers due to seed damage. In pulse crops, there are questions around if we are being too lenient with numbers, and by assuming that yield damage is the only economic cost. However, if grub damage is leading to damaged grain, is that leading to quality downgrades? This may not be picked up by the economic thresholds.
A new investment was contracted in 2021 to help address and understand the issue of budworm impacting cereals:

DAW2106-001RTX: Determining the economic impact of Native Budworm (Helicoverpa punctigera) in cereal crops in the Western Region

Research results will be forthcoming.

Developing, updating and validating economic thresholds for major pests in grains is a priority for GRDC.

DAQ1803-001RMX: Economic thresholds for the major pests reducing profitability in the Australian grains industry.

This project was developed to engage with the grains industry and provide an industry report for developing or updating Economic Thresholds. The report comprises of a framework for describing strategic investment opportunities and potential outcomes, and specific recommendations around regional priorities and appropriates approaches/methodologies.
WestGeraldton Port Zone15/02/21
8
Rhizoctonia (R. solani AG8) is increasing
NGN0021Growers in the Kwinana East port zone have noted that rhizoctonia appears to be increasing in area and severity, however they have also noted that identification and awareness is lacking with many growers not aware of or not knowing how to identify the disease.

Grower Network members believe that continuous cropping and min-till is exacerbating the issue, with a lack of soil disturbance noted when using knife points. There is the belief that growers can't deep rip every year and the knowledge that one (or even two) years of a break crop is not enough to break the cycle. Rhizoctonia is also showing up after 2 years of break crop in this port zone.
GRDC investments related to this issue:

DAW1901-006RTX: Increasing farming system profitability and longevity of benefits following soil amelioration. A variation to this investment was done to understand, measure and determine the survival of significant soilborne diseases after soil amelioration.

DJP1907-002RMX: Soilborne disease interaction in Australian farming systems

FLR1912-003RTX: Soilborne pathogens of winter cereals: extension of identification and management strategies

Useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/cereal-disease-management-using-learnings-from-2021-to-improve-management-in-2022

https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/rhizoctonia-id-and-management

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4fN0Bcvvws
WestKwinana East Port Zone24/02/21
9
Matricaria management, particularly in pasture
NGN0022One of the main concerns about matricaria is its’ continual and rapid spread over recent years. In the early 1970s both species of matricaria were only found in small regions, however they have spread to encompass a large region of the wheatbelt with globe chamomile now being found in the Central to Southern region between Northam and Merredin and down to Esperance whilst calomba daisy is found in the Central to Northern region between Northam and Southern Cross and up to Geraldton (https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au).GRDC investments related to this issue:

DAW00257 (DAW1607-002RTX): Locally Important Weeds. Matricaria is one of the main species where control options have been evaluated and extension material has been made available for control options in pasture.

Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information.

Useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/biology-and-management-of-matricaria-oncosiphon-piluliferum
WestKwinana East Port Zone05/08/21
10
Agronomy packages to manage brome and barley grass
NGN0029Kwinana West port zone Grower Network members noted that management of brome and barley grass is becoming an increasing issue. Developing a package to control these weeds and manage them long term in the face of developing herbicide resistance and no HWSC options will be a great investment.Improved brome grass management is currently being analysed as a priority issue.

A project on improved barley grass management in the West and South has been in progress since 2019. Useful information and strategies from this project will continue to be provided to grain growers to better manage this weed in their farming systems.

UOA1904-004SAX: Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems

GRDC investments related to this issue:

UOA1505-001RTX: Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds)
UOA1711-005RTX: Cultural management for weed control and maintenance of crop yield
UCS1810-001SAX: Localised barley grass seed collection for subsequent herbicide resistance testing in low rainfall farming systems

Useful resources:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/advances-in-controlling-brome-and-barley-grass

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/brome-grass-factsheet

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/07/new-pre-emergence-herbicides-opportunities-and-challenges

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/best-rotations-for-barley-grass-management

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/ecology-of-major-emerging-weeds
WestKwinana West Port Zone24/02/21
11
Disease Resistant Varieties
NGN0044"Growers are seeking disease resistant varieties. Discussion was centered around varieties being bred for yield, with disease being secondary. Many are concerned about the over use of chemicals and are keen to re-focus on disease resistance traits. Some felt that disease issues are worse now than they were 20 years ago. Many have a 3 fungicide strategy and are keen to know more about the best practice approach considering resistance and control. A priority for breeding in the south-east is resistance for Rust and Septoria, which have been prevalent this year.
Growers also discussed concerns on disease resistance in the following:
a) Cereals - rust/Septoria
b) Beans - asco/choc spot
c) Canola - blackleg
Growers report that Septoria continues to be a disease of significance in the south-east HRZ. There is some confusion over the best approach to manage Septoria. Growers are advised to spray at growth stage 31 and 39, but the disease has well and truly taken off by then. Is there an alternative approach which should be considered? And what are the specific rules to ensure we do not get fungicide resistance. Seed borne diseases in pulses were raised as an issue (i.e. Prats). What are the seed treatment options or control options for the HRZ."
GRDC currently invests in a range of ways to provide tools for growers to stave off fungicide resistance.
Pre-breeding to provide tools for breeders is a key component of this work. There is a limit ot the genetic traits that can be selected for so it is crucially important that breeders can prioritise these objectives. Breeders generally select their objectives based on direct engagement and market research with growers, but are also in regular communication with GRDC about the targets and the breeding tools required to meet these objectives.
Rust resistance has been a long term objective of cereal breeding program and continues to be. Despite the breakdown of one resistance gene in 2021, there are a number of genetic markers available that will enable breeders to breed new resistance to the current disease isolates.
Septoria is increasing in its importance as a breeding objective and has been the focus of a significant investment by GRDC with NSW DPI to provide tools for breeding (DPI1507-002BLX - DAN00203-BA - Effective genetic control of Septoria tritici blotch (STB)).

In addition to these there is a large degree of investment around disease epidemiology in different environments to provide advice for growers about where and when to spray and manage /prevent resistance. Recent examples include variation to the hyper yielding crops project to include Septoria management as well as a program of work to tailor management advice for different rainfall zones.
GRDC also invests in providing consistent extension and communication on an industry wide collaborative level through the Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network AFREN.

Chocolate spot and Aschocyta resistances in faba beans and Blackleg resistance in canola also continue to have significant programs of research which GRDC invests in.
SouthSouth East SA28/10/21
12
IMI Residues
NGN0051"IMI RESIDUES: Sustainability of imi herbicides: Growers are seeing residue problems with Imi’s, along with resistance issues (with applications at label rates). The product is not working in prolonged dry periods in these soil types (high pH) – and residues in the soil are impacting crop performance. Growers noted the following:
- Propizamide on clay layer (this is a group d)
- In low rainfall years - sakura is knocking oats around. Not geting that flush.
- Issues on calcareous soils. Been around for 203 years and it is still showing.
Growers are seeking an action plan and knowledge on how to get off the imi “bandwagon”. Knowledge is needed on How and when to get off, resistant weeds, where do we go? Alternative solutions? "
GRDC currently has a number of related investments in this space ranging from the development of new herbicides through the Herbicide Innovation Partnership https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/national/2020/december/major-herbicide-research-effort-enters-new-phase to Herbicide Behaviour workshops and associated resources. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Herbicide%20behaviour
Understanding herbicide behaviours with regard to solubility and mobility in soil provides a great context for why some herbicides are risky for use with disc systems and will not result in new permits for use under these systems. The ‘Soil Behaviour of Pre-emergent Herbicides in Australian Farming Systems’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/soil-behaviour-of-pre-emergent-herbicides publication addresses how herbicides behave if applied to dry soils and experience continued dry conditions. ‘Rotational Crop Constraints for Herbicides used in Australian Farming Systems’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/rotational-crop-constraints-for-herbicides-used-in-australian-farming-systems is another resource for growers and advisers to increase their understanding of herbicide persistence and the influencing factors.
In response to this forum, a GRDC Herbicide Behaviour workshop has now been planned for the Yorke Peninsula in 2022 to provide an opportunity for growers to understand herbicide chemistry and soil and plant interactions. This workshop will focus on herbicide behaviour of pre-emergent herbicides.
Broadleaf control in lentils is a focus for GRDC’s investment in ‘Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia’. This project began in 2021 and is being conducted by SARDI with local trial work and extension sub-contracted to Trengove Consulting.
SouthYorke Peninsula22/09/21
13
Effective and timely monitoring of slugs and snails in the HRZ
NGN0039Slugs continue to be raised as a major issue in the HRZ. NGN members are seeking to understand why certain areas and plants are more susceptible to slugs? It is suggested there are higher populations on heavier clay soils that crack open (This might be due to better habitat to lay eggs), it was also suggested (anecdotally) that populations of snails get worse when you put gypsum out. Members are seeking knowledge to inform the management of slugs and snails through different projects (i.e. need to separate the slug and snail projects as they need different management approaches). They report that there are so many patches and variability that it is hard to monitor, and then by the time you identify all the patches management can be too late. Specific knowledge gaps include:
- Baiting strategies: i.e. Can we bait at 20kg upfront at the start? Is there a different way to approach this? Note that this year people were baiting via an aeroplane and mixing slug and mouse bait.
- Extension on population dynamics / slug ID / baiting procedure. Bait $12 kg / need 4-5. Need to do this more than once. So it is expensive and a more strategic approach to management is required.
- Investigation of using drones / satellite imagery to monitor dispersal. Is there a better way we can monitor populations and damage? Can plant phenotyping be used to look at plant damage and response to help monitoring hatching and damaging. Then tailor baiting to knowledge gained.
GRDC recognises the significant impact slugs have in cropping areas of the high rainfall zone of the Southern region. GRDC has previously invested in research of slug ecology and development of management strategies (DAS1607-022BLX) and also research into potential new products including biological controls for slugs (UOM1706 – 001RTX). The Southern NGN engagement with growers has highlighted the need for further extension and communication of the most recent research development in slug management and will invest in the delivery of communication and extension activities for slug management in the Southern region during 2022 and 2023.SouthSouth West Vic31/08/21
14
Mechanical Weed Control
NGN0043Growers are concerned about ryegrass management. They are unable to utilize seed terminators / destructors due to ryegrass having shed seed by harvest time. Growers are seeking other non-chemical management options OR training in how mechanical seed destructors can benefits the HRZ – need a case on why we should bother / what is its role in the HRZ and how should we use this.
Ryegrass is one of the major weeds impacting growers in the HRZ. Mechanical weed control options are not proving to be the option many hoped, with ryegrass setting seed before harvest so weed seeds are already on the ground. Growers are keen to learn how GM crops could assist in their ryegrass management
GRDC published a guide in 2019 about harvest weed seed control in the High Rainfall Zone https://grdc.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/387803/GRDC_HWSC_SFS_Sth19_04-002.pdf?utm_source=website&utm_medium=download_link&utm_campaign=pdf_download&utm_term=South&utm_content=Harvest%20Weed%20Seed%20Control%20for%20the%20Southern%20High%20Rainfall%20Zone which included economic analysis of the ROI on HWSC even in scenarios where a significant portion of the crop has shed. Further information from this project can be found here https://sfs.org.au/article/harvest-weed-seed-control. There is also a new guide available around Managing Annual Ryegrass in the High-Rainfall Zones of Vic, SA & Tas https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/managing-annual-ryegrass-in-the-high-rainfall-zones-of-victoria,-south-australia-and-tasmania that collates findings from a range of projects over the last few years and includes case studies.

GRDC also has a range of investments in novel methods of weed control to manage resistance which include non-chemical weed control technology, new active ingredient identification (Herbicide innovation partnership), and other integrated weed management investments.
Investments in non-chemical weed control include:
NDF1806-001AWX (Stealth Plow)
UOS1806-002AWX (Intelligent Robotic Non-Chemical Weeding)
UOA1707-005RTX (Crop competition for weed management and maintenance of crop yield)
US00084 (Innovative Crop Weed Control (cover crop suppression, HWSC, physical weeding & competition)
UCS00022 (Mechanisms of Weed Suppression by early vigour and other novel wheat genotypes)
PLN00013-B (Assessment of some harvest weed seed management options)
SFS00032 (Harvest weed seed control for the southern region)
RnD4Profit 115-02-005 (New biocontrol solutions for sustainable management of weed impacts to agricultural productivity)
UCS00020 (Weed management in the southern region mixed farming systems strategies to combat herbicide resistance -Non-chemical tactics including rotations, hay and ensiling.)

**TIP: If you google these contract numbers or search the GRDC website -you will find relevant papers of research findings.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about a particular investment listed.
SouthSouth East SA28/10/21
15
Russian wheat aphid preparing for resistance, applicability of guidelines
NGN0038There are concerns that RWA resistance is developing in treated seed/insecticides. What is the plan when we start losing products from resistance? Late season (late stem elongation to early head emerg) flights have caused significant crop damage. Researchers said it wouldnt be a problem late in season, however, even in dry seasons with no green bridge we are seeing numbers build during late winter and early spring rapidly. Crops grown from untreated seed are obviously the most prone, but with this being the case we are going to definitely see that pressure move onto those crops that have been protected at a time when those seed dressing insecticides are running out of legs. It is envisaged that this will speed up the rate of RWA resistance to insecticide use.
Note that it is also a concern in SW NSW in dry years, where heat stress also contributed. Suggest that this will be an issue with insecticides running out by the time the additional stress of RWA hits.
Haven't seen resistance in NE Vic - but need ot look at earlier not later - trying to manage problem before it becomes resitant - potential extension needed. No issue reported in the Wimmera.
More prevalent in Mid north and yp than thought. More understanding of flight times, growth stages and crop damageneeded. Also common throughout other parts of MRZ but not necessarily getting worse.
Since 2016 when Russian Wheat Aphid was first detected and subsequently established in Australia GRDC has invested in understanding the impact and management strategies for RWA. The outcomes of investment UOA1805-018RTX Russian Wheat Aphid Risk Assessment and Regional Thresholds led by SARDI in partnership with CESAR Australia have developed an economic threshold calculator. https://cesaraustralia.com/resources/russian-wheat-aphid-action-threshold-calculator/ The calculator indicates if the economic injury level is likely to be exceeded between GS30 (start of stem elongation) and GS50 (start of head emergence) and, therefore, if control of Russian wheat aphid should be actioned. This action threshold can be applied to winter and spring cereal varieties. The latest management recommendations in relation to insecticide resistance and RWA are detailed in GRDC Update Paper https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/managing-what-might-bug-you-this-seasonSouthLower and Mid North SA31/08/21
16
Slugs
NGN0047Slugs continue to be a major problem in the HRZ, with growers stating that recommended rates and approaches do not always work. Some growers report that they have baited up to 6 times with no result, and are seeking information on how many times should they keep going to achieve a result. Information is sought on the types of baits / rates / best performing methods.Slug control is a priority area for investment under GRDC’s Key Investment Targets and recognises the significant impact slugs have in cropping areas of the high rainfall zone of the Southern region.

GRDC recently went to market seeking expressions of interest around innovative ideas for more effective control of pest molluscs (snails and slugs in Australian grain crops. The objective of the EOI is to provide approaches to better monitor, detect and manage molluscs and reduce contaminants to maximise returns.

GRDC has previously invested in research of slug ecology and development of management strategies (DAS1607-022BLX) and also research into potential new products including biological controls for slugs (UOM1706 – 001RTX).
A paper from Michael Nash in 2016 on ‘New insights into slug control’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/07/new-insights-into-slug-control provides some data about bait degradation and slug activity among other key factors of influence for successful control.

The Southern NGN engagement with growers has highlighted the need for further extension and communication of the most recent research development in slug management and is committed to investing in the delivery of communication and extension activities for slug management in the Southern region during 2022 and 2023.
SouthSouth East SA28/10/21
17
Radish control
NGN0049Review on best practice control of Radish on the YP. Note that this is hardest to control in legumes. Overall, growers have been concerned with the control of imis and group B’s. Weed management is particularly hard when next door to vineyards. Growers discussed that they are living in fear of turning into WA and will have hardly any options left. Do not want resistance.GRDC has previously invested in researching the biology and ecology of wild radish and the development of management strategies. In 2021 a GRDC factsheet on wild radish was published detailing management strategies to control this weed and prevent further herbicide resistance development. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/wild-radish-fact-sheetSouthYorke Peninsula22/09/21
18
Broadleaf control in lentils
NGN0052There are a lack of herbicide options to control broadleaf weeds in lentils. Growers are seeking new options.GRDC currently has a number of related investments in this space ranging from the development of new herbicides through the Herbicide Innovation Partnership https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/national/2020/december/major-herbicide-research-effort-enters-new-phase to Herbicide Behaviour workshops and associated resources. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Herbicide%20behaviour
Understanding herbicide behaviours with regard to solubility and mobility in soil provides a great context for why some herbicides are risky for use with disc systems and will not result in new permits for use under these systems. The ‘Soil Behaviour of Pre-emergent Herbicides in Australian Farming Systems’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/soil-behaviour-of-pre-emergent-herbicides publication addresses how herbicides behave if applied to dry soils and experience continued dry conditions. ‘Rotational Crop Constraints for Herbicides used in Australian Farming Systems’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/rotational-crop-constraints-for-herbicides-used-in-australian-farming-systems is another resource for growers and advisers to increase their understanding of herbicide persistence and the influencing factors.
In response to this forum, a GRDC Herbicide Behaviour workshop has now been planned for the Yorke Peninsula in 2022 to provide an opportunity for growers to understand herbicide chemistry and soil and plant interactions. This workshop will focus on herbicide behaviour of pre-emergent herbicides.
Broadleaf control in lentils is a focus for GRDC’s investment in ‘Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia’. This project began in 2021 and is being conducted by SARDI with local trial work and extension sub-contracted to Trengove Consulting.
SouthYorke Peninsula22/09/21
19
Pre emergent chemical control options in the LRZ
NGN0054Growers in the Upper North are seeking access to good dry sowing pre emergent chemicals as many available do not do a good job in the dry conditions.
PERMIT REVIEW: Growers are seeking a review of preemergent chemicals by seeding system as many are not registered for disc systems and new permits are needed to utilise preemergent chemistry outside of knife point.
TRIALS: There is a research / trials gap to review the difference between TOS and TOE when sowing dry - how do herbicides react when sitting in dry soils for weeks i.e. Time of sowing vs time of emergence. Need to also explore new chemistry at different sowing times i.e. dry, wet and then assess impact on weeds and crop growth.
GRDC currently has a number of related investments in this space ranging from the development of new herbicides through the Herbicide Innovation Partnership https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/national/2020/december/major-herbicide-research-effort-enters-new-phase to Herbicide Behaviour workshops and associated resources https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Herbicide%20behaviour.
Understanding herbicide behaviours with regard to solubility and mobility in soil provides a great context for why some herbicides are risky for use with disc systems and will not result in new permits for use under these systems. The ‘Soil Behaviour of Pre-emergent Herbicides in Australian Farming Systems’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/soil-behaviour-of-pre-emergent-herbicides publication addresses how herbicides behave if applied to dry soils and experience continued dry conditions.
A workshop has now been planned for the Upper North in 2022 as a result of this grower forum to provide an opportunity for growers to develop their knowledge. This workshop will focus on herbicide behaviour of pre-emergent herbicides.
SouthUpper North SA23/09/21
20
Regionally specific management guidelines and best practice approaches, plus new resistance varieties, for Disease resistance for Scald, Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus, and powdery mildew in Tasmania.
NGN0062Tasmanian growers are seeking disease resistant vareities to help manage priority diseases such as scald, Barley Yellow Dward Virus and Powdery Mildew. These diseases impact crop yields and productivity, and are costly to manage. They are keen to see new genes identified in wheatgrass that confer BYDV reistance.GRDC currently invests in a range of ways to provide tools for growers to manage disease and stave off fungicide resistance.
Pre-breeding to provide tools for breeders is a key component of this work. There is a limit to the genetic traits that can be selected for, so it is crucially important that breeders can prioritise these objectives. Breeders generally select their objectives based on direct engagement and market research with growers, but are also in regular communication with GRDC about the targets and the breeding tools required to meet these objectives.

In addition, there is a large degree of investment around disease epidemiology in different environments to provide advice for growers about where and when to spray and manage /prevent resistance. Examples of this include a previous investment led by the University of Tasmania UT00030-001RTX Effective control of barley yellow dwarf virus in wheat.

GRDC is currently developing a proposal for investment around the validation and extension of management strategies for wheat powdery mildew.

Following grower feedback, trials on best practice management of Septoria Tritici Blotch were included this year in the Hyper Yielding Crops investment at Hagley. https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/south/2021/august/new-research-to-focus-on-major-wheat-disease

GRDC also invests in other activities such as surveillance and monitoring of pathogens and providing consistent extension and communication on an industry wide collaborative level through the Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network AFREN (CUR1905-001SAX).https://afren.com.au/
SouthTasmania09/11/21
21
Maximising the benefit of early maturity barley and wheat cultivars in low rainfall & high temperature environments
1Barley can often have higher yields compared to wheat is some low to medium rainfall environments, and as such can be a more profitable* crop than wheat in many parts of the central east and west NSW (*commodity price influenced). The proportion of barley grown annually is LRZ has increased and is often viewed as a risk business risk management decision. Similarly, in recent years there has been the release of early maturing wheat varieties that finish fast post flowering (Vixen, Nighthawk etc). The diversity of new fast finishing wheat and barley cultivars offers growers new prospects to take advantage of early sowing rain opportunities as opposed to growing traditional winter growth types, that have a disadvantage of late maturityNorthCentral East NSW
Central West NSW
15/03/22
22
Management of Rosin weed and Star of Bethlehem in the VIc Mallee
NGN0069These two weeds are on the rise and growers are having difficulty in controlling these weeds utilising registered chemical and mechanical means. Previous work provided some chemical control options but led to significant issues with soil residues. Mechanical means of control were not found to be effective.GRDC has invested in a 2-year preliminary research project; BWD2112-001RTX Management of Rosinweed and Star of Bethlehem in Victoria's Mallee and Wimmera led by the Birchup Cropping Group with support from the University of Adelaide. This project will deliver to industry preliminary evidence which tests hypotheses to control rosinweed and star of Bethlehem and determine the initial level of seed dormancy and emergence pattern in rosinweed in areas where it is a significant cropping weed. The aim will be to provide growers and advisers in the Victorian Mallee and Wimmera with improved knowledge of rosinweed and star of Bethlehem and preliminary evidence of effective control options for further validation and extension.SouthVic Mallee
Wimmera
03/09/21
23
Mungbean fusarium management
NGN0071Fusarium wilt is a disease that has been growing in incidence and severity in mungbean crops over the past decade (as evidenced by plant pest diagnostics and disease surveys). It has been reported in crops in Central Queensland, the Burnett, widely across the central and eastern Darling Downs and as far south as Forbes in NSW. In a survey of accredited mungbean agronomists following the 2020-21 growing season, it was determined that approximately 20,000 ha of the total plant of 125,000 ha was impacted in some way by the disease. Incidence can be as low as 5% causing negligible yield losses. In extreme cases, entire paddocks have been lost to the disease. At an average yield loss of 20%, Fusarium has cost the mungbean industry an estimated $4.8m in the 2020-21 season.

F. oxysporum and F. solani have been identified as causal organisms but detailed understanding of the pathogens and management options to minimise their impacts have not been researched in mungbean. Like other fusarium species, they are pathogens that survive for multiple years in the soil, but experience from the cotton industry has shown that utilising tolerant varieties, practising good hygiene on farm and good agronomy are important management strategies.
GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):

In response to this issue GRDC has varied DAQ1806-003RTX Optimising mungbean yield in the northern region - Mungbean agronomy to establish 3 x field sites to demonstrate the varying susceptibility of commercial varieties to Fusarium, conduct field walks and prepare a Fact Sheet on Mungbean Fusarium.

The National Mungbean Improvement Program National Mungbean Improvement Program DAQ2201-004RTX is also providing ratings on varietal performance under Fusarium infection which will help guide planting recommendations.

Useful Resources:
GRDC Research Update Papers and Webinars ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/06/management-of-the-major-mungbean-diseases-in-australia
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/december/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-mungbean-diseases
NorthCentral QLD
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East QLD
South West QLD
17/09/21
24
Weed control strategies to address and overcome poor efficacy resulting from glyphosate and 2,4-D antagonism
NGN0073Sowthistle is a problematic weed due to its easy dispersal by wind, potential to germinate all year round and increasing resistance to herbicides. In addition, antagonism when mixing Glyphosate and 2,4-D is known to result in poor efficacy on sowthistle. However, the removal of 2,4-D from spray mixtures has resulted in poorer control of a range of hard to control weed species including Parthenium, vine species and Fleabane. Growers are seeking alternative strategies to control these weeds but are mindful that uncertainty about the sequencing (rotation) of crops complicates management decisions. Areas that could be explored include, the impact of 2,4-D glyphosate antagonism, alternate herbicide mixtures, double knock and residual herbicides.In response to this issue GRDC has partnered with CRDC to develop an extension project focusing on a farming systems approach to weed management.

GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
NGA2009-002RTX - Agronomic management of weeds, crop nutrition and farming practices in Northern NSW & Southern QLD to maximise crop profitability.
UWA2007-002RTX - Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative - Phase 6
CSP1911-005RMX - Area Wide Management for cropping systems weeds: investigating the weed management, social and economic opportunity
UCS2008-001RTX - Determining the incidence of herbicide resistance in Australian grain cropping
UOA2007-007RTX - Developing strategies to mitigate and manage resistance to key herbicides

Useful resources:
NGA2009-002RTX Trial data available on GRDC Online Farm Trial - https://www.farmtrials.com.au/
ICN1906-003SAX GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations:
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/june/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-strategies-for-managing-glyphosate-resistant-broadleaves-sowthistle-and-fleabane
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/sowthistle-update-including-glyphosate-resistance-survey-and-testing-and-mgmt-options
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/12/sowthistle-biology-management-and-resistance-status
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/03/common-sowthistle-knockdown-and-double-knock-control-in-fallow
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/03/residual-herbicides-and-sowthistle-length-of-residual-and-efficacy.-trials-in-cq-and-darling-downs
GRDC Publications:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/ecology-of-major-emerging-weeds
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/common-weeds-of-grain-cropping-the-ute-guide
https://www.weedsmart.org.au/big-6/

GRDC Websites:
https://www.weedsmart.org.au/
NorthCentral QLD02/12/21
25
Weed Sensor and Spray technology
NGN0074Growers are seeking to better understand the range of weed sensor technologies available (eg. Optical spot sprayer (Weedit, Weed Seekers), camera sprayers (See & Spray JD, Bilberry), drones and sectional control booms, green on brown and green and green) and how they work, functionality, setup equipment (nozzles, water volumes, spray conditions etc), retro fitting capability, strengths and weaknesses. They are also keen to understand the role and value robotic spraying units can play in managing farm labour time and their farming systems fit. Coupled with greater clarity of what products can be used through these technologies, how and within the current label conditions and regulatory risks of non-compliance.GRDC have recently contracted ICAN to deliver a series of field days to address this issue:
ICN2203-002SAX Industry Spray Day Initiative - Northern Region. Three events will be conducted each year for two years involving technical presentations and practical demonstrations.

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentation ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/05/regulatory-changes-for-buffer-zones-whats-changing-and-why
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/07/boom-spray-technology-improving-coverage-and-managing-drift
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/11/optical-sprayers-management-optimisation-and-field-experience-with-their-use-on-robotic-platforms
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/august/grdc-grains-research-update-millmerran

GRDC Publications:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grownotes/technical-manuals/spray-application-manual
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/spray-drift
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/grdc-nozzle-selection-guide
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/spraying-efficiency
NorthCentral QLD01/12/21
26
Improving powdery mildew management in mungbean
NGN0075Powdery mildew is a disease of mungbean that occurs annually somewhere in the mungbean production zone. Recommendations for management generally revert to a ‘safe’ two spray program which has implications for economic returns and increases the risk of the development of resistance to fungicides (although there is no evidence of this to date). GRDC investment in DAW1810-007RTX has created PowderyMildewMBM, a decision support tool based on historical disease management data sets, to assist with decision making around the economic management of powdery mildew in mungbean. Disappointingly, there is low awareness and limited adoption of this tool. The management of powdery mildew in mungbean would be improved if growers and agronomists had improved understanding of the disease and confidence in using the Decision support tool.In response to this issue, GRDC has recently contracted the University of Southern Queensland (USQ2202-001RTX Improving powdery mildew management in Mungbean) to actively engage agronomists and growers in an education program that increases their knowledge of the powdery mildew pathosystem and their confidence in utilising the outputs of the decision support tool to guide management decisions. Project activities will include workshops, demonstrations, validation trials and the development of case studies and other communication pieces.

GRDC Investments:
ADA1607-002OPX - Agvet #045 Grant Agreement-Mungbeans-powdery mildew-Priority Use-Adama

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentation ICN1906-003SAX :
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/december/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-mungbean-diseases
NorthCentral QLD
South East QLD
South West QLD
01/12/21
27
Management options for Milk Thistle
NGN0079Growers in Central Queensland are seeking the best management options to lower the incidence and impact of milk thistle (sow thistle).Given the widespread significance of sow thistle, it is likely to be prioritised and addressed as part of the joint CRDC/GRDC Weeds Extension project developed in response to this local feedback.

GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
NGA2009-002RTX - Agronomic management of weeds, crop nutrition and farming practices in Northern NSW & Southern QLD to maximise crop profitability.
UWA2007-002RTX - Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative - Phase 6
CSP1911-005RMX - Area Wide Management for cropping systems weeds: investigating the weed management, social and economic opportunity
UCS2008-001RTX - Determining the incidence of herbicide resistance in Australian grain cropping
UOA2007-007RTX - Developing strategies to mitigate and manage resistance to key herbicides

Useful resources:
NGA2009-002RTX Trial data available on GRDC Online Farm Trial - https://www.farmtrials.com.au/
ICN1906-003SAX GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations:
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/june/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-strategies-for-managing-glyphosate-resistant-broadleaves-sowthistle-and-fleabane
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/sowthistle-update-including-glyphosate-resistance-survey-and-testing-and-mgmt-options
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/12/sowthistle-biology-management-and-resistance-status
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/03/common-sowthistle-knockdown-and-double-knock-control-in-fallow
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/03/residual-herbicides-and-sowthistle-length-of-residual-and-efficacy.-trials-in-cq-and-darling-downs

GRDC Publications:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/ecology-of-major-emerging-weeds
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/national/2020/may/new-and-improved-grdc-weed-ute-guide-now-available
https://www.weedsmart.org.au/big-6/

GRDC Websites:
https://www.weedsmart.org.au/
NorthCentral QLD02/12/21
28
Alternative desiccation methods
NGN0081Growers across the northern region are investigating alternative desiccation methods (sorghum, mungbeans, canola), including windrowing options for all crops.GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
In response to increased trade scrutiny on chemical residues in mungbean, the role of swathing is being investigated in a variation to DAQ1806-003RTX Optimising mungbean yield in the northern region - Mungbean Agronomy. 20 paddock scale comparisons of swathing versus desiccation will be conducted.

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/november/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-mungbean-agronomy
NorthCentral QLD
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East NSW
South East QLD
South West QLD
01/12/21
29
Ascochyta Blight management in Chickpeas
NGN0092Growers in SQLD and NNSW are concerned that reviews APVMA on key fungicide Mancozeb and Chlorothalonil may lead to greater restriction on the use of these chemicals for the management of Ascochyta Blight. Current spray management can see 2 applications applied in low disease pressure seasons and upwards of 6 sprays in wet high disease pressure seasons. While single site fungicides containing group 3 - DMI, group 7 - SDHI and Group 11 - QOI are available, and often sold in mixtures with 2 modes of action, these chemical groups are at high risk for resistance development and application is restricted to 2 per season. Their use is also limited due to their relatively high cost. Growers are keen to understand the fit of these chemistries into season long management plans under a range of legislative restrictions that may be implemented that restrict or even ban the use of Mancozeb and Chlorothalonil.GRDC Investments:
DPI2003-020BLX - GAPP BLG307 Do some chickpeas produce metabolites for and against Ascochyta blight?
DPI1807-010BLX - GAPP BLG206: IDM for Broadleaf Crops in southern and central NSW
DPI1805-018BLX - GAPP BLG209: Pulse Integrated Disease Management – Northern NSW/QLD
USQ1903-003RTX - Post-doctoral Fellowship: A Model for Predicting Chickpea Ascochyta Blight Risk
GRI2007-001RTX - Program 1: Towards effective genetic and sustainable management of Ascochyta blight of chickpea - Ascochyta blight pathogen biology, population dynamics and epidemiology.
ICA2007-001RTX - Program 2 - Towards effective genetic and sustainable management of Ascochyta blight of Chickpea
UOA2005-011RTX - Program 3: Towards effective genetic and sustainable management of Ascochyta blight of Chickpea - Identification and characterisation of novel sources of AB resistance in elite cultivars and wild relatives of chickpea
DJP2007-001RTX - Program 4: Towards effective genetic and sustainable management of Ascochyta blight of Chickpea - Accurate, effective, cheaper and rapid high-throughput method for qualitative and quantitative evaluation for AB genetic resistance.
CSP2007-001RTX - Program 5: IDM package for Ascochyta Blight in chickpeas

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/impact-and-timely-control-of-ascochyta-blight-of-chickpea
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/the-impact-of-ascochyta-on-chickpea-yield-and-economics-when-infection-occurs-at-three-different-growth-stages
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/mapping-ascochyta-rabiei-aggressiveness-and-understanding-the-pathogen-adaptation-to-disease-management-strategies
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/the-economics-of-managing-ascochyta-in-chickpea-when-disease-occurs-at-different-growth-stages-and-implications-for-spray-timing
https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/1220271/Managing-ascochyta-blight-in-chickpeas-in-2021.pdf
NorthCentral West NSW
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East QLD
South West QLD
25/01/22
30
Improving growers understanding of the seasonal influence on the risk of stripe rust, length of crop susceptibility, resistance mechanisms, pathotype change and their impact on fungicide management strategies.
NGN0093Growers throughout NSW and SQLD were severely impacted by stripe rust in 2020 and 2021. Mild and wet seasonal conditions favoured multiple cycles of stripe rust which also coincided with slowed crop development and delayed onset of adult plant resistance. As a result the standard 2 spray GS31 & 37 fungicide program typically used by growers to control this disease resulted in poor management of rusts across the region. The major shift in the distribution of stripe rust pathotypes saw the 198 and 239 pathotypes impacting right across the Northern Region and growers and agronomists witnessed unexpected disease reactions. Subsequently, growers are seeking to better understand stripe rust development, impact of elongated growing seasons. Greater surveillance and communications have been identified as issues that need to be addressed to better manage the heightened risk of rust this season.GRDC Investments:
CSP1801-013RTX - Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) - CSIRO: Delivering genetic tools and knowledge required to breed wheat and barley with resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust and stem rust
UOS1801-004RTX - Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) - University of Sydney: Delivering genetic tools and knowledge required to breed wheat and barley with resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust and stem rust
UOA1801-010RTX - Australian Cereal Rust Control Program - Novel sources of stem rust resistance from uncultivated wild relative

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/march/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-disease-nnsw-and-qld
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/cereal-disease-management-using-learnings-from-2021-to-improve-management-in-2022
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/northern-region-wheat-stripe-rust-epidemic-in-2021-learnings-for-2022


GRDC Publications:
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/national/2022/updated-disease-ratings-prepare-growers-for-high-stripe-rust-risk
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/stripe-rust-incursions-create-huge-challenges
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/stripe-rust-outlook-for-2022
GRDC Websites:
https://nvt.grdc.com.au/nvt-disease-ratings
NorthCentral East NSW
Central West NSW
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East NSW
South East QLD
South West NSW
South West QLD
08/02/22
31
Strip and disc adoption risks
NGN0156Attendees identified that strip and disc systems offer opportunities to better protect soil, conserve more moisture, improve harvest logistics and yields, but that significant risks are limiting adoption in the upper EP. Challenges with adoption include pest and disease management, pre-emergent herbicide safety, high upfront capital investment and assessing the efficacy of disc seeding options, given their diversity.

One of the major questions around adoption of the strip and disc system is around performance of stripper fronts in low biomass, low yielding, short and or patchy crops. Discussion included questions around whether new engineering solutions may be required as well as information on best practices set up for these conditions and how to manage to its limitations.

Discussion included that there are not many strip and disc users on the EP to learn from (only one locally). It was noted that there a couple of trials around this year but more are needed to demonstrate different practices and de-risk adoption. It Is felt that there is insufficient knowledge around how to implement this type o system under local LRZ conditions to warrant the investment of the $60K and that understanding ROI return on investment (considering approach, pest and disease management, herbicide package etc) is really important for growers to make the leap.

There was discussion that research capabilities locally were limited by infrastructure (not just strip and disc – eg. draper and flexi fronts and rollers etc - to make lentils work) and that upgrades are required to maintain industry relevance – but that unbiased statistically sound trials are necessary.
GRDC is currently in procurement for a local project to validate the impact of stripper fronts and different draper front straw lengths on harvest and fallow efficiency, spray efficacy and impacts on pest populations in a disc system. This investment is being made as a direct response to this issue being raised.

GRDC currently has a number of projects looking at strip and disc systems and their impacts on soil moisture across a range of environments.
FLR2012-003RTX Impact of stripper header fronts and straw length on soil evaporation and fallow efficiency is a project looking at how the use of stripper fronts and increased straw length, changed architecture affects fallow efficiency through the reduction of wind speed and temp, reducing evaporation and whether this may contribute to earlier sowing opportunities. The project is also looking at the contribution of stripped stubble to canopy temperature, weeds disease and pest pressures on subsequent crops.

CSP2203-006RTX - Soil water modelling of stripper and draper header front stubbles to identify possible differences in water capture and storage for early sowing opportunities is a project leveraging the data generated in the project above (FLR2012-003RTX) to model soil water accumulation under stripper and draper fronts.

In addition to the above GRDC is investigating the potential to validate strip and disc systems in the central/ western Upper Eyre Peninsula in response to this discussion.

You may also find of interest a range of resources and case studies including:

Update Papers
Do the challenges of a strip and disc system pay off – a grower’s perspective (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/07/do-the-challenges-of-a-strip-disc-system-pay-off-a-growers-perspective

Stripper front and disc seeding (2018) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/08/stripper-fronts-and-disc-seeding

Impact of stripper fronts and caff lining on harvest weed seed control (2018) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/07/impact-of-stripper-fronts-and-chaff-lining

The economics of changing from draper to stripper fronts (2018) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/08/the-economics-of-changing-from-draper-to-stripper-fronts

Ground Cover articles
Time efficiency gain from ‘strip and disc’ system (2021) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/northern/time-efficiency-gain-from-strip-and-disc-system

The economics of draper and stripper fronts (2018) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/groundcover/groundcover-137-november-december-2018/the-economics-of-draper-and-stripper-fronts?utm_source=groundcover&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=137&utm_content=web-article-footer-next-button

Disc sowing lessons shared (2022) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/disc-sowing-lessons-shared

Agronomist explores disc seeding pros and cons (2021) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/agronomist-explores-disc-seeding-pros-and-cons

Dunlop’s disc system allows for good moisture retention at sowing and fast sowing speeds (2022) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/southern/dunlops-disc-system-allows-for-good-moisture-retention-at-sowing-and-fast-sowing-speeds

Publications

Machinery investment and replacement for Australian grain growers (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2022/machinery-investment-and-replacement-for-australian-grain-growers

Podcasts
Guide – Machinery investment and replacement fro Australian grain growers (2022) https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/guide-machinery-investment-and-replacement-for-australian-grain-growers
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula01/08/22Minnipa NGN Forum (online)
32
Lentil agronomy for low rainfall zones
NGN0158The area sown to lentils in the region is expanding and there is a desire to understand the best crop protection management strategies for the low rainfall environment, particularly herbicides and fungicides.
Discussion highlighted that rainfall patterns were similar in the local area to those of Maitland but yields achieved locally were significantly lower in comparison. It was noted by attendees that there has been much research which has been conducted but local contextualisation was desired.

Growers are keen to understand how to achieve the most profitable best practice disease and weed management in the low rainfall environment.

Attendees noted there are lots of lentils going in around red loam soils across upper EP.
GRDC is currently working up a local investment to help address this issue.

In addition, GRDC currently invests in the development and extension of research into grain legumes and their fit in farming systems including crop protection strategies particularly for new chemistries on different soil types and environments. UOA2105-013RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia. This project is delivered by SARDI and has sites on the Eyre peninsula and these issues will be raised for consideration of the 2023 trial program.

There is a significant amount of data available on these issues from similar environments including climate and soil types, that is directly applicable to this area.

Much of this data is available through reports on Online Farm Trials and includes data from trials at Minnipa Agricultural Centre in 2018, which included data on economic returns. https://www.farmtrials.com.au/

Information around newer chemistries including Reflex can be found in the update paper Crop safety and broadleaf weed control implications for various herbicides and combinations in lentil (2022). This paper also looks at effects on alkaline soils. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/crop-safety-and-broadleaf-weed-control-implications-for-various-herbicides-and-combinations-in-lentil

GRDC are currently in procurement PROC-9176704 of an investment to further address Ascochyta and botrytis disease of Lentils. This investment will commence in 2023 and will develop integrated disease management (IDM) strategies informed by epidemiology research and determine the economics and risk benefit of applying IDM strategies for the various lentil growing environments / climates.

Other resources that may be of interest:
Fungicide Resistance Management Guide https://afren.com.au/resources/#management-guide
Fungicide resistance in Pulses fact sheet https://afren.com.au/resources/resources-fact-sheets/

Expanding the opportunities for pulse weed control (2022) GC Article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/expanding-the-opportunities-for-pulse-weed-control
Increasing Reliability of lentil production on sandy soils (2021) Update paper. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/07/increasing-reliability-of-lentil-production-on-sandy-soils2
New herbicide tolerances in pulses (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/07/new-herbicide-tolerances-in-pulses
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula01/08/22Minnipa NGN Forum (online)
33
Group1 Herbicide Resistant barley grass
NGN0159Group1 (formerly Group A) Herbicide resistant Barley grass is an issue being recognised across more and more farming regions. Participants discussed that until there are new and unique chemical options to selectively remove barley grass in the non-cereal part of the rotation, the system will struggle.

It was also discussed that risk implications of the loss of medic pastures in central and western EP farming systems are not well understood, and participants feel some of the solutions being promoted in the extension messages are problematic.

It was noted that Imi chemistry is helping manage resistant populations currently but loss of that chemistry is now a big risk to the system.

Comments included that group 1 resistant barley grass was really notable coming out of a pasture wheat rotation. There are very few places that do not have group 1 resistant barley grass so the issue is relevant across many regions.
GRDC currently has a multifaceted approach to addressing Group 1 resistance in barley grass including:

The discovery of new chemistries through the BCS1805-001OPX Herbicide Innovation Partnership with Bayer, which now has a number of promising molecules progressing to field testing in Phase II of the partnership. Partnership targets next-generation herbicides https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/chemical-regulation/partnership-targets-next-generation-herbicides

Other areas for investment include in:
• Non-chemical control methods
• HWSC, Microwave, Laser, mechanical etc.
• More targeted control – shield sprayers.
• Development and support of registrations for new herbicide tolerant germplasm.
• Investment in agronomy and systems approaches to drive down weed seed banks.


Work conducted at Minnipa has also identified important weed ecology traits that have contributed to understanding of this issue. Rising significance of resistant barley grass (2020) https://www.weedsmart.org.au/content/rising-significance-of-resistant-barley-grass/ a recent paper on this work can be found at Advances in controlling brome and barley grass (2022). https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/advances-in-controlling-brome-and-barley-grass

A publication on insights for practical barley grass management as part of UOA1904-004SAX – Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems is currently in production and will be available in early 2023.
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula01/08/22Minnipa NGN Forum (online)
34
Profitable balance of livestock and cropping enterprises
NGN0160Attendees felt that the balance of livestock and cropping enterprises needs more R,D&E. The current system, medic pasture, livestock feed, wheat system is breaking down. There is a late autumn and early winter feed gap for livestock.GRDC has a new 5-year investment currently in procurement for the following investment in Enterprise choice and sequence strategies that drive sustainable and profitable southern Australian farming systems.

This investment will commence in the 2023 growing season and will be seeking to evaluate whole systems and the key components driving profitability across the Southern Region and will include evaluation of the role of livestock.

GRDC has also had recent investment in DAS1805-003RMX Boosting profit and reducing risk on mixed farms in low and medium rainfall areas with newly discovered legume pastures enabled by innovative management methods - southern region. This co-investment with MLA was designed to evaluate the potential for a range of dryland legumes as feed options and their fit in farming systems including in the upper EP. This included evaluating potential to fill feed gaps.
GroundCover
Legume pasture trials offer alternatives to the ‘Mallee medic’ https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/legume-pasture-trials-offer-alternatives-to-the-mallee-medic

Update Papers
Developing pasture-crop rotation systems with hard seeded self-regenerating legume species to fix more N for crops and feed livestock in medium and low rainfall zones https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/developing-pasture-crop-rotation-systems-with-hard-seeded-self-regenerating-legume-species-to-fix-more-n-for-crops-and-feed-livestock-in-medium-and-low-rainfall-zones
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula01/08/22Minnipa NGN Forum (online)
35
Management of non-wetting sands and managing soils post amelioration
NGN0162Participants felt that whilst a lot of research into managing non-wetting sands has taken place and soil amelioration is widely accepted as a good management strategy, more insight was needed around costs, management of erosion and trafficability post amelioration.

There are several questions remaining about managing soils post-amelioration as well as how to achieve longevity from amelioration or other management options. This included questions around the impact of livestock.

There was also discussion about how crop establishment can be improved without amelioration using current no-till practices.
As a product from GRDC’s ‘Sandy Soils Project’ a recent fact sheet series has been developed specifically related to management of non-wetting sands.

Fact sheets
Diagnosing sandy soil constraints- water repellence and pH: South West https://grdc.com.au/diagnosing-sandy-soil-constraints-water-repellence-and-ph-south-west

Ripping technology fact sheet – Technology considerations for cost effective subsoil loosening (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2022/ripping-technology-national-fact-sheet

Inclusion Ripping Technology Fact Sheet (due for release late August) https://grdc.com.au/inclusion-ripping-technology-national

Soil Mixing by Spading Fact Sheet https://grdc.com.au/soil-mixing-by-spading-national


Update Papers
Underperforming sandy soils – targeting constraints for cost effective amelioration (Feb 2019) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/underperforming-sandy-soils-targeting-constraints-for-cost-effective-amelioration

Amelioration strategies to improve crop productivity on sandy soils (Aug 2021) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/08/amelioration-strategies-to-improve-crop-productivity-on-sandy-soils

Ameliorating sandy soils to overcome soil constraints and improve profit (Feb 2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/ameliorating-sandy-soils-to-overcome-soil-constraints-and-improve-profit

GroundCover :
Plates for sandy soils (Dec 2019) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/plates-for-sandy-soils

Controlling traffic preserves soil amelioration benefits in sandy soils (Mar 2020) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/controlled-traffic-extends-life-of-deep-ripping-in-sandy-soils

Overcoming compaction in sandy soils brings better access to water (Apr 2020) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/southern/overcoming-compaction-in-sandy-soils-brings-better-access-to-water

Sandy ripping techniques (Aug 2020) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/sandy-ripping-tactics

How to minimise wind erosion after soil amelioration (2021) (INCLUDES WEBINAR RECORDING) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/how-to-minimise-wind-erosion-after-soil-amelioration

In addition to this, there have been a number of publications around the benefits of on or edge row sowing (from investments CSP 00139 and DAW00244). As well as a sandy soils masterclass series, recently completed. There have been significant breakthroughs as a product of this investment by GRDC and work continues in this area including around the development of engineering solutions to improve amelioration. There are a number of investments also looking at managing soils post amelioration which may be of interest. https://www.farmtrials.com.au/trial/34349
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula01/08/22Minnipa NGN Forum (online)
36
Fertiliser efficiency – diminishing rates of return, optimising N capture and minimising losses
NGN0163Attendees discussed that research and knowledge is needed to drive fertiliser efficiency, define ‘how hard to go’ and how to best manage applications in the HRZ. Many growers are seeing a declining return on fertiliser input and are keen to understand how they can improve the efficiency of fertiliser application rates to optimise investments. Growers wanted a better understand of nutrient removal from ‘Hyper yield crops’ with the profitability of fertiliser coatings also questioned in the HRZ. Spring fertiliser decisions are often difficult when chasing big yields without a reliable weather forecast.

There were concerns about the long-term sustainability of fertiliser use with research, development and/or extension needed in the HRZ to ensure growers are managing their applications in a sustainable manner, that fertiliser placement is optimised, and that application strategies are minimising any run-off or waste. With Nitrogen cap regulations being applied to New Zealand grazing land and European canola declaration systems in place, growers are keen to ‘be on the front foot’ with the anticipation that similar regulation could be enforced in the future.
A GRDC research investment found that under-fertilising in the HRZ appears to be a major cause of yield gaps – the difference between the actual yield achieved by a grower and the water-limited yield potential. Further information is at: Nutrient shortfall contributing to yield gap in high rainfall zone - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/south/2018/05/nutrient-shortfall-contributing-to-yield-gap-in-high-rainfall-zone#:~:text=A%20Grains%20Research%20and%20Development%20Corporation%20%28GRDC%29%20research,by%20a%20grower%20and%20the%20water-limited%20yield%20potential.

Attendees may be interested in reviewing the following GRDC Ground Cover stories:
- ‘Measure to manage’ nitrogen expenditure in HRZ | Groundcover (grdc.com.au) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/measure-to-manage-nitrogen-expenditure-in-hrz
- A 2018 GRDC Ground Cover story explores newly developed tools are helping to better predict the yield and economic benefits of applying inputs in the high-rainfall zone. Yield potential rises in the high-rainfall zone - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/groundcover/groundcover-132-january-february-2018/yield-potential-rises-in-the-high-rainfall-zone

The following GRDC Crop Update papers contain relevant information on N management, rates and timing:
- Nick Poole et al (2021) presented a paper on the hyper yielding crops. Hyper Yielding Crops – are there learnings outside of the high rainfall zone? - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/hyper-yielding-crops-are-there-learnings-outside-of-the-high-rainfall-zone
- Ashley Amourgis (SFS) paper contains content of relevance on improving nitrogen use efficiency from timing and placement and investigates deep banding. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/06/improving-nitrogen-use-efficiency-from-timing-and-placement-of-nitrogen-in-high-rainfall-cropping

Jon Midwood’s paper explores closing the yield gap in the HRZ: High rainfall zone agronomy to help close the yield gap - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/high-rainfall-zone-agronomy-to-help-close-the-yield-gap

The GRDC have developed a soil fertiliser strip testing fact sheet, this fact sheet is designed to help growers decide fertiliser rates and top up rates. Fertiliser fact sheet - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/fertiliser-fact-sheet
SouthSouth West Vic23/08/22Tatyoon NGN Forum
37
Managing large stubbles
NGN0164Better management of large stubbles (i.e. 8 tonne) is an issue for many growers in the HRZ. Attendees discussed the following as areas that required research, development and/or extension to inform better management:
- Nutrient deficiencies, particularly potassium, following stubble burning.
- Optimum crop sequencing to manage large stubbles and strategies for interrow sowing
- Impact of livestock, invertebrates and microbes on stubble breakdown.
- Pest management (millipedes and slaters) in high stubble loads.
- Opportunities for conversion into biochar or bio-energy (hydrogen production) through digesters.
- Economics of removal through baling or optimising incorporation of stubble back into the system
The GRDC initiative, Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble, or the “Stubble Initiative” supports grain growers across New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania through the development of regional guidelines for managing each aspect of a stubble-retained farming system.
GRDC invested $17.5 million in the initiative that ran from 2014 to 2018. The July-August 2018 GroundCoverTM Supplement feature on Stubble highlights some of these research outcomes https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/groundcover/groundcover-july-august-2018?SQ_VARIATION_361905=0&aissueno=135&form=listing&collection=grdc-multi&profile=groundcover&sort=date&meta_aissueno_not=GroundCover%E2%84%A2&meta_aissueno_not=%22Ground+Cover+supplements%22&matrix_origin=groundcover_details&meta_aissueno=135&fmo=on&f.GroundCover%7Catype=GroundCover%E2%84%A2+Supplement. The Stubble initiatives can be viewed at: https://grdc.com.au/stubble-initiative Resources are also listed at: How do I want to manage stubble at harvest - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/research/trials,-programs-and-initiatives/stubble-initiative/stubble-type

GRDC has a stubble project running currently in the HRZ titled: SFS2112-002SAX - Large stubble loads and the impact of stripper/disc systems in the High Rainfall Zone of Southern Australia. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SFS2112-002SAX This project is managed by Southern Farming Systems and due for completion in June 2024. Keep in touch with GRDC and SFS for future events.

GRDC has a new 5-year investment currently in procurement for Enterprise choice and sequence strategies that drive sustainable and profitable southern Australian farming systems. This will address, among other things, different crops and management of biotic limitations

The following GRDC Update papers may be of interest:

- Profitable stubble retention systems for the high rainfall zone: Profitable stubble retention systems for the high rainfall zone - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/profitable-stubble-retention-systems-for-the-high-rainfall-zone
- Stubble and nutrient management to build soil carbon – challenges and opportunities, by Singh et al (2020). Viewed online at: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/stubble-and-nutrient-management-to-build-soil-carbon-challenges-and-opportunities
SouthSouth West Vic23/08/22Tatyoon NGN Forum
38
Waterlogging
NGN0165Waterlogging is an issue commonly experienced by many growers in the HRZ. The main issues are around dealing with excess water in the system and the efficiency of fertiliser application rates during times of water logging.Rob Harris’ work on Nitrogen management in waterlogged crops investigated the effects of rate and placement of N fertiliser on crop performance and N2O losses. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2015/07/nitrogen-management-in-waterlogged-crops

During waterlogged conditions in late 2021 throughout SW Victoria, GRDC contracted a development and extension project with Southern Farming Systems through the National Grower Network: SFS2109-001SAX – Strategies for waterlogged crops in the High Rainfall Zone of the Southern Region https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SFS2109-001SAX. 2022 was the final season of trial work with the final report due in June 2023.

Cereal pre-breeder Professor Meixue Zhou and his team at the University of Tasmania have discovered a waterlogging tolerance gene for barley as part of project UOT1901-001RTX - Adapted barley germplasm with waterlogging tolerance for the Southern and Western regions. S M Naruzzaman Manik presented this work at the GRDC Grains Research Updates earlier this year, click here https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-grains-research-update-online,-southern-region-2022-day-6-technology-and-high-rainfall-zone-agronomy-adelaide-and-bendigo?videoId=6299701586001 for the presentation or here https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/improving-waterlogging-tolerance-of-barley-varieties to view the paper.
SouthSouth West Vic23/08/22Tatyoon NGN Forum
39
Late season weed control and Harvest Weed Seed Control (HWSC)
NGN0166Many growers in the HRZ are investigating harvest weed seed control as another tool to control late season annual ryegrass. Growers are largely depending on herbicides for control but would like confidence to utilise new tools and reduce their dependence on chemicals.
Many have introduced seed mills as part of their HWSC strategy and are working to turn them on and off in the spots that really need it. Some growers questioned if windrowing prior to harvesting with a seed mill could improve weed kill.
Harvest Weed Seed Control for the Southern High Rainfall Zone is a GRDC publication produced in 2019 https://grdc.com.au/harvest-weed-seed-control-for-the-southern-high-rainfall-zone/. There is also a chapter on HWSC and a grower case study from Hamilton, Victoria in Managing annual ryegrass in the High-Rainfall Zones of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. https://grdc.com.au/managing-annual-ryegrass-in-the-high-rainfall-zones-of-victoria,-south-australia-and-tasmania

During the recent Regional Harvester Set-Up Workshops throughout the southern region HRZ this season, GRDC has recorded a series of videos to expand the reach of these events. Subscribe to the GRDC YouTube Channel to view when released https://www.youtube.com/c/theGRDC. For future GRDC Regional Harvester Set-Up Workshops make sure you are subscribed to GRDC events to receive alerts about when these are on. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-subscriptions
SouthSouth West Vic23/08/22Tatyoon NGN Forum
40
Rotations, how are they changing and what should they be
NGN0167Attendees discussed that they are seeking robust rotation data to challenge the traditional ‘Birchip rotation’ (canola – wheat – barley – pulse) and seek more upside.

Growers and advisors looked at the GRDC northern region farming systems work conducted by John Kirkegaard and his team, to see if these findings could be adopted in the Birchip region.
Attendees referred to the GRDC farming systems project conducted by CSIRO and led by John Kirkegaard. This project established four state-of-the-art farming systems research sites targeting the next step changes in WUE and farm profit. It investigated interactions of crop sequence, early sowing systems (with and without grazing) and nitrogen fertiliser strategies which were monitored for WUE, production and profit. Here is a link to John’s update paper: Farming systems: profit, water, nutritional and disease implications of different crop sequences and system intensities in SNSW. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/08/farming-systems-profit,-water,-nutritional-and-disease-implications-of-different-crop-sequences-and-system-intensities-in-snsw Previously to this 2020 update, John presented Opportunities and challenges for continuous cropping systems in 2017. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/02/opportunities-and-challenges-for-continuous-cropping-systems

GRDC recently closed a tender to develop Enterprise choice and sequence strategies that drive sustainable and profitable southern Australian farming systems. The aim of this project is to employ a farming systems approach using strategic options (like enterprise choice and sequence, livestock integration, risk positioning, GHG mitigation) and tactical decisions (like time of sowing, fertiliser application, crop protection) to evaluate the profitability of management strategies over time.

Pulse profitability is being targeted in four new GRDC research investments, which are working to demonstrate locally relevant tools to reduce the risk and boost profitability of pulse crops.
Fit-for-purpose research targets pulse profitability | Groundcover (grdc.com.au) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/fit-for-purpose-research-targets-pulse-profitability
SouthVic Mallee24/08/22Birchip NGN Forum
41
Holistic weed management – long term
NGN0168Attendees discussed weed pressure is a primary constraint in this region. Better weed management is needed to support industry best practice, so growers can move towards farming systems which are less dependent on chemicals.
Participants discussed that:
- There is a need to prepare and ensure industry can manage resistance and incorporate all options into their management tool kit.
- Any weed management plan must consider variations in the seasonal / climatic outlook, and be supported by quality forecasting.
- Many rotations are dictated by weed control and new strategies are needed to manage key weeds such as ryegrass and brome.
- New insights are needed to understand how crop competition can be better utilised to manage weeds (what species are best in this region).
- There is a need for a systems approach to weed management and how to best drive the weed seed bank down.
- Growers are seeking knowledge on the effectiveness of different harvest weed seed control options.
Since 2002/03 the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has invested more than $115 million in weeds research. The grains industry has made significant advancements in weed management during the past 20 years, such as the evolution of harvest weed seed control and the prevalence of the double-knock control strategies, but the impact of weeds will continue to be problematic without an integrated approach. The GRDC is working to transform research outcomes into on-farm management strategies.
The Integrated Weed Management (IWM) manual https://grdc.com.au/IWMM?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_term=National&utm_content=Integrated%20Weed%20Management%20Manual provides information on the latest tools and techniques to help manage current weeds and weeds of emerging economic importance, and at the same time maintain our arsenal of herbicide modes-of-action into the future.
GRDC Ground Cover Story, Trials explore efficacy of control tactics for annual ryegrass and brome grass, describes the GRDC research project which explored tactical weed control of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) and brome grass (Bromus diandrus and B. rigidus) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/new-findings-advance-tactical-art-of-integrated-weed-control. This project, which was led by the University of Adelaide’s Associate Professor Gurjeet Gill, examined the effectiveness of three integrated weed control tactics: time of sowing, crop seeding rate and pre-emergent herbicide use. This video “Triple threat to combat weeds” on the GRDC YouTube Channel gives an overview of the project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsMK2EwPFhc
The National Reference Manual ‘Rotational crop constraints for herbicides used in Australian farming systems’ has been developed to provide grain growers and advisers with relevant information to assist in planning the use of herbicides into crop sequences and in managing rotation constraints. https://grdc.com.au/rotational-crop-constraints-for-herbicides?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_term=National&utm_content=Rotational%20crop%20constraints%20for%20herbicides%20used%20in%20Australian%20farming%20systems

GRDC is a Platinum Partner with WeedSmart, which also attracts investment from commercial companies. https://www.weedsmart.org.au/ WeedSmart's purpose is to deliver science-backed weed control solutions to growers and advisors for long-term profitability in Australian Agriculture. WeedSmart resources can be accessed here https://www.weedsmart.org.au/resources/.
SouthVic Mallee24/08/22Birchip NGN Forum
42
How to establish soil carbon baselines
NGN0169Growers seek new tests developed or established ones reviewed to understand soil carbon levels. This new benchmark could build on previous work by Jeff Baldock and others, and consider:
- Baseline information i.e. pH / salinity
- Strategies to map and monitor (i.e. phase in the rotation)
- Process for classification
GRDC is currently investigating the soil carbon space for future investment as part of the GRDC's Sustainability initiative. There are two aspects to this initiative: 1. for farmers to measure carbon and track it through an accounting framework; 2. to increase C in soils. Strategies for building soil carbon have been presented at various GRDC Grains Research Updates, with Mark Farrell from CSIRO from earlier this year discussing if building soil carbon with regenerative farming is possible https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-grains-research-update-adelaide. Here is a link to his update paper “Soil organic matter in dryland systems – management and opportunities”. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/soil-organic-matter-in-dryland-systems-management-and-opportunities

The GRDC commissioned the Australian Grains Baseline and Mitigation Assessment to establish a detailed and robust GHG emissions baseline for the Australian grains sector and explore mitigation pathways that maintain or increase production. https://grdc.com.au/about/our-industry/greenhouse-gas-emissions/GRDC_MainFinalReport_170122_CONFIDENTIAL.pdf
SouthVic Mallee24/08/22Birchip NGN Forum
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Trace Elements
NGN0170Many growers and advisers are seeing trace element (mainly zinc and copper) deficiency symptoms this year and there is a need to understand responses to applications
Knowledge is sought around the following:
- Are trace element deficiencies showing due to large removals in the past several years?
- How to best economically manage Zn and Cu applications and should they be targeted for yield response or plant health?
- Zn and Cu replacement strategies.
- The relationship between Zn and plant ability to respond to disease.
- Improved yield response curves and insights into how elements are transported and exported from the soil and plant.
- Grain analysis to see if there are deficiencies in different nutrients and what are the thresholds?
The following paper explores managing trace element deficiencies in crops: Detecting and managing trace element deficiencies in crops. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/detecting-and-managing-trace-element-deficiencies-in-crops. The GRDC soil testing fact sheet may also be of some assistance. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/soil-testing-fact-sheet

Rob Norton presented a paper at the southern Grains Research Updates “What's new with zinc; maybe just some critical reminders?” https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2014/02/whats-new-with-zinc-maybe-just-some-critical-reminders

For understanding the principles of soil chemistry the NSW DPI website has a brief explanation of Cation Exchange capacity for further information you may wish to refer to the Soil Science Australia Website. https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/soils/guides/soil-nutrients-and-fertilisers/cec

The “Understanding your soils” videos produced by Soil Science Australia are also a great resource. https://www.soilscienceaustralia.org.au/training/general-soil-information-sources/ There are a range of resources on the website also which provide further information on understanding soil chemistry, biology and physical properties which you can find directly from the link above.
SouthVic Mallee24/08/22Birchip NGN Forum
44
Vetch hay quality
NGN0171Attendees discussed that agronomic management of vetch for hay is needed. Growers are growing vetch for a systems benefit as many are seeking alternative pulse crops for their rotations due to the variability of higher value pulses.
To grow the best vetch hay crop possible, to maximise grower profitability and system sustainability the following knowledge was sought:
- What are the legacy effects of vetch hay for the following grain crop including water, nitrogen, disease and weed control breaks or options?
- How to maximise biomass and prevent spoiling from disease?
- What are the market specifications and how to we match our product for this?
- System economic differences between cutting for hay, grazing or brown manure
- Other agronomic tactics and their benefits ie: double sow strips, gibberellic acid.
GRDC is currently working on a local investment in this area in direct response to the issue raised.

Through GRDC investment in the National Vetch Breeding Vetch Program, Stuart Nagel from SARDI has presented various papers at the Grains Research Updates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiAo0C2jJHo. Here is a link to one of those presentations Maximising the benefits of growing vetch in our farming systems https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/february/grdc-grains-research-update-bendigo?videoId=6238113700001, the paper relating to this presentation can be found here https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/vetch-agronomy-and-management.

A recent video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xft_cXJecBY on the GRDC YouTube channel and Ground Cover article explores how vetch can add agility into the cropping systems: Versatile vetch builds system agility https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/plant-breeding/versatile-vetch-builds-system-agility

In addition to these resources, GRDC have produced a GrowNote on Vetch, which covers many topics from planning and paddock preparation to harvest and marketing of vetch hay and grain https://grdc.com.au/GN-Vetch-South?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_term=South&utm_content=Vetch%20Southern%20Region%20-%20GrowNotes%E2%84%A2 .
SouthVic Mallee24/08/22Birchip NGN Forum
45
Summer cover crop options and intercropping opportunities (Relay, companion and skip-row cropping)
NGN0172Participants identified that there is growing interest in the use of intercropping / cover cropping and multi species mix systems in the Gippsland region.

Growers are keen to understand what the best multi-species mix is for the Gippsland region and including benefits to rotations, ability to dry down the soil profile over summer and animal performance. Growers also want to better understand intercropping options (i.e. companion, relay and skip-row cropping) and how these might be best integrated into the system.

Attendees also mentioned that they were utilising aerial sowing of clover into spring barley crops for pasture and that whilst there is more to be understood about what is achievable and profitable there might be opportunity to share findings from their experience in other regions. In addition it was discussed that other crop or mixed species pasture options with a super long season (18 months) would be of benefit for their region particularly for feed and de-watering over summer.

Growers discussed that they are seeking to understand:
- The best multispecies, cover or companion cropping mix to animal health and drying down the soil profile.
- Rotational benefits, such as soil health, understanding how to measure benefits and how crop diversity (and root architecture) affect this. Components of this included impact on soil pathogens, nutrient density, weed burden, nutrition management and soil water holding capacity as well as yield advantages
- How livestock can be integrated into the system.

Participants also discussed that they are seeking sustainable ways to gain rotational benefits and disease and weed suppression without the use of chemicals. They discussed the need to be forward thinking with more sustainable systems which reduce the need for chemical inputs.
GRDC has recently completed research to evaluate the potential for increased profit from intercropping options. This project (delivered as part of the Victorian Grains Innovation Partnership (VGIP) with Agriculture Victoria) was led by Agriculture Victoria senior research scientist Garry O’Leary. The three-year study from April 2019, examined the productivity and profitability of several approaches to intercropping compared with monoculture or single species cropping. View online at: Multi-pronged trials road test intercropping | Groundcover (grdc.com.au) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/industry-insights/multi-pronged-trials-road-test-intercropping
A research paper titled Intercropping – Evaluating the Advantages to Broadacre Systems was also published in 2021. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/11/5/453/htm

The VGIP partnership also included work in evaluating the potential for Alternative legumes in Southern crop production systems, including as opportunistic summer crop options. This work was let by Dr James Nuttall and you can read about it in the Groundcover article Opportunity for Summer legumes in Victoria. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/opportunity-for-summer-legumes-in-victoria

One interesting paper considering companion cropping, written by Fletcher et al which may be of interest is: The potential role of companion and intercropping systems in Australian grain farming. Should we be considering them? - GRDC, which reviews current national and international literature. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/the-potential-role-of-companion-and-intercropping-systems-in-australian-grain-farming.-should-we-be-considering-them

You can also find audio material on this subject through GRDC’s PODCAST SERIES
Inter-row cropping under the microscope in the Southern Region (Part 1) https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/inter-row-cropping-under-the-microscope-in-the-southern-region-part-1

Inter-row cropping under the microscope in the Southern Region (Part 2) https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/inter-row-cropping-under-the-microscope-in-the-southern-region-part-2

A recent co investment with the National Landcare Program AEA1812-001OPX Warm and cool season mixed cover cropping for sustainable farming systems in South-eastern Australia investigated the impacts of cover cropping on soil health, nutrient cycling, organic carbon and soil moisture as well as optimum timing and termination methodology. Specifically the program was designed to determine new and emerging plant species/ Variety options for summer and winter active cover crops for a range of environments in SE Australia (including SA, Vic and Tas), and effective termination methods for optimum benefits to a following crop and soil health. This project was delivered by a consortium which included, Ag Ex Alliance, SANTFA, CSIRO, SARDI in conjunction with Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Michael Nash, Mallee Sustainable Farming, AgKI, Southern Farming Systems, Agricultural Innovation and Research Eyre Peninsula, Upper North Farming Systems and MacKillop Farm Management Group. The project concluded in April 2022 and findings are available at https://research.csiro.au/mixedcovercrops/project-updates/ https://research.csiro.au/mixedcovercrops/project-updates/
SouthGippsland14/09/22Bairnsdale NGN Forum
46
Understanding soil properties and nutrient availability for variable rate technology (VRT)/ precision agriculture
NGN0173Attendees identified that there was opportunity to increase grower’s knowledge of using variable rate technology to optimise soil nutrition management to production zones. Growers discussed that they are keen to better measure soil properties, via strategic soil testing, and measure the response to nutrition application or different management practices.

The high cost of fertiliser is motivating growers to look for efficiencies in fertiliser application. A better understanding of issues like nutrient tie-up to inform decisions about fertiliser rates -including variable rates for different soil types is needed. Understanding of interactions is sought around both macro and micronutrients.

It was also noted that growers are taking the advice of agronomists who do soil tests and then provide recommendations, but that growers need the ability to question the recommendation being made.
For understanding the principles of soil chemistry and issues like nutrient tie-up, the NSW DPI website has a brief explanation of Cation Exchange capacity (CEC) https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/soils/guides/soil-nutrients-and-fertilisers/cec. Further information is available at the Soil Science Australia Website which has a range of excellent resources.https://www.soilscienceaustralia.org.au/

The “Understanding your soils” videos produced by Soil Science Australia are available on this website along with other information to assist in understanding soil chemistry, biology and physical properties. https://www.soilscienceaustralia.org.au/training/general-soil-information-sources/

You can also find some useful information about CEC and organic matter, including nutrient interactions in the GRDC publication Managing soil organic matter. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2013/07/grdc-guide-managingsoilorganicmatter

GRDC soil testing fact sheet:. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/soil-testing-fact-sheet

Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s investment into SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT). This investment has involved a series of workshops, peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with the adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption. Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website. https://spaa.com.au/resources/

In addition to this SPAA is also delivering a GRDC investment into SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate which is due to roll out a series of workshops and webinars across the Southern region over the next 6 months. This investment will also update a related publication designed to support grower decision making.

Useful resources include the Publications: 1) Profit from precision agriculture – which is designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/profit-for-precision-agriculture, and 2) Embracing precision agriculture - which is a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture.

During the Adelaide online updates (2022), a session as part of the Improved nutrition and soil management session on Protein mapping getting more bang for your buck with Edward Scott from Field Systems, which steps through a ‘how to’ session for using protein and yield data to develop prescription maps. https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-grains-research-update-online,-southern-region-2022-day-5-improved-nutrition-and-soil-management-adelaide-and-bendigoThe update paper for this session can be found herehttps://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/protein-mapping-getting-more-bang-for-your-fertiliser-buck.

There have been a number of other related resources generated from past investment which may assist growers with this issue, some of which are listed below:
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/analyse-precision-tools-to-gain-profit
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/modern-agronomy-opens-door-to-nitrogen-rethink
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/study-validates-protein-map-soil-nitrogen-link
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/protein-monitoring-sharpens-the-nitrogen-picture
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/better-targeted,-more-precise-fertiliser...
SouthGippsland14/09/22Bairnsdale NGN Forum
47
Soil amelioration
NGN0174Attendees identified that they are keen to see longer term soil amelioration trials in the Gippsland region, which assess soil characteristics over a long period of time (potentially five years) to understand the longevity of soil ameliorations.

It was also noted that attendees would like to see localised sub soil amelioration trials which evaluate the use of cheaper amendments for incorporation than those used currently, such as lime, gypsum and trace elements.

Growers questioned if their subsoil is suitable for lifting and subsequent incorporation through the topsoil layer. It was also questioned whether there is nutrient build-up sitting between the topsoil and subsoil layers.
GRDC has a current investment through project DAV1606-001RMX DAV00149 - 2016.05.07 Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region, which is working to understand the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region. The project includes long term trials evaluating the yield impact of soil amelioration on crop response. This project is summarised in the following GRDC Updates paper: Subsoil amelioration - update on current research - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/subsoil-amelioration-update-on-current-research

A handbook is available to help growers tackle amelioration on variable soil types. This is available to download: Tackling amelioration on variable soil types - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/tackling-amelioration-on-variable-soil-types

As part of a project on the subsoil application of amendments delivered by NSW DPI, the following update papers were developed around outcomes from the project:

Grains Research Update Papers

Amelioration of hostile subsoils via incorporation of organic and inorganic amendments and subsequent changes in soil properties, crop water use and improved yield, in a medium rainfall zone of south-eastern Australia (2021), https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/amelioration-of-hostile-subsoils-via-incorporation-of-organic-and-inorganic-amendments-and-subsequent-changes-in-soil-properties,-crop-water-use-and-improved-yield,-in-a-medium-rainfall-zone-of-south-eastern-australia

Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments (2019) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/understanding-the-amelioration-processes-of-the-subsoil-application-of-amendments

Soil amelioration – magnitude of crop productivity improvements on hostile subsoils? (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/soil-amelioration-magnitude-of-crop-productivity-improvements-on-hostile-subsoils

Improving the Effectiveness of Soil Amelioration by Optimising Soil Machine Interaction
Subsoil amelioration – update on current research (2017) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/improving-the-effectiveness-of-soil-amelioration-by-optimising-soil-machine-interaction


Groundcover & supplement
Soil Constraints Part 1 https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grdc-groundcover-supplement?supp=soil-constraints-part-1,-november-december-2019 and Part 2
Assessing the profitability of soil amelioration | Groundcover (grdc.com.au) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grdc-groundcover-supplement?supp=soil-constraints-part-2-january-february-2020&result_395204_result_page=2
SouthGippsland14/09/22Bairnsdale NGN Forum
48
Trace element deficiencies
NGN0175Attendees identified that there are significant areas (particularly coastal) that are deficient in Copper, Zinc, Boron, Sulphur and Manganese. It was also noted that local soils struggled to capture nutrients particularly Boron and Nitrogen.

Attendees identified an opportunity to better manage their trace element applications and that further information around formulations (granular vs foliar) and the return on investment (ROI) was sought along with information on timings and rates of application.

The opportunity to increase yield and productivity is motivating growers to seek new knowledge to help understand the cost and ROI for trace element applications. There was a high degree of confidence in soil lab test results for identifying trace element deficiencies. Tissue and sap testing are some of tools used but soil results were relied on as the primary indicator of deficiencies.

It was also discussed that there is an opportunity to investigate trace element management in livestock and cropping systems and that trace deficiencies also affect pastures and livestock.
GRDC currently has a nutrient omission trial in faba beans in southeast South Australia which is seeking to identify true trace element deficiencies, evaluate the role of tissue testing vs soil testing for identifying deficiencies and validate responsiveness to trace element applications. The trial is focusing on calcium, magnesium, molybdenum, boron, copper, zinc and iron, and results from a two year period should be available and published online from 2023. This data will quantify responses from which ROI can be calculated.

In addition there are a range of useful resources to assist growers with identifying need for trace element applications, and managing responsive crops, these include:

GRDC UPDATE PAPERS
Detecting and managing trace element deficiencies in crops - GRDC (2016) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/detecting-and-managing-trace-element-deficiencies-in-crops

Trace elements: copper and manganese - their role, requirements and options - GRDC (2014) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2014/08/trace-elements-copper-and-manganese-their-role-requirements-and-options

Plant tissue testing for micro nutrients and likelihood of responses - GRDC (2017) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/02/plant-tissue-testing-for-micro-nutrients-and-likelihood-of-responses

A range of other useful resources, such as micronutrient fact sheets can be found via the International Plant Nutrition Institute website. Note these resources have largely resulted from GRDC investment.
Micronutrients (ipni.net) http://anz.ipni.net/topic/micronutrients
SouthGippsland14/09/22Bairnsdale NGN Forum
49
Profitable Legumes
(N legacy, pH, disease, marketing)
NGN0176Attendees are seeking a reliable / profitable legume that is adapted to the Elmore region. Growers are motivated to grow more legumes due to the N legacy, which is increasing in importance due to the price of nitrogen (many are conscious about rates and utilisation of N).

Growers discussed they have had some mixed success from growing beans, peas, vetch and lupins. While lupins have gone agronomically well, they have not been profitable for many. Growers are keen to have access to other pulse options which perform better agronomically and are more profitable.

Attendees discussed that their soils can have a pH of 4.5-5.2 (on the heavy clays of the Prairie Plans), so pulses need to have improved acidy and sodicity tolerance. Many growers are actively liming and making their own composts to help improve soils. Growers believe there are opportunities for more regional trials to explore the benefits of composting (with a 25 % calcium levels) and liming, to determine the best approach for growing pulses.

Attendees discussed that new knowledge is required to better inform pulse crop management in the Elmore region. Management knowledge is sought which is specific to the soil types (pH), pest and disease management (as these impact profit margins) and N legacy. There also needs to be a clear route to market.
GRDC currently invests in the development and extension of research into grain legumes and their fit in farming systems which has a site nearby at Mitiamo. UOA2105-013RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia. Trials at Mitiamo include impact of sowing time on disease in new field pea varieties, broadleaf week management in vetch and lentil including new chemistries and soil amelioration impacts on pulse production which includes ripping and gypsum and other amendment treatments for addressing sodicity and acidity.

Results and in-season information on trial progress can be found at the new online Grain Legume Extension Hubhttps://spahub.com.au/

In addition to these trials GRDC has invested in improving rhizobial strains including the development of acid tolerant rhizobia. This project is being delivered by the University of Adelaide UOA1805-017RTX increasing the effectiveness of nitrogen fixation in pulse crops through the development of improved rhizobial strains, inoculation and crop management practices. There are a number of GRDC PhD supported students also looking at how rhizobial performance can be improved in Australian soils which are likely to have relevant findings in due course.

As part of the project above, GRDC have just updated and re-released the new Inoculating legumes: practice and science guide. This includes relevant tips on inoculating legumes and management. View online at: Inoculating legumes: practice and science - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2022/inoculating-legumes-practice-and-science
A new Back Pocket guide is also available which explores the use of inoculants. View online at: Inoculating legumes: The Back Pocket Guide - GRDChttps://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2022/grdc-bpg-inoculatinglegumes

GRDC currently has a project with the University of Adelaide looking at UOA1805-017RTX increasing the effectiveness of nitrogen fixation in pulse crops through the development of improved rhizobial strains, inoculation and crop management practices. There are a number of GRDC PhD supported students also looking at rhizobial performance can be improved in Australian soils which are likely to have relevant findings in due course.

In 2022 a new investment with Riverine Plains and FAR Australia RPI2206-003SAX NGN Validation of organic fertiliser sources for crop nutrition in NE Victoria is seeking to quantify the value of organic fertiliser sources for following crop nutrition and includes fixation from bean legume crops as a treatment as well as brown manuring treatments. This is in its first year and results will become available over the next two years.

In addition to the above, GRDC invests in a range of pulse breeding programs including for vetch. You can find out more about the vetch program’s breeding objectives here.
In 2016 the national lupin-breeding program was commercialised and is now run by AGT. To date programs have focused on finding sources of genetic diversity for introgressing new traits into lupins. Breeding programs for lupins have historically been focused on WA growing environments and AGT may be able to provide advice on new germplasm in the pipeline which may be better suited to the Kimba region. In addition to the above, GRDC invests in a range of pulse breeding programs including for vetch. You can find out more about the vetch program’s breeding objectives herehttps://grdc.com.au/research/breeding-investments#:~:text=The%20aim%20of%20the%20National,a%20given%20season%20or%20system.

GRDC also provides support to breeding programs through support for new registrations for novel herbicide traits. Gordon Cumming, Chemical Regulation Manager at GRDC discussed ‘Herbicide tolerant traits for pulses and chemical regulation’ as part of the Grains Research Updates....
SouthNorth Central Vic15/08/22Elmore NGN Forum
50
Understanding value of compost for soil improvement (physical, chemical and biological)
NGN0177Attendees expressed that they believe there is great opportunity in utilising composted organic waste as a source of soil amendment and nutrition.

There is a desire to better understand the composting process in terms of consistency of product and assess the impact of the plant based soil composts on soil structure, soil organic matter and pH. Participants discussed that they perceive an opportunity in the Elmore is well placed to look at this with access to a range of organic waste sources, including municipal garden waste, manures from intensive industries, food waste and biosolids from from metropolitan Melbourne. among sources which are accessible.

There is interest in whether on-farm composting of materials is possible and whether this could reduce input costs as well as adding to sustainability credentials. Growers are motivated to seek more sustainable approaches to improve soil health, and are open to new recycling programs which are cost effective and offer a return on investment (improved soil physical, chemical and biological properties as well as crop yields).

Growers discussed that they are keen to better understand:
• How to source and secure consistent/safe product.
• How to clean / pasteurise / mature composts to get a consistent and quality product.
• How to use composts cost effectively on farm and understand differences between pasteurised composts vs poorer products.
• How to incorporate composts (depth and rate) at scale, including in a reduced till system.
• How to test and monitor soil biology.
• The benefits, value and ROI.

Participants discussed that there is a large supply of organic food waste in Melbourne, and that they do not feel this is being utlised. There is a barrier due to collection and freight, then processing, supply and use.
Growers are keen to see regional trials which assess the impact of composts on soil structure, organic matter and soil organic matter and pH. Over a long term (5 year) to ensure full benefits can be realised and tracked.

It was also discussed that here needs to be an attitude change in how we consider the collection and use of city compost waste, and we need to investigate how to develop a logistics pathway for kerb side organic waste collections and freight.

Participants discussed that they were unaware of any composting trials in Elmore which looks at food scraps (work has been done on manures).
Issues around logistics for collection and attitudinal or behavioural barriers were also discussed as a point which may need to be addressed to encourage adoption. Attendees identified that there had been work done locally on manures but there was less knowledge around composting of alternative sources of organic waste. There was some discussion amongst attendees that they believe there may be an opportunity for GRDC to form a strategic collaboration with the new Australian Government initiative - Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund.
GRDC currently has a venture capital fund called Grain Innovate which is designed to accelerate agricultural technology innovation in Australia and specifically in broadacre grain production. This program has currently invested in a company called ‘Sustinet’ which is pioneering techniques to turn green waste such as crop stalks, timber and garden waste into high-value products such as animal feed, packaging construction textiles and more, which may be of interest to attendees. https://www.graininnovate.com/Projects/Sustinent

There are a few GRDC research projects and resources which, whilst not directly addressing, are related to the issue described.

The KDI00023 Improved management of soil organic matter for profitable and sustainable cropping project, developed a manual on Managing Soil Organic Matter: A Practical Guide which is a great source of information on measuring, understanding and managing soils organic matter and its impact on soil structure, and includes soil carbon. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2013/07/grdc-guide-managingsoilorganicmatter

A new investment with Riverine Plains, RPI2206-003SAX NGN Validation of organic fertiliser sources for crop nutrition in NE Victoria, is seeking to understand the benefits of manure and other organic fertilisers compared to synthetic sources of nutrition on faba bean stubble. The trials will look at the impact of treatments on soil fertility for subsequent crops. The investment is in its first year of trials

The GRDC Ground Cover story ‘Trials Show Promise’ describes the southern New South Wales trial exploring the impacts of deep placement of organic and inorganic amendments on alkaline-sodic subsoils has shown significant grain yield increases over two consecutive years. View online at:https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/trials-show-promise

Other resources which may be of interest include:

The ‘How soil organic matter and carbon work! Data from 500 paired-site comparisons across the northern region’ paper provides insights into soil organic matter in grain systems. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/how-soil-organic-matter-and-carbon-work-data-from-500-paired-site-comparisons-across-the-northern-region

GRDC has also published a paper on ‘Soil organic matter in dryland systems – management and opportunities’ https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/soil-organic-matter-in-dryland-systems-management-and-opportunities
SouthNorth Central Vic15/08/22Elmore NGN Forum
51
Subsoil amelioration
NGN0178Attendees identified that they are keen to see longer term soil amelioration trials in the Elmore region, which assess soil characteristics and return on investment over a five-year period.

Attendees identified that local demonstration of how to get amendments down to depth, particularly gypsum and compost would build confidence locally for more people to try this.

Discussion centred around deep ripping and the ability to incorporate an amendment to depth whilst undertaking the strategic tillage.

In addition to this there was also a discussion around need for longitudinal studies which not only look at benefits but also potential unintended outcomes from amelioration such, as the loss of soil organic carbon from high nitrogen use and the resulting impacts on soils structure, acidification and compaction. Better management of soils compaction and the improvement of soil organic carbon is a key focus for many attendees. There was a feeling that there were lots of short term data out there but a longer term view is needed.


Growers see an opportunity for more localised sub soil amelioration trials which considers the incorporation of lime, gypsum and trace elements.

Growers questioned if their subsoil is suitable for lifting and incorporating through the topsoil layer? It was also questioned if there is nutrient build-up sitting between the topsoil and subsoil?
GRDC has a current investment through project DAV1606-001RMX Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region, which is working to understand the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region. The project includes long term trials evaluating the yield impact of soil amelioration on crop response. This project is summarised in the following GRDC Updates paper: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/subsoil-amelioration-update-on-current-research

In addition to this GRDC has also made a range of investments to try to understand soil constraints on a 3D level and which are the most important to tackle first. You can find out more about these through the following links:
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/3d-mapping-profiles-soil-based-constraints

https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/learning-and-development/new-digital-ag-innovations-to-map-soil-constraints-in-3d

As part of a project on the subsoil application of amendments delivered by NSW DIP the following update papers were developed around outcomes from the project:

Grains Research Update Papers

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/amelioration-of-hostile-subsoils-via-incorporation-of-organic-and-inorganic-amendments-and-subsequent-changes-in-soil-properties,-crop-water-use-and-improved-yield,-in-a-medium-rainfall-zone-of-south-eastern-australia (2021)

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/understanding-the-amelioration-processes-of-the-subsoil-application-of-amendments (2019)

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/soil-amelioration-magnitude-of-crop-productivity-improvements-on-hostile-subsoils (2020)

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/improving-the-effectiveness-of-soil-amelioration-by-optimising-soil-machine-interaction (2017)


Groundcover & supplement
Soil Constraints Part 1 https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grdc-groundcover-supplement?supp=soil-constraints-part-1,-november-december-2019 and Part 2 https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grdc-groundcover-supplement?supp=soil-constraints-part-2-january-february-2020&result_395204_result_page=2
Assessing the profitability of soil amelioration | Groundcover (grdc.com.au) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/assessing-the-profitability-of-soil-amelioration

Publication
Tackling amelioration on variable soil types - GRDChttps://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/tackling-amelioration-on-variable-soil-types
Another GRDC investment (VGIP2A) is investigating the
effectiveness and crop responsiveness of soil amelioration in different soil types / productivity zones within a paddock.

A GRDC Update paper is available online which helps consider the profitability of soil amelioration. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/assessing-the-profitability-of-soil-amelioration

Another GRDC investment is looking at the incorporation of organic soil ameliorants to boost productivity of sandy soils in the medium to high rainfall zones of the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. The aim of this investment is to increase crop productivity on sandy soil types in the MRZ and HRZ of the WA Wheatbelt through incorporation of organic soil ameliorants. This is in addition to the increases in productivity from mechanical soil amelioration targeting compaction and non-wetting issues....
SouthNorth Central Vic15/08/22Elmore NGN Forum
52
Spray drift management
NGN0179Attendees discussed that there is an opportunity to improve spray drift management in the region. Growers are motivated to improve their practice to retain social acceptance, and utilise chemicals in their system in a safe and effective manner whilst ensuring they are meeting community expectations.GRDC has a range of resources on managing spray drift available here: Spray Drift - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/spray-drift

GRDC have a range of Ground Cover stories on spray drift management and how to minimise risks at:
Spray condition system to aid long-standing conundrum | Groundcover (grdc.com.au) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/spray-drift/spray-condition-system-to-aid-long-standing-conundrum

GRDC offer a range of modules on drift management strategies through the Spray Application Manual for Grain Growers. https://grdc.com.au/spray-application-manual?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_campaign=BGC00003&utm_term=National&utm_content=Spray%20Application%20Manual

GRDC are part of a new $5.5 million investment, along with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) and Goanna Ag, which aims to develop a spray drift hazardous weather warning system across Queensland and NSW. Read the Ground cover story online at: https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/spray-drift/spray-condition-system-to-aid-long-standing-conundrum

There are a range of webinars which cover presenting off-target spray drift:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q_tfTcb8Js

GRDC Spray drift webinar recording (2,4-D label instructions 2018) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q_tfTcb8Js
SouthNorth Central Vic15/08/22Elmore NGN Forum
53
Soil testing strategies
NGN0180Attendees identified that there was opportunity to improve their approach to soil testing, and developing nutrition management plans.

Growers discussed that they are keen to better understand the limiting factors of their soils (i.e. Prairie Plains / heavy clays, low pH) many have done soil and tissue testing, there is still an opportunity to improve sampling across zones, and the utilisation of VRT.

Many growers in the region are using NDVI to create zones and manage applications via VR. They are interested in these trends over multiple years.

Attendees are keen to better understand the response of soils to their nutrition strategies over a 5-year period. They are keen to understand the limiting factors of soils across the Elmore region and see more specific soil characterisation work.

The high cost of fertiliser is motivating growers to look for efficiencies in fertiliser application and an anecdotal improvement in yield from the application of micronutrients was discussed. The management of Zinc deficiency (rate, source and timing) was identified by some attendees as a knowledge gap.

It was also discussed that knowledge is sought on:
Nutrient tie-up to better inform fertiliser rates.
Macro and micronutrient interactions.
N carry over
Deep N testing and zone management.
GRDC has a fact sheet on soil testing https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/soil-testing-to-determine-fertiliser-applications which be of some assistance with regards to N testing in season.

A recent GRDC Paddock Practice is a useful resource, this covers the use of soil testing to determine fertiliser requirements in the Southern region. https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/south/2022/february/paddock-practices-use-soil-testing-to-determine-fertiliser-requirements-in-the-southern-region

A GRDC fact sheet is also available on using production zones to develop a soil testing strategy. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/using-production-zones-to-develop-a-soil-testing-strategy

In addition to understanding soils and nutrient interactions, GRDC has invested in the understanding of soil and herbicide interactions. This has resulted in ICN1811-001SAX Herbicide behaviour workshops of the Australian Grains Industry and in conjunction – the development of a range of Herbicide behaviour manuals https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour.

The Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) are also delivering a GRDC investment into SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate which is due to roll out a series of workshops and webinars across the Southern region over the next 8 months. This investment will also update a related publication designed to support grower decision making.

Useful resources include the Publications: Profit from precision agriculture – which is designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/profit-for-precision-agriculture, and Embracing precision agriculture which is a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture.

Video
During the Adelaide online updates (2022) a session as part of the Improved nutrition and soil management session on Protein mapping getting more bang for your buck with Edward Scott from Field Systems, which steps through a ‘how to’ session for using protein and yield data to develop prescription maps.https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-grains-research-update-online,-southern-region-2022-day-5-improved-nutrition-and-soil-management-adelaide-and-bendigo. The update paper for this session can be found here https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/protein-mapping-getting-more-bang-for-your-fertiliser-buck.

There have been a number of other related resources generated from past investment which may assist growers with this issue, some of which are listed below:

GroundCover:
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/analyse-precision-tools-to-gain-profit (June 2019)
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/modern-agronomy-opens-door-to-nitrogen-rethink (Mar 2021)
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/study-validates-protein-map-soil-nitrogen-link (Jun 2021)
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/precision-agriculture-and-machinery/protein-monitoring-sharpens-the-nitrogen-picture (Dec 2021)

GRDC Updates:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/better-targeted,-more-precise-fertiliser-decisions-as-a-counter-to-rising-fertiliser-prices-focussing-on-3-of-the-6-rs (Feb 2022)
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/07/within-paddock-nitrogen-variability-and-the-potential-role-of-cereal-grain-protein-mapping-for-site-specific-n-management (Jul 2021)
SouthNorth Central Vic15/08/22Elmore NGN Forum
54
Controlling blue lupins in white lupins
NGN0181Growers would like to understand the economic impact of blue lupins in white lupin crops

Growers would also like information on green-on-green spray options, herbicide options and plant breeding.
GRDC held a meeting with industry and grower representation in 2019. At this meeting AGT confirmed that novel herbicide tolerances (HT) is a priority for their narrow-leaf lupin breeding program. A target and likely outcome will be an IMI tolerant lupin variety. This technology is a medium to long term solution, any new herbicide tolerant trait is likely to be >5 years away from commercial release.

GRDC currently have a procurement out to tender looking to expand on the AHRI pre-emergent proof-of-concept work conducted in 2021, increasing the number of sites to better determine crop safety and efficacy on blue lupins in narrow-leaf lupins. If viable options are identified, there is still a need to determine product path-to-market with a chemical registrant.

GRDC is aware of the emerging green-on-green technology, and aware of the current regulatory limitations with the registration of a herbicide with this technology, particularly if there is a known adverse effect on crop health. GRDC is currently engaging with the agrichemical industry and the regulatory authority (APVMA) to attempt to understand and resolve some of these issues.

GRDC is having discussions and is open to other solutions in this area that have a path to market.
WestGeraldton Port Zone02/08/22Dongara NGN Forum
55
Biotic and abiotic stressors
NGN0182Heat, disease and insects impacting on canola, wheat and lupins.

Keeping heliothis and diamond backed moth out of early sown canola is difficult.
GRDC currently have a few investments in this space.

Frost and Heat Analytics - CSP2204-009RTX - This project aims to develop and commercialise analytics-based technologies to help growers manage the impacts of frost and heat in wheat, barley, canola, chickpeas, and lentils. It will develop and deliver solutions to map and monitor frost and heat events on-farm and predict the yield losses from those events. The project will enable delivery of those solutions to growers, agronomists, and others in the grains industry through commercial partnerships with multiple AgTech businesses. Those partnerships will enable transformation of the underpinning science into analytics-products that aid key sowing decisions, in-crop management decisions, and underpin the development of new risk management tools.
WestGeraldton Port Zone02/08/22Dongara NGN Forum
56
Doublegee management in broadleaf crops
NGN0183Doublegee is difficult to manage in broadleaf crops then going into the pasture phase.GRDC is analysing this issue to identify research, development and extension opportunities in this area

GRDC investment related to this issue:

UOA1505-001RTX: Emerging weeds (seed-bank biology of emerging weeds)
CSE00013: Biological control of Emex: assessment of establishment of Apion miniatum

Useful resources:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/ecology-of-major-emerging-weeds

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/doublegees-seedy-secret.

https://grdc.com.au/research/reports/report?id=81
WestGeraldton Port Zone02/08/22Dongara NGN Forum
57
Stacking multiple traits like salinity and drought tolerance into canola rather than wheat for a more resilient break crop. Already have political and market acceptance.
NGN0184Pre-breeding projects - check these outSalinity traits have been investigated and identified however the issue with salinity is that it isn’t a major issue in canola overseas so breeders have see the market value of this in their programs, seeing as many are multinational companies.

GRDC have a heat investment that is underway UWA1905-007RTX Improving canola heat tolerance - a coordinated multidisciplinary approach
This project looks specifically at the genetics of heat tolerance in canola and will build on the outputs of previous GRDC research.
Some information on this project can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UWA1905-007RTX
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
58
New chemistry being released not properly tested and unexpected probs arising eg Overwatch, Reflex
NGN0185Only proven by companies APVMA
- Impact on soil microbiology - independent testing
- Impact on subsequent crops
- Advice on use
- Impact of cultivation/seeding practice by mode of action trials
Commercial companies are responsible for providing stewardship for their products, however this issue has been raised with the Crop Protection Weeds Manager within GRDC.
GRDC investment DAW1901-006RTX has an output to determine herbicide dose response curves on ameliorated soils with the following aims:
- Determine the dose response curves for a range of pre-emergent herbicides for a range cereal, oilseed and pulse grain crops.
- Develop understanding, guidelines and recommendations to support industry herbicide application practices and strategies post-soil amelioration to minimise crop risk while maintaining effective weed control.
Trials are ongoing.

If you’ve experienced an adverse reaction with a registered product there the option to report this to the APVMA
The APVMA definition is:
An adverse experience is an unintended or unexpected outcome associated with the registered use of a product when used according to the approved label instructions. This includes impacts on human beings, animals, crops and the environment or a lack of efficacy.
https://portal.apvma.gov.au/aerpexternal/welcome.htm#How_to_report
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
59
Quicker tests for soil nutrients as well as tissue tests.
NGN0186- Need immediate results
- Results not timely
- What's in the pipeline in this area
- Consistency of testing results
- Spad meter - need to show and these things and get them calibrated
- Soil probes that give real time nutrient measurements -Teralytic.com
GRDC invested in a project in 2018 looking at handheld and in paddock soil testing devices as per the following link:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/real-time-soil-tests-in-the-field-science-fiction-or-just-over-the-horizon

The uPtake project, an inter departmental project co-ordinated by DPIRD and DWER looking at P response curves in contemporary pastures in SW WA also had funding to explore new and novel technology for assessing soil nutrient and physical characteristics. Results are likely to be released in 2023/24.
https://estuaries.dwer.wa.gov.au/uptake/

There are many products available from commercial companies.
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
60
Support of farm business training
NGN0187- HR and businessGRDC has a current investment underway ORM1906-002SAX GRDC Farm Business Update series

The GRDC Farm Business Update series improves the farm management skills of Australian grain growers by providing growers, advisers and agribusiness access to the latest and best farm business management concepts and practices.

The Updates are a forum for growers and advisers to discuss farm business management concepts, and how they may overcome financial hurdles to adoption of research outcomes.

Previous events have been recorded and can be found here -
2022
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-farm-business-update-esperance

2021
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/february/grdc-farm-business-update-online-western-australia
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
61
Short season canola varieties
NGN0188- Continual cropping rotations, timing of sowing variable. Shorter season options.
- Break of season 15 May - Hybrid 3, same or shorter than emu
- Look at extending Liebe group trial to Dowerin location. Include 2 x TOS
Commercial breeding companies are market driven and will respond to grower demand. There is desire for maturity at both the longer and shorter end of the maturity window.

GRDC has a current investment underway LIE2204-002SAX NGN - Risk and rewards of very early sown canola
Growers have also identified a lack of experimental data on the consequences of sowing canola in the northern area of Kwinana West before mid-April, compare to later sowing times.

GRDC are currently exploring investment opportunities for the 2023 season in the Central Wheatbelt dependent on summer rainfall prior to April.

The GRDC NVT website contains information relating to the performance of different Canola varieties by region.
https://nvt.grdc.com.au/
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
62
Soil disease - rhizoctonia and others
NGN0189- Nematode issues
- Rhizoctonia getting worse with liming
- Barley, wheat
- Further west as well, central western region
- Look at Beneficial's as well
GRDC have a current investment underway - DAW2206-006RTX: Epidemiology and management of Rhizoctonia in low and medium rainfall zones.
This investment will:
• provide knowledge on the economic impact of Rhizoctonia for growers in the LRZ and MRZ of the Southern and Western regions and SWNSW
• provide new knowledge on Rhizoctonia, such as the impact of earlier drier sowing and herbicide interactions on the disease epidemiology,
• explore cost-effective and practical alternative management strategies (cultural and biological) ensuring the development of disease risk and management strategies that are practical and economical for growers to reduce the impact of Rhizoctonia in the Southern and Western cereal growing regions.
Previous GRDC investment into nematodes was undertaken -FMO1903-001WSX: Extent of RLN throughout the grain growing regions of WA and options to address.
GRDC investment into this project was to help determine the extent of RLN throughout the grain growing regions of WA and to help provide options to growers to understand and address. The project provided 400 Predicta B samples which were collected across the Albany and Kwinana West port zone to ultimately help update current nematode mapping resource available to growers.
Useful resources:
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/west/2018/11/unearthing-information-on-microscopic-pest
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2019/root-lesion-nematode-western
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/mechanical-soil-amelioration-alters-soil-biology,-soilborne-pathogen-and-nematode-pests-of-cereal-crops-what-are-the-implications
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
63
Farm safety
NGN0190GRDC has a current investment underway ORM1906-002SAX GRDC Farm Business Update series. The below link will take you to the recorded video where at the 2:20:28 mark of the presentation Danielle McNamee discusses farm safety:

https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/february/grdc-farm-business-update-online-western-australia
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
64
Sclerotinia in low rainfall environment
NGN0191- Economics in a low yield environment
- Canola
- Fungicide application economics - low yield potential
- Tight canola rotations - multiple applications per year
- Didn't spray in a year of low yield potential - exploded on farm.
- Implications for following crops. How much carry over year to year - a measurement?
A previous GRDC investment developed the SclerotiniaCM iPad/tablet app. The app assists growers with deciding about whether to spray canola for Sclerotinia. The tool can be tailored paddock by paddock and takes into account the costs, yield benefits, grain prices and seasonal conditions and provides the best and worst case and most likely outcomes in yield and net return. The link below will allow the app to be downloaded in the Apple app store or Google Play:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/apps

Other GRDC investments related to this issue:

CUR1403-002BLX: Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) – Aims to increase grain grower profitability in disease challenged and fungicide limited cropping environment, with activity improving genetic resistance to canola diseases (i.e., Sclerotinia stem rot)

Useful Resources:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/validating-the-sclerotiniacm-app-for-managing-sclerotinia-in-canola
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
65
Weather stations
NGN0192- More of
- Need to link to Quairading issue
- Most weather have access across their linked weather stations
The Stirlings to Coast grower group has invested in a Smart Farm initiative exploring the long-term cost-benefit of implementing IoT, rather than just the upfront price.
https://www.scfarmers.org.au/smart-farm

There are a number of commercial companies offering weather station technology and networks in WA.
WestKwinana West Port Zone19/07/22Dowerin NGN Forum
66
Summaries of new innovative ibs/post emergence chemistry for ryegrass.
NGN0193It would be good to understand the products coming out replacing treflan. We are losing the cheap $25 spend on weeds.
Mateno Complete performance could be compromised if conditions aren't right.
Could registrants talk about use patterns for the low rainfall environment.
GRDC is aware that there is significant private industry activity in this area and has produced a reference manual about the characteristics of pre-emergent herbicides:

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/soil-behaviour-of-pre-emergent-herbicides

Also:

UOA1711-005RTX - Cultural management for weed control and maintenance of crop yield
In the past, many single factor studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cultural weed control tactics in decreasing weed biomass and seed production in Australia. However, these studies have largely failed to integrate multiple weed control tactics in a single study. Herbicides remain the primary and most efficient method of controlling weeds and so there is a need to study factorial combinations of effective cultural and herbicide tactics across different rainfall zones.

A key component of this investment was to investigate the interaction between crop establishment timing and pre-emergent mixture choice on annual ryegrass seed production. This information should help inform the effectiveness of pre-emergent options and mixes in different environments based on their residual capacity.

The overall aim of this project is to quantify the effect of combinations of crop competition factors on weed seed-set and crop yield, to refine strategies and improve crop competitiveness across different rainfall environments in southern and western regions of Australia. This aim will be achieved through the integration of ecologically appropriate cultural practices that increase crop competitiveness against weeds, such as time of sowing, crop density, N placement and seed size. It is proposed to investigate cultural weed management of two weed species (southern: annual ryegrass and brome grass; western: annual ryegrass and wild radish) in major crop species (southern region: wheat, barley, canola and faba bean; western region: wheat, oats, canola). More communications will be released shortly on the outcomes of this investment.

Useful resources:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/interaction-between-wheat-establishment-timing-and-pre-emergent-herbicide-choice-on-growth-and-competition-of-annual-ryegrass
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/matching-pre-emergent-herbicide-degradation-to-sowing-time-and-condition
WestKwinana East Port Zone20/07/22Bencubbin NGN Forum
67
Saline tolerance in wheat/barley
NGN0194Sodic soils, transient salinity, bare patches.
70% of WA soils are sodic with areas of transient salinity growing
In 2021 the following media release on DPIRD research was released. Their project highlighted that growers can have confidence that Scepter and Condor carry the inherited tolerance to sodic soils and they will perform well. There have also been some advanced breeding lines developed.

https://www.wa.gov.au/government/announcements/sodic-soil-tolerance-research-paves-the-way-improved-wheat-varieties

DAW1902-001RTX - Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region.

This investment will evaluate the benefit of different options to improve water capture and availability, including water harvesting onto crop rows, targeted amelioration in the root zone and increasing soil water capacity, and determine the profitability and reliability of such approaches.

A variation was implemented for this project to increase the number of trial sites in 2022. There were 3 new sites implement in Devils Creek, Moorine Rock and Grass Patch. The site treatments included, deep ripping, gypsum applications and application of gravel to the surface. Results will be available in 2023 from this project.

More information from this investment can be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW1902-001RTX
WestKwinana East Port Zone20/07/22Bencubbin NGN Forum
68
Acid tolerance in wheat
NGN0195When the pH < 4.5 in topsoil, Buff and Litmus barley is grown but growers want a wheat that's similar.
Could NVT have a ranking system or information of tolerance of acid soils in current varieties? NVT pH scale.
Wodjil soils are especially difficult
This issue has now been raised with the Genetic Team in GRDC. Acid tolerance in wheat is not currently being looked at. The soil constraints issues that have been addressed are - UA00159 - Improving wheat yields on sodic, magnesic, and dispersive soils (2015-2021).WestKwinana East Port Zone20/07/22Bencubbin NGN Forum
69
Fallow /cover fallow
NGN0196Economic fallow weed control:
- Profit margin better with weeds growing and spraying out prior to seed set.
- Green on brown spraying selectively

Decide on area to fallow prior to seeding to de-risk operation.
Looking at range of soil types - why they perform differently under fallow.
Best return on crop type after fallow
Liming - cultivation approach, disc vs tyne incorporation, water retention.
What’s the best way to control crown rot mechanical fallow vs chemical fallow vs crop rotation?
Heavy/strong soils what do we need to do in fallow to maximise profitability?
Fallow management and the economic costs - LAK2204-002SAX - There is grower interest in looking at different fallow systems as some growers use "fallow" in different contexts. This investment will incorporate the different versions of fallow treatments that Grower Network members have identified, with the economics (positive and negative) of incorporating fallow in the farming system rotation. Growers have raised this issue to ensure than they are fully informed regarding the benefits and constraints of introducing fallows into their systems, the economics of different fallow systems and the risks that may be managed when introducing fallows into the farming system rotation.

Six (6) replicated farm scale trials will be implemented over the winter growing season of 2022 and 2023, to assess 3 different types of fallow - complete brown out (full chemical fallow), pastures seeded (sown in March 2022, and brown manured in spring), volunteer pasture, brown manured before seed set. Fallow post manuring, to be maintained until seeding 2023.
GRDC will look to extend this trial into other low rainfall areas to allow more growers access to this information
WestKwinana East Port Zone20/07/22Bencubbin NGN Forum
70
Chemical residues in the soil, is it affecting yields (SU & Imi)
NGN0197Testing shows carryover (not enough rainfall, organic matter etc.).

Traditional chemicals used over time- how much is building up in the soils and carried over? Will there be a social license issue with increasing residues over many years?

How you can safely use chemicals (better separation), relevant issue but not focus on product names - use imis and SUs.
"GRDC is undertaking an analysis of this issue.

GRDC investment DAW1901-006RTX has an output to determine herbicide dose response curves on ameliorated soils with the following aims:
- Determine the dose response curves for a range of pre-emergent herbicides for a range cereal, oilseed and pulse grain crops.
- Develop understanding, guidelines and recommendations to support industry herbicide application practices and strategies post-soil amelioration to minimise crop risk while maintaining effective weed control.
Trials are ongoing.

If you’ve experienced an adverse reaction with a registered product there is the option to report this to the APVMA

The APVMA definition is:

An adverse experience is an unintended or unexpected outcome associated with the registered use of a product when used according to the approved label instructions. This includes impacts on human beings, animals, crops and the environment or a lack of efficacy.

https://portal.apvma.gov.au/aerpexternal/welcome.htm#How_to_report"
WestGeraldton Port Zone01/08/22Binnu NGN Forum
71
Long coleoptile crop types
NGN0198For improved seed separation, length = 50+, on a range of varieties. for security when sowing a bit lower (not change in sowing practise, get canola in before it rains,Wheat - Integrating long coleoptile wheat into Australian farming systems through an integrated understanding of genetics, management and environment. - PROC-9176554 - Foundational to achieving successful integration and adoption of LCW will be a common industry standard for measuring and defining the category of wheat coleoptile length (e.g., normal (80 mm), long (80-100 mm) and super long (100 mm plus). Industry best practice recommendations for the established wheat coleoptile categories and not specific to any variety or company will be developed through G*E*M approaches using laboratory, glasshouse, small plot field experimentation and on-farm trials. Experimental approaches include but are not limited to long coleoptile trait interactions with inherent soil physical and chemical properties, conditions at sowing (moisture and temperature), environment, machinery (depth control systems), soil amelioration treatments, pre-seeding operations, nutrition, disease, weed and pest control and related chemical applications.

There has been previous investment in this area. Here is a link to some information from this project -
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/cereals/long,-longer,-longest-new-trials-weigh-up-benefits-of-long-coleoptile-wheat-varieties

Canola - PROC-9176549 - This procurement actively links and leverages related canola investment including current RD&E investments seeking to improve crop establishment with improved quality seed (DPI1906-007RTX), adoption of sowing practices that enhance establishment (LIV2112-001SAX, PROC – 9176470) and genetic solutions (CSP1907-001RTX) that overcome staggered germination. Additional opportunities to integrate existing best practices with new and novel technologies (e.g., genetic innovation in long hypocotyl, new precision seeding technologies, seed treatments) along with better characterisation of the seeding environment will assist in achieving reliable establishment and desired investment outcome.
WestGeraldton Port Zone01/08/22Binnu NGN Forum
72
K Management
NGN0199UMU1801-006RTX - Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region - Qifu Ma, Richard Bell, Craig Scanlan research paper - Management of potassium nutrition for the evolving cropping sequences in the southwest of Western Australia

Soil reserves of potassium (K) are generally large, but most of it is not plant available. On crop farms, negative K balance is common due to greater removal of K in hay, straw and grain than fertilizer K input and depletes soil K reserves. In the southwest of Western Australia (WA), continued soil K depletion, particularly in pastures or systems where a large portion of crop residue is removed, is not sustainable for crop production. While K application is increasingly essential for adequate supply of plant-available K, maximizing K use efficiency is important in dryland cropping systems. Crop K use can be affected by a number of factors e.g. soil types, seasonal conditions, cropping sequences and fertilizer application. The interaction between K and other nutrients likely becomes more significant in water-limited environments, considering the roles of K in promoting root growth and optimizing plant water relations. The advent of conservation agriculture with stubble retention has resulted in more recycling and use of K because about 80% of absorbed K is contained in the straws of wheat. The knowledge of soil K cycle, crop K uptake and use in evolving cropping sequences would improve decision making for better management of K fertilization, especially on low-K soils.

More information from this project can be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU1801-006RTX

CSBP have established a number of long and short- term trials looking into K management in the NAR as well as state-wide. These can be found at the following links:

https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/long-term-potassium-strategies-investigating-residual-potassium-benefits-after-a-long-term-trial

https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/potassium-and-nitrogen-strategies-following-soil-amelioration

https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/potassium-strategies-3

https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/nitrogen-and-potassium-interactions-in-wheat-b

All trials relating to K management in WA can be found at www.csbpresults.com.au
By using the K search functions under nutrients.
WestGeraldton Port Zone01/08/22Binnu NGN Forum
73
Rising water tables, causing salinity
NGN0200Is there a plant that uses up salt that is already there and planted broad scale with the aim of reclaiming the soil.

Diagnosing drainage that is specific to paddocks on a large scale.

Rising water tables, causing salinity. We need a plant that uses up salt that is already there and planted broad scale with the aim of reclaiming the soil, diagnosing drainage that is specific to paddocks on a large-scale management of rising water table before it becomes an issue, getting salt impacted areas back in production using crop types and drainage, getting trials demonstrating how to mitigate and investigate areas where there is future risk.
SCF2005-001SAX & SCN2005-001SAX - Understanding return on investment of sub-surface water management options for waterlogged areas in the Western Region - established in early 2021, the projects in Sub-Surface Drainage investigates methods of managing waterlogging within the Albany and Esperance Port Zone through the use of slotted pipe buried at depth. Since installation there has been monitoring of the demonstration site to determine the effectiveness of slotted pipe in mitigating waterlogging, and also determine its effective potential return on investment to growers. A range of monitoring activities have been conducted throughout 2021 and are planned for the upcoming next two growing seasons, including plant counts, biomass analysis, soil and water analysis and yield analysis to harvest 2023.

DAW1902-001RTX - Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region. Lead Researcher – David Hall.

This is a broader industry and national issue, GRDC will work in this area in line with its purpose.
WestAlbany Port Zone17/08/22Gairdner NGN forum
74
The South Coast has a lot of disease pressure why does the disease keep developing resistance here?
NGN0201Opportunity for research from overseas, how do other countries handle disease with large canopies? The south coast has a lot of disease pressure why does the disease keep developing resistance here? Opportunity for research from overseas, how do other countries handle disease with large canopies

HRZ disease pressure and onset of fungicide resistance, lack of profitable break crops and reliance on cereals in the farming system, improve management of disease in larger canopies, demonstrating stubble management options for necrotrophic stubble borne diseases (SFNB, NFNB, Canola blackleg, yellow spot), more extension on the type of varieties and the disease resistance - cost of protecting with fungicides vs. a resistance variety and the gross margin.
GRDC is currently analysing this issue and has several previous and current investments related to crop disease and fungicide resistance management

CUR1403-002BLX: Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) – Aims to increase grain grower profitability in disease challenged and fungicide limited cropping environment, with activity in fungicide resistance management and improving genetic resistance to cereal diseases (i.e., Septoria nodorum blotch and yellow spot in wheat, net blotch and powdery mildew in barley)
Information on all work done through CCDM can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CUR1403-002BLX

Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network (AFREN): Aims to provide growers with consistent and reliable information on fungicide resistance development and management strategies – https://afren.com.au for more information GRDC has recently approached the market with a tender - Effective control of blackleg in canola. The program takes a multifaceted approach (genetic, cultural, chemical) to improve the management of blackleg for Australian canola growers.
AFREN has a great website with lots of information - https://afren.com.au/

Useful resources:

Blackleg
https://grdc.com.au/about/rde-investment-strategy/delivering-impact/mitigating-the-impact-of-blackleg-in-canola
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2022/blackleg-management-guide

Net blotches
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/co-innovation-to-curb-barley-blotches
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/fungicide-resistance-in-barley

Fungicide resistance in barley - GRDC
Net form net blotch (NFNB), spot form net blotch (SFNB) and powdery mildew are important diseases of barley that have exhibited fungicide resistance in Australia.
grdc.com.au

Disease management for WA growers in 2023
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2022/west/november/paddock-practices-variety-selections-for-fungal-disease-management-in-2023

2023 WA Crop sowing guide: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/grains-research-development/2023-wa-crop-sowing-guide
2023 WA Crop Sowing Guide | Agriculture and Food
The Crop Sowing Guide for Western Australia is a one stop shop for variety information on all the major crops grown in WA. The publication aims to provide information to support growers with decisions on the best choice of variety for each of the major crops for the upcoming season. Some management tips for cereals are also provided. The pulse section includes an ‘agronomy guide’ to ...
www.agric.wa.gov.au
WestAlbany Port Zone17/08/22Gairdner NGN forum
75
Technology & VRT
NGN0202How to best do it, implement it, integrate it, determine rates etc

Technology & VRT - how to best do it, implement it, integrate it, determine rates. Etc
Mosaic of soil types and variable inputs/constraints across a paddock - using VRT technology to manage variable constraints across paddocks, ongoing support on VRT setup and application/workshop in February and March - funding to SPAA to continue PA workshops, value of VRT with carbon sustainability frameworks, how to get yield maps off the technology, very time consuming to develop yield maps and VRT.
GRDC invested in a case study book 2017 - Variable Rate Technology: Maximising Returns for Western Australian Grain Producers - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2017/03/variable-rate-technology-maximising-returns-for-western-australian-grain-production
This project is currently ongoing.

GRDC has invested SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers This national investment will provide introductory precision agriculture training that will impart technology skills to growers in a 'hands-on' manner.
The information provided will be specific to and driven by issues raised by growers in each region through an initial scoping phase.
Specific to these issues, it will showcase mobile device integration technologies and low cost, simple PA methods already in use by growers and advisers.
Various mapping-based apps that may assist in simplifying the transition to applied decision making utilising spatial information, including a discussion on the opportunity VRT integration in farm management system.

GRDC has invested previously in Embracing Precision Ag - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture

SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate:
This project is a natural extension to the previous Hands-on Precision Ag Training workshops and will look specifically at VRT. It will assist growers to better manage input prices, maximise on-farm productivity/environmental efficiencies and build economic resilience within their farming systems in high input-cost seasons.
It will take the form of face-to-face workshops, a virtual event, take home reference materials such as an updated version of the highly successful joint GRDC/SPAA 2012 publication, PA in Practice II.

GRDC will look at other opportunities to bring knowledge in this area to growers, noting that there is considerable activity by the commercial sector
WestAlbany Port Zone17/08/22Gairdner NGN forum
76
Varieties that have a greater tolerance to environmental factors as opposed to purely yield based e.g. frost tolerance, tight finish
NGN0203Test some varieties with some local agronomy practices.

Anything that happens everywhere else.
GRDC has large pre-breeding activity in this area, particularly looking at heat tolerance across most crops. There is also a recent open tender looking for opportunities to invest in frost genetic tolerance of wheat.

GRDC is also working on opportunities at the time of crop establishment, with active procurements in both wheat and canola.

There is also an active investment demonstrating known practices for canola establishment:

LIV2112-001SAX - Canola establishment in the low rainfall zones of the Western Region

This project has been varied to undertake a trial site in the Hyden/Holt Rock area. A grower survey will be undertaken to understand how growers are currently dealing with poor canola establishment and treatments will be grower lead.

GRDC released these publications recently. They have some great information that might be relevant for you:
https://grdc.com.au/golden-rules-for-canola-in-the-low-rainfall-zone

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/ten-tips-to-early-sown-canola
WestAlbany Port Zone26/07/22Hyden NGN Forum
77
More research into soil constraints in the Lakes region
NGN0204Herbicide carryover - imi, Reflex, Overwatch, and Voraxor is on watch.

Sodic clay
If you’ve experienced an adverse reaction with a registered product there the option to report this to the APVMA
The APVMA definition is:
An adverse experience is an unintended or unexpected outcome associated with the registered use of a product when used according to the approved label instructions. This includes impacts on human beings, animals, crops and the environment or a lack of efficacy.
https://portal.apvma.gov.au/aerpexternal/welcome.htm#How_to_report

GRDC investment DAW1901-006RTX has an output to determine herbicide dose response curves on ameliorated soils with the following aims:
- Determine the dose response curves for a range of pre-emergent herbicides for a range cereal, oilseed and pulse grain crops.
- Develop understanding, guidelines and recommendations to support industry herbicide application practices and strategies post-soil amelioration to minimise crop risk while maintaining effective weed control.
Trials are ongoing.

Sodicity - DAW1902-001RTX - Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region.

This investment will evaluate the benefit of different options to improve water capture and availability, including water harvesting onto crop rows, targeted amelioration in the root zone and increasing soil water capacity, and determine the profitability and reliability of such approaches. Treatments include – gravel application, gypsum applications, sand application, organic ameliorants, paraplow.

Sites are located at Merredin, Devils Creek, Moorine Rock, Grass Patch, Lake Grace and Dunn Rock.

More information from this investment can be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW1902-001RTX
WestAlbany Port Zone26/07/22Hyden NGN Forum
78
Where do I start with my carbon accounting journey? I don’t know what to do with carbon.
NGN0205GRDC currently have investment with AIA in their Know and Show project. The aim of this project is to provide a tool that will allow farmers to identify their greenhouse gas footprint.

There is also a group of growers and industry organisations what have formed a group called AgZero2030.

https://agzero2030.org.au/get-involved

The group would like to get involved with your events and are keen to be invited to speak.
WestAlbany Port Zone26/07/22Hyden NGN Forum
79
Longer season wheat, canola and barley
NGN0206There looks to be a completely different environment recently and this is changing the agronomy and input strategy of these crops

Timing of nutrition, management from winter on? Can we apply decisions very late?

What would be the impact of grazing?

The hyper yielding project covers some of this but there are gaps between small plot and field.

Where does the long season wheat strategy apply, where is the cut-off?

Could more GxExM trials assist?
GRDC have multiple investments in this area.

Winter Wheat agronomy - CRO2111-001SAX - This project will help to answer many questions that growers and advisors have on optimising the performance of winter wheats and how they fit into the farming system. It will also demonstrate potential threats or pitfalls with winter wheat such as weed management, insect management and low soil moisture establishment.

By March 2024, seven winter wheat agronomy demonstration trials and two small plot herbicide trials, will have been established and harvested and the results compiled and reported and successfully extended to local growers and advisers.

The project will include benchmarking of current grower practice and evaluation of potential impact and grower adoption.

A variation has been undertaken for this project to include a project site in Kojonup in 2023.

GRDC has a current investment underway DAW1903-008RMX Optimising high rainfall zone cropping for profit in the Western Region
This project aims to work with growers, advisers, researchers and the broader grains industry to define the research and development needs in the high rainfall zones of GRDC's Western and Southern Regions. Experimental sites in various and differing high rainfall areas will be established to measure cereal and canola growth in response to seasonal conditions and management decisions. This will most likely roll into the GRDC-DPIRD farming systems project.

Some information from this investment can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW1903-008RMX

GRDC has a current investment underway FAR2004-002SAX - Hyper Yielding Crops
GRDC's Hyper Yielding Crops investment will build on previous work completed at the Tasmanian Hyper Yielding Cereals project and the South Australian Crop Technology Centre to identify, develop and support growers and their advisers to implement new knowledge, tools, technologies or practices into whole-of-farm systems to set new economically attainable grain yield benchmarks in High Rainfall Zones of Australia. This project will continue at the Frankland site in 2023.

Some WA lessons from this investment can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/lessons-for-growers-from-the-hyper-yielding-crops-hyc-and-high-rainfall-zone-hrz-farming-systems-projects-in-western-australia

GRDC is currently conducting analysis for future needs for investment in the High Rainfall Zone
WestAlbany Port Zone28/07/22Kojonup NGN Forum
80
N application technology to improve efficiency
NGN0207Trial to look at application position - side banding, wide row, post emergent with outcome to improve fertiliser efficiency
Case study - CSBP have done 3 year trials. Look at using DPIRD new seeder.
Better N management in the Kojonup area.
Case study - variable rate application and the ROI
UOQ2204-010RTX - Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling. This is a new contract with a node in WA led by UWA.

- By December 2026, the grains industry, researchers, regulators, policy makers and the general public have access to credible information summarising N cycling and N losses from key grain production systems and associated soil types across Australia, and predictions of N losses and their potential environmental impact for the grains industry as a whole.

- A secondary outcome of the project will be the foundational knowledge of N cycling, losses and recovery by crops developed in this investment will also inform improved N management practices to optimise grower returns from investment in N fertiliser. A separate development, validation, and extension effort not in scope of this investment may be required to substantiate and refine these practices on farm.


GRDC is looking to conduct workshops in regards to the results from UMU1801-006RTX Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region.

-This project aims to give GRDC's Western Region grain growers increased confidence in decision making around fertilisers with a focus on nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). As a result, an improved N decision support model will be delivered. The work will include modelling of economic responses to N, P and K management strategies, update nutrient decision guidelines and disseminate findings broadly to GRDC's Western Region grain growers.

More information can be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU1801-006RTX

CSBP have conducted a number of N placement and timing trials across WA which can be accessed at www.csbpresults.com.au
WestAlbany Port Zone28/07/22Kojonup NGN Forum
81
Winter wheat in frost prone country
NGN0208Winter Wheat agronomy - CRO2111-001SAX - This project will help to answer many questions that growers and advisors have on optimising the performance of winter wheats and how they fit into the farming system. It will also demonstrate potential threats or pitfalls with winter wheat such as weed management, insect management and low soil moisture establishment.
A variation has been undertaken for this project to include a project site in Kojonup in 2023.

More information on this topic can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/understanding-the-fit-of-winter-wheats-for-wa-environments

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/emerging-management-tips-for-early-sown-winter-wheats

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/management-of-flowering-time-and-early-sown-slow-developing-wheats
WestAlbany Port Zone28/07/22Kojonup NGN Forum
82
Slow release fertiliser - nitrogen and potassium
NGN0209In high rainfall areas/years slow release fertiliser would slow leaching. We could look at different compounds in wet years. High nitrogen in high rainfall, and deficient K. Banana industry trialling products currently.GRDC are not currently investigating any slow release fertiliser products.

There are a number of products currently available from commercial fertiliser companies in WA.
WestAlbany Port Zone28/07/22Kojonup NGN Forum
83
Seed coating - overcoming
non-wetting
NGN0210Instead of coating canola with wetter to improve germination on marginal moisture - try coating with something so they don't germinate until sufficient moisture availableGRDC will conduct an analysis on this idea.
Studies have been conducted in Canada on a range of polymer coatings to delay Canola germination until adequate soil moisture is achieved as per the attached scientific paper:

www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert-Gulden-2/publication/228509376_Germination_Characteristics_of_Polymer-Coated_Canola_L_Seeds_Subjected_to_Moisture_Stress_at_Different_Temperatures/links/0c9605298d175899c3000000/Germination-Characteristics-of-Polymer-Coated-Canola-L-Seeds-Subjected-to-Moisture-Stress-at-Different-Temperatures.pdf

GRDC has a current investment open LIV2112-001SAX - Canola establishment in the low rainfall zones of the Western Region

This investment aims to validate and extend previous agronomic and management research on how to successfully establish canola in the low rainfall zones of WA as well as including Grower Network feedback on what has/has not worked for members. A minimum of four sites will be conducted as small plot trials with a minimum of three replicates. Trial sites could target areas within paddocks that have performed poorly in previous seasons.

GRDC released these publications recently. They have some great information that might be relevant for you:
https://grdc.com.au/golden-rules-for-canola-in-the-low-rainfall-zone

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/ten-tips-to-early-sown-canola
WestAlbany Port Zone28/07/22Kojonup NGN Forum
84
Lupins
NGN0211It feels that there have been no genetic gains recently - there needs to be gains in yield, herbicide tolerance (weed control) shattering, disease, herbicide tolerance. Less biomass and lower N delivered. What have we lost with dwarfing genes?

New market opportunities - plant based protein? Where do Pulse Australia fit in creating new markets for Legumes? Similar to AEGICs role for cereals?

Input costs are high compared to price at farm gate. Quantifying N fixing and next year’s N carry over.

Herbicide - the entire lupin industry is at risk if grass control continues to decline. Need new post-em grass selective or better lupin genetics for increased competition.

High clethodim rates on lupins causing residue issues in following crops.

Sclerotinia - local work demo site.
DAW2104-002RTX - Sclerotinia management for narrow leaf lupin crops in Western Australian farming systems- There has been a variation to the lupin sclerotinia project that will see research extend into the Albany and Kwinana West port zones. The project will look at the impacts of agronomic practices, cultural practices and optimal timings of fungicides on SSR. This project will be completed by 2025.

More information can be found here –
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW2104-002RTX

CSP1806-009RTX - Lupin Breeders Toolbox - This project aims to expand the current genomic and genetic resources available in one of the major grain legumes grown in Australia, narrow-leafed lupin (NLL; Lupinus angustifolius L.). These genomic and genetic resources will significantly help accelerate the NLL breeding program, including the development of an NLL genotyping platform, and will help lead to the desired outcome whereby by 2025 locally adapted NLL germplasm with 20% higher yields are available to growers.

More information can be found here - https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/cutting-edge-techniques-deployed-to-create-improved-tools-for-lupin-breeders

The GRDC Crop Updates in Perth in February 2023 will include a plenary session on The Changing Landscape for Protein Production.

CSBP conducted an N fixing and carryover trial west of Moora that ran for 2 years in 2021 and 2022 looking at the value of legume N to a following cereal crop. This trial can be found at
https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/benefits-of-legumes-to-cropping-rotations

Commercial breeding companies are exploring novel herbicide resistances in lupins.

Breeding is a long term process (10+ yrs from crossing to commercial release), and results of the transition of the breeding program from the state department to the commercial company AGT is yet to be seen in the marketplace.
WestKwinana West Port Zone16/08/22Moora NGN Forum
85
Openness to research into newer technologies i.e. different crop varieties rather than the established (focus on canola and wheat) and the advancement of these specific varieties - extension into legumes, genetic advancement, human consumption, market expansion etc.
NGN0212Diversity of crops. Pulse to increase the options in the rotation and is there a market for these? Need to increase diversity in the rotation.

D and E chickpeas production systems. Marketing delivery and marketing options?

What are the options for growing new pulse?

Can AEGIC look at new market options for pulse?

Not enough volume for CBH to handle them.

Weed control in pulses: broadleaf weeds, mainly radish.
GRDC has very large investment into pre-breeding and breeding programs of pulses to increase reliability and adaptability.

GGA2110-002SAX - Closing the economic yield gap for grain legumes - Grain legumes currently contribute in a small and diminishing way to the profitability of Western Australian farming systems. GRDC analysis indicates farmers are aware of the benefits of growing a legume in their rotation but have concerns about pulse reliability and profitability and lack confidence in their consistent production after decades of disappointment. Consequently, Western Australian farmers have been slow to exploit recent advances in grain legume genetics, acid-tolerant rhizobia, management strategies, weed and disease protection products. This situation requires an extensive technical and extension program to change grower sentiment and drive the new capabilities into profitable cropping systems.

The project will define agronomic, financial, and market information to help farmers and advisors decide which pulse to grow and where, and ultimately build confidence in using pulses in WA. It will also identify research gaps and inform future research needs.
To stay in touch with this project visit the GGA project page and sign up for updates - https://www.gga.org.au/activity/closing-the-economic-yield-gap-of-grain-legumes-in-wa/

UMU1805-001RMX – Boosting Profit and reducing risk on mixed farms in low and medium rainfall areas with newly discovered legume pastures enabled by innovative management methods – Western region (Dryland Pasture Legume Systems) has concluded, and GRDC is currently procuring further investment in this area.
WestGeraldton Port Zone16/08/22Moora NGN Forum
86
High fertiliser prices impacting profitability
NGN0213Local research bring up lupins vs serradella.

Lit review on crops that recycles deep soil nutrients. Particularly K which is showing deficient and the most expensive leading into 2023.

K strategy going into 2023 - placements and lowest possible rate.

Trials - K and serradella and lupins, and the economic on the back of high K prices.
GRDC has invested in a project UMU1801-006RTX - Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region - Qifu Ma, Richard Bell, Craig Scanlan research paper - Management of potassium nutrition for the evolving cropping sequences in the southwest of Western Australia - Soil reserves of potassium (K) are generally large, but most of it is not plant-available. On crop farms, negative K balance is common due to greater removal of K in hay, straw and grain than fertilizer K input and depletes soil K reserves. In the southwest of Western Australia (WA), continued soil K depletion, particularly in pastures or systems where a large portion of crop residue is removed, is not sustainable for crop production. While K application is increasingly essential for adequate supply of plant-available K, maximizing K use efficiency is important in dryland cropping systems. Crop K use can be affected by a number of factors e.g. soil types, seasonal conditions, cropping sequences and fertilizer application. The interaction between K and other nutrients likely becomes more significant in water-limited environments, considering the roles of K in promoting root growth and optimizing plant water relations. The advent of conservation agriculture with stubble retention has resulted in more recycling and use of K because about 80% of absorbed K is contained in the straws of wheat. The knowledge of soil K cycle, crop K uptake and use in evolving cropping sequences would improve decision making for better management of K fertilization, especially on low-K soils.

GRDC is planning to hold workshops around WA in 2023 to extend information from this investment.

More information can be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU1801-006RTX

GRDC has an open tender to look at K through the soil profile and management in the West Midlands https://grdc.com.au/research/partnering-in-rde-investment/tenders/open-tenders/ngn-determining-optimal-potassium-levels-and-management-options-for-the-west-midlands-regions


CSBP conducted an N fixing and carryover trial west of Moora that ran for 2 years in 2021 and 2022 looking at the value of legume N to a following cereal crop. This trial can be found at
https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/benefits-of-legumes-to-cropping-rotations

Other K strategy trials including K placement and rates from 2022 and prior years can be found at https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/potassium-strategies-3 or www.csbpresults.com.au by using the search functions on the website.
WestKwinana West Port Zone16/08/22Moora NGN Forum
87
Interested to see more in the real time N decision making
NGN0214CSBP do this to a certain extent. NDVI and biomass imagery are a good start. You can subscribe in addition to this to do instant results. Perhaps not ideal that it’s done by CSBP though - would prefer this to be independent.UOQ2204-010RTX - Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling. This is a new contract with a node in WA led by UWA.

- By December 2026, the grains industry, researchers, regulators, policy makers and the general public have access to credible information summarising N cycling and N losses from key grain production systems and associated soil types across Australia, and predictions of N losses and their potential environmental impact for the grains industry as a whole.

- A secondary outcome of the project will be the foundational knowledge of N cycling, losses and recovery by crops developed in this investment will also inform improved N management practices to optimise grower returns from investment in N fertiliser. A separate development, validation, and extension effort not in scope of this investment may be required to substantiate and refine these practices on farm.


GRDC is looking to conduct workshops in 2023 with the results from UMU1801-006RTX Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region. This project aims to give GRDC's Western Region grain growers increased confidence in decision making around fertilisers with a focus on nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). As a result an improved N decision support model will be delivered. The work will include modelling of economic responses to N, P and K management strategies, update nutrient decision guidelines and disseminate findings broadly to GRDC's Western Region grain growers.

More information can be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU1801-006RTX
Scroll to the end of the page for articles and update papers.

CSBP have conducted a number of N placement and timing trials across WA which can be accessed at www.csbpresults.com.au
WestKwinana West Port Zone28/06/22Quairading NGN Forum
88
Germination of canola is always an issue
NGN0215LIV2112-001SAX - Canola establishment in the low rainfall zones of the Western Region.
This project has been varied to include a trial site in 2023 in Quairading. Treatments will be selected with local growers.

GRDC investment at procurement currently – PROC-9176549 - Reducing risks to canola establishment through an integrated understanding of genetics, management, and environment.
The project aims for 50% of Australian growers have access to management options that can increase the reliability of canola establishment, by 30 December 2025.

GRDC released these publications recently. They have some great information that might be relevant for you:
https://grdc.com.au/golden-rules-for-canola-in-the-low-rainfall-zone

https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/ten-tips-to-early-sown-canola
WestKwinana West Port Zone28/06/22Quairading NGN Forum
89
New pulse options with imi tolerance for heavy soils to use in barley rotation
NGN0216In terms of barley rotations on heavy country, pulses don't like this soil type for starters and could lose half paddock. Stuck in a rotation where you can't physically get the pulse in there unless you start with imi chickpeas, lentils. Lupins are not an option, but another legume option would be goodThere have been several investments to improving weed control in pulses using herbicide tolerance.

DAS1306-003RTX - Improving weed management in pulse crops through herbicide tolerance.

The outcome of this project was the provision of germplasm to Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) with improved tolerance to registered herbicides and tolerance to new herbicides is expected to lead to the generation of varieties that will assist in increasing the productivity and profitability of pulses in Australia. Furthermore, the development of pulse varieties with new and or multiple herbicide tolerances will enable greater variation in herbicide usage pattern and will reduce the risk of herbicide tolerant weed development. This in turn will lead to increased producer confidence, expansion of the pulse crop area and increases in overall farming system sustainability.

UOA2007-010RTX - Improving weed control in pulses - delivery of herbicide tolerance traits

This investment aims to has successfully develop a number of herbicide tolerance (HT) traits in key pulse crops faba bean, lentil, chickpea and field pea for Australian grain growers, develop high throughput phenotyping methods and genotyping selection assays to support rapid and effective incorporation of new HT traits into elite germplasm and the development of lines with HT traits to multiple modes of action.
WestKwinana West Port Zone28/06/22Quairading NGN Forum
90
Solving non wetting soils
NGN0217General non-wetting soils - seeing it over larger areas of paddocks - big areas across paddock that appears to become more of an issue - should we start looking at amelioration tactics to manage it? ROI? Very important for canola germination and establishment - more of an issue for southern Mallee on sandplain - shallow sands over clay are an issueGRDC has invested in 2 projects:

SDI1903-001SAX - Non-wetting management options - key results -
Two clear outcomes growers should note:
1. the placement of wetter behind the seed-boot (underground) was much more effective in increasing canola germination and early biomass than a soil surface application behind the press wheel
2. seed placement in relation to last year’s furrow had a massive impact on plant germination and early biomass growth. Seeding canola on or near row, regardless of the wetting agent treatment applied, had significantly higher early biomass than the off-row plots. Utilising a ProTrakker or similar, may prove to be a cheaper and more effective solution to non-wetting soils in the long term than adding soil wetter every year.

TRC2004-001SAX - Improving crop germination and establishment on non-wetting soils - Soil amelioration techniques for dealing with water repellent soils, such as claying, delving and soil inversion, are very costly for growers. Liquid soil surfactants present a method of mitigating water repellence over large areas within the normal seeding operation without severe soil disturbance and related machinery expense. However, soil surfactants still come at a significant annual cost per hectare and based on these trial results, the uncertainty of rainfall events in Western Australia’s south-west agricultural area make the decision of investing in liquid soil surfactants difficult.
DAW1407-001RTX - DAW00244 - Delivering enhanced agronomic strategies for improved crop performance on water repellent soils. This was a research project including 3 PhDs students that look at soil water repellence.

Current procurement - PROC-9176759 – Non-wetting in sandy duplexes in the Esperance Mallee

Outcome - By 2025, 50% of the growers in the Esperance Port Zone will have increased knowledge of management techniques to overcome non-wetting issues
WestEsperance Port Zone18/08/22Salmon Gums NGN Forum
91
Nitrogen decision making
NGN0218More science in N recommendations for each rainfall zone.

Reliance and accuracy of the tests available? Testing top 10 cm of soils, lack of faith with the accuracy for tissue testing for making a N decision, using mass spectrometry to test nitrogen in the paddock. Should we put nitrogen all upfront in our environments? Is it the best bang for your buck to apply nitrogen upfront rather than playing the season? Does the N-bank? Do we assume that nitrogen doesn’t leach out, denitrification, and can be used with the following crop in the farming system.

N decisions are based on risk, the ability to use the N we put on more efficiently, and smarter, using technology to help make these decisions better
Accurate N decision making is highly complex and it is a constant priority for GRDC. We are currently procuring a national program around on farm decision making and risk management. N decisions are a key component. This will be participatory research where growers are involved in local trial design.

UOQ2204-010RTX - Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling. This is a new contract with a node in WA led by UWA.

- By December 2026, the grains industry, researchers, regulators, policy makers and the general public have access to credible information summarising N cycling and N losses from key grain production systems and associated soil types across Australia, and predictions of N losses and their potential environmental impact for the grains industry as a whole.

- A secondary outcome of the project will be the foundational knowledge of N cycling, losses and recovery by crops developed in this investment will also inform improved N management practices to optimise grower returns from investment in N fertiliser. A separate development, validation, and extension effort not in scope of this investment may be required to substantiate and refine these practices on farm.

GRDC invested in a project in 2018 looking at handheld and in paddock soil testing devices as per the following link:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/real-time-soil-tests-in-the-field-science-fiction-or-just-over-the-horizon

GRDC have a current investment LAK2202-001SAX - Carryover of nitrogen after crop failure - Western Region case studies.
Growers that were hit by frost and heat stress in 2021, after applying robust nitrogen rates during the season when conditions looked promising, face the additional financial burden of increased nitrogen fertiliser costs in 2022. The increased costs are being driven by strong international demand for N fertiliser and transport costs. The requirement by growers for knowledge is twofold. More immediately, growers would like to know if they can reduce the 2022 nitrogen rates to lessen the financial burden after 2021. In the longer term, growers would like to better understand the risk of applying robust fertiliser rates when conditions are good i.e., less risky if the N will then be available for next years crop, if there is a failure in the year it is applied.

In essence, it is complex and can be highly variable. Soil N can accumulate in soil where mineral N is not utilised by the previous crop as shown in research conducted on N carryover from legume crops (Herridge et al., 1995). This carryover is reduced by factors such as weed N-uptake, leaching (greater in sandy soils), erosion and gaseous losses (Peoples and Swan, 2018) which are driven by microbial activity. Microbial activity is dependent on rainfall and soil temperature which when favourable for microbes, increases release of mineral N to more mobile forms making it more vulnerable to loss (McDonald and Hooper, 2013).

Information from this project can be found here - https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/frost-management/trials-assess-soil-nitrogen-carryover-after-frost-or-heat

CSBP have implemented long term N trials in WA investigating the N banking concept from GRDC investments in the Eastern states https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/07/managing-nitrogen-for-high-crop-yields-and-sustainable-farming-systems

Trial results from the CSBP trials can be found at:

https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/long-term-nitrogen-strategies-in-a-wheat-canola-rotation

https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/long-term-n-strategies-using-n-budgeting

Commercial companies also have monitoring solutions available for in season N analysis in WA.
WestEsperance Port Zone18/08/22Salmon Gums NGN Forum
92
Crown rot management
NGN0219The economic return for using the new fungicide - applied research for crown rot management in the local area, yield response from management in the local area, genetic solutions for crown rot management, how long a rotation is needed to reduce crown rot inoculum, what crop type reduces crown rot the most effectively, faba beans and nitrogen and the boost to following wheat - how much benefit are we getting to the following wheat crop, is crown rot soil type driven? sand over clay more susceptibleGRDC are currently analysing research, development and extension opportunities for crown rot management in the low rainfall zone.

For crown rot management information click on the below links to videos discussing previous GRDC investments:

Daniel Huberli - Strategies to control crown rot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X3wE4QmAgI

Steve Simpfendorfer - Managing crown rot P1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIXWTRbIMrY

Steve Simpfendorfer - Managing Crown rot P2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9ykmx4-WSw
WestEsperance Port Zone18/08/22Salmon Gums NGN Forum
93
Longer coleoptile - wheat
NGN0220Research into consistent establishment when seeding deep. Mix of seed depth and rates, 50% down deep 50% shallow. This is the biggest issue going forwards with deep seeding.GRDC is actively procuring a large research project in this area. PROC-9176554 - Integrating long coleoptile wheat into Australian farming systems through an integrated understanding of genetics, management and environment.

Foundational to achieving successful integration and adoption of LCW will be a common industry standard for measuring and defining the category of wheat coleoptile length (e.g., normal (80 mm), long (80-100 mm) and super long (100 mm plus). Industry best practice recommendations for the established wheat coleoptile categories and not specific to any variety or company will be developed through G*E*M approaches using laboratory, glasshouse, small plot field experimentation and on-farm trials. Experimental approaches include but are not limited to long coleoptile trait interactions with inherent soil physical and chemical properties, conditions at sowing (moisture and temperature), environment, machinery (depth control systems), soil amelioration treatments, pre-seeding operations, nutrition, disease, weed and pest control and related chemical applications.

This potential investment follows on from SLR2103-001RTX – farming systems and agronomic changes for integrating long coleoptile wheat in the western region, that has had a number of sites across WA over the last two years. Here is a link to some information from this project -
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/cereals/long,-longer,-longest-new-trials-weigh-up-benefits-of-long-coleoptile-wheat-varieties
WestKwinana East Port Zone21/07/22Westonia NGN Forum
94
Matricaria
NGN0221Bendioxide (thiadiazine) not registered in Australia. Product name bentazone. Can we get this registered in WA?GRDC will look into this product, however it is unlikely that the registrant will register this product in WA.

Management option:
Control options for foul-smelling weed - https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/control-options-for-foul-smelling-weed

Biology and management of matricaria (Oncosiphon piluliferum) - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/biology-and-management-of-matricaria-oncosiphon-piluliferum
WestKwinana East Port Zone21/07/22Westonia NGN Forum
95
Timing of crop establishment
NGN0222Frost mitigation strategy for wheat, 1 in 5 years frost damage on average (wheat, barley, lupins affected).

Trials on dry seeding compared to late seeding into moisture (cereals).

Harness early seeding opportunities without increasing frost risk.

Long/short winter wheat vs short spring wheat. Compare over time to determine economics of practice.
DAW 2204-003RTX - Western Australian Farming Systems Project

Public consultation occurred in 2022 with sites selected at Lake Grace, Merredin and Northampton.
Sites will be set up in 2023 and selected treatments applied.
The high-level themes of the project are:
• continuous cereal or diversity
• more legumes or less x when (sowing time) x where (landscape/soil type)
• More N or less – N use efficiency, flexible nutrition
• Timely sowing or early sowing – maximising water use efficiency and minimising risk
• Strategies for lowering GHG emissions
• There is an ‘app for that’ – ag tech influenced decision making for enhancing efficiency
• Systems to build carbon
• Anything goes – treatments decided by local regional innovation group

A good resource for early sown wheat can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/ten-tips-for-early-sown-wheat
WestKwinana East Port Zone21/07/22Westonia NGN Forum
96
Plant backs
NGN0223There have been significant plant back issues with Reflex and Overwatch in canola

There are also problems with lupin plant backs when using label rates previous season, and Callisto pre-emergence on wheat.

Lupin - some died on loamy soils, heavy soils retarded growth after emergence.

Imazapic on range of soils, 3 years ago application carry over effect on canola.
If you’ve experienced an adverse reaction with a registered product there the option to report this to the APVMA.

The APVMA definition is:
An adverse experience is an unintended or unexpected outcome associated with the registered use of a product when used according to the approved label instructions. This includes impacts on human beings, animals, crops and the environment or a lack of efficacy.
https://portal.apvma.gov.au/aerpexternal/welcome.htm#How_to_report

GRDC is undertaking an analysis of this issue, however commercial companies have a responsibility for stewardship of their products.
WestKwinana East Port Zone21/07/22Westonia NGN Forum
97
To know exactly how much nitrogen available at any period
NGN0224Can you use a drone to determine N needs along with soil moisture? Is there a special camera for a drone that can tell you how much nitrogen is in the soil at any given time? CSBP has a hand held spectrometer.

What is the correlation of leaf tissue testing vs in season soil testing

Run a field day of tools and technology or a workshop to inform growers.
Put some money towards something that gives growers an immediate answer.

Carryover of N project extension into this area.

Public tools vs cost of private/fertiliser company owned - independent of fertiliser purchasing.

Can satellite imagery biomass readings be used?
Accurate N decision making is highly complex and it is a constant priority for GRDC. We are currently procuring a national program around on farm decision making and risk management. N decisions are a key component. This will be participatory research where growers are involved in local trial design.

UOQ2204-010RTX - Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling. This is a new contract with a node in WA led by UWA.

- By December 2026, the grains industry, researchers, regulators, policy makers and the general public have access to credible information summarising N cycling and N losses from key grain production systems and associated soil types across Australia, and predictions of N losses and their potential environmental impact for the grains industry as a whole.

- A secondary outcome of the project will be the foundational knowledge of N cycling, losses and recovery by crops developed in this investment will also inform improved N management practices to optimise grower returns from investment in N fertiliser. A separate development, validation, and extension effort not in scope of this investment may be required to substantiate and refine these practices on farm.

GRDC have a current investment - LAK2202-001SAX - Carryover of nitrogen after crop failure - Western Region case studies.
Growers that were hit by frost and heat stress in 2021, after applying robust nitrogen rates during the season when conditions looked promising, face the additional financial burden of increased nitrogen fertiliser costs in 2022. Growers would like to know if they can reduce the 2022 nitrogen rates to lessen the financial burden after 2021. In the longer term, growers would like to better understand the risk of applying robust fertiliser rates when conditions are good i.e., less risky if the N will then be available for next years crop, if there is a failure in the year it is applied.

Some more information from this project can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=LAK2202-001SAX

GRDC invested in a project in 2018 looking at handheld and in paddock soil testing devices as per the following link:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/real-time-soil-tests-in-the-field-science-fiction-or-just-over-the-horizon

GRDC is looking to conduct workshops in regards to the results from UMU1801-006RTX Increasing profit from N, P and K fertiliser inputs into the evolving cropping sequences in the Western Region. This project aims to give GRDC's Western Region grain growers increased confidence in decision making around fertilisers with a focus on nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). As a result, an improved N decision support model will be delivered. The work will include modelling of economic responses to N, P and K management strategies, update nutrient decision guidelines and disseminate findings broadly to GRDC's Western Region grain growers.

There are a number of commercial companies in WA offering different solutions around handheld spectrometers and drone applications.
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/08/22Wickepin NGN Forum
98
Utilising data, mapping, testing to best inform variable rate inputs (lime, N, K) what can be done and the economics of it?
NGN0225GRDC invested in a Case study book 2017 - Variable Rate Technology: Maximising Returns for Western Australian Grain Producers - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2017/03/variable-rate-technology-maximising-returns-for-western-australian-grain-production
this project is currently ongoing.

GRDC has invested SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers This national investment will provide introductory precision agriculture training that will impart technology skills to growers in a 'hands-on' manner.
The information provided will be specific to and driven by issues raised by growers in each region through an initial scoping phase.
Specific to these issues, it will showcase mobile device integration technologies and low cost, simple PA methods already in use by growers and advisers.
Various mapping-based apps that may assist in simplifying the transition to applied decision making utilising spatial information, including a discussion on the opportunity VRT integration in farm management system.

GRDC has invested previously in Embracing Precision Ag - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture

SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate:
This project is a natural extension to the previous Hands-on Precision Ag Training workshops. It will assist growers to better manage input prices, maximise on-farm productivity/environmental efficiencies and build economic resilience within their farming systems in high input-cost seasons.
It will take the form of face-to-face workshops, a virtual event, take home reference materials such as an updated version of the highly successful joint GRDC/SPAA 2012 publication, PA in Practice II.
GRDC invested in a Case study book 2017 - Variable Rate Technology: Maximising Returns for Western Australian Grain Producers - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2017/03/variable-rate-technology-maximising-returns-for-western-australian-grain-production
this project is currently ongoing.

GRDC has invested SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers This national investment will provide introductory precision agriculture training that will impart technology skills to growers in a 'hands-on' manner.
The information provided will be specific to and driven by issues raised by growers in each region through an initial scoping phase.
Specific to these issues, it will showcase mobile device integration technologies and low cost, simple PA methods already in use by growers and advisers.
Various mapping-based apps that may assist in simplifying the transition to applied decision making utilising spatial information, including a discussion on the opportunity VRT integration in farm management system.

GRDC has invested previously in Embracing Precision Ag - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture

SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate:
This project is a natural extension to the previous Hands-on Precision Ag Training workshops. It will assist growers to better manage input prices, maximise on-farm productivity/environmental efficiencies and build economic resilience within their farming systems in high input-cost seasons.
It will take the form of face-to-face workshops, a virtual event, take home reference materials such as an updated version of the highly successful joint GRDC/SPAA 2012 publication, PA in Practice II.
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/08/22Wickepin NGN Forum
99
Non-wetting - forest gravels and products
NGN0226What sorts of soil types will wetters work on? Sandy gravels.
What has been done:
- SE14 has had lots of work done on that ripping and spading
- Comparison trial of wetters a couple of years ago.
- Forest gravels as well as sandy soils. All non-wetting soils

Management of forest gravels to be able to increase production and mgt of non-wetting. What is the impact of legumes on forest gravels

Soil wetters - product development, more confidence we can use these products knowing they're going to work. Positioning of non-wetters.
SDI1903-001SAX - Non-wetting management options

Two clear outcomes growers should note:

1. the placement of wetter behind the seed-boot (underground) was much more effective in increasing canola germination and early biomass than a soil surface application behind the press wheel
2. seed placement in relation to last year’s furrow had a massive impact on plant germination and early biomass growth. Seeding canola on or near row, regardless of the wetting agent treatment applied, had significantly higher early biomass than the off-row plots. Utilising a ProTrakker or similar, may prove to be a cheaper and more effective solution to non-wetting soils in the long term than adding soil wetter every year.

TRC2004-001SAX - Improving crop germination and establishment on non-wetting soils - Soil amelioration techniques for dealing with water repellent soils, such as claying, delving and soil inversion, are very costly for growers. Liquid soil surfactants present a method of mitigating water repellence over large areas within the normal seeding operation without severe soil disturbance and related machinery expense. However, soil surfactants still come at a significant annual cost per hectare and based on these trial results, the uncertainty of rainfall events in Western Australia’s south-west agricultural area make the decision of investing in liquid soil surfactants difficult.

DAW00258 - Overcoming constraints to profitable cropping on forest gravel soils of the Western Region - A key aim of this project is to build knowledge on how nutrients and water move through gravelly soils, particularly those with a water repellent surface.

UMU2111-001RTX - Overcoming constraints to the profitability of cropping systems on ironstone gravel soils within the Southern cropping region of Australia. - Phase 2. - The project is looking at new approaches to increase fertiliser use efficiency, this new technology will cover off on the issue of slow release nutrients.

Some more information from this project can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU2111-001RTX
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/08/22Wickepin NGN Forum
100
Drainage options for waterlogging and seeps
NGN0227This is a seasonal issue. taking paddocks have been traditionally waterlogged from sheep and into production and to limit production losses on these waterlogged areas. Transient waterlogging rather than transient salinity however one will lead to the other. Probably around less than 20% of the area , but many growers are drifting towards 100% cropping so those areas of farm that are experiencing waterlogging are becoming more important to optimise productivity.

Could it be expanded out to agronomically dealing with those areas, different crops and strategies not just drainage?

Drainage options for hillside seeps as well (waterlogged, poor trafficability).
GRDC has a current investment SCF2005-001SAX & SCN2005-001SAX - Understanding return on investment of sub-surface water management options for waterlogged areas in the Western Region - established in early 2021, the projects in Sub-Surface Drainage investigates methods of managing waterlogging within the Albany and Esperance Port Zone through the use of slotted pipe buried at depth. Since installation there has been monitoring of the demonstration site to determine the effectiveness of slotted pipe in mitigating waterlogging, and also determine its effective potential return on investment to growers. A range of monitoring activities have been conducted throughout 2021 and are planned for the upcoming next two growing seasons, including plant counts, biomass analysis, soil and water analysis and yield analysis to harvest 2023.

More information can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SCF2005-001SAX

GRDC is investigating what can be done to help extend knowledge with on -the-ground activities for hillside seeps.
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/08/22Wickepin NGN Forum
101
Impact of Plant population and row configuration on Peanut kernel quality grades and yield
NGN0070Growers, Industry Representatives and Researchers have identified an opportunity to support and continue to develop best management strategies targeted at increasing the production of high-quality grade peanut kernels to meet the growing market demand for this high value legume commodity. Profitable peanut production is reliant on successful growing large Jumbo-sized peanut kernels which command significantly higher financial returns for growers. Recent work conducted by the Coastal Queensland Grower Solutions lead by DAFQ - DAQ1801-002RTX conducted two trials in 2019 using the recently released variety “Kairi” to investigate the interaction of plant populations and row configuration and their impact on yield and quality.GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
DAQ2111-005RTX Evaluate the impact plant populations and row configuration has on flowering and pegging synchronization and the resulting peanut kernel quality and yield for different peanut variety types.
PCA2007-001RTX Future Peanut Breeding https://grdc.com.au/investments/investment-details?code=PCA2007-001RTX


GRDC Research Update Papers and Webinars ICN1906-003SAX: https://grdc.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/433823/GRDC-Grains-Research-Update-Toowoomba-2020.pdf
NorthCoastal QLD17/09/21
102
NGN - Understanding the nitrogen contribution of pulses in commercial paddocks using the natural abundance technique.
NGN0150Growers on the Eastern Darling Downs grow a range of summer and winter pulse crops for the benefits they provide in the crop rotation including improved nitrogen nutrition, weed and disease management. While the perception has been that legumes benefit the rotation by contributing nitrogen to subsequent crops, the magnitude of this is questionable and not well understood. When soil nitrogen is available, pulses can become 'lazy' and utilise soil reserves rather than fixing their own nitrogen. In addition, as growers have become better at growing pulses, harvest index has increased, and significant quantities of nitrogen are exported off the paddock in harvested grain. Growers would like improved understanding of the amount of nitrogen contributed by both summer and winter pulse crops, such that they can better understand nitrogen fertiliser requirements in subsequent cereal, oilseed or fibre crops. Within a research setting, the presence of naturally occurring stable N15 in non-fixing species, has been used to determine nitrogen fixation of pulses. Using this technique in commercial paddocks has not been investigated, and if successful, could provide a relatively simple methodology with wider application.The contribution of nitrogen by mungbean was investigated at reported in a GRDC Update paper from Doug Sands. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/11/what-contribution-do-mungbeans-make-to-soil-nitrogen

GRDC is reviewing this approach for wider application across both summer and winter pulses.
NorthSouth East QLD11/10/22Clifton Allora TopCrop Meeting
103
Management of barley lodging on the Darling Downs using plant growth regulators
NGN0151Warm growing conditions during winter on the Northern Darling Downs often sees barley exhibit rapid early growth, especially in seasons of high rainfall and under high nitrogen conditions. This excessive biomass predisposes the crop to lodging which impacts harvest efficiency and results in reduced yield and lost revenue. Commercial plant growth regulators (PGRs) are available and registered for use in barley, however agronomists and growers lack confidence in their use, often applying them in response to excessive growth rather than proactively to control plant growth.There is a current investment with AMPS (AMP2205-004RTX) in northern NSW evaluating current registered plant growth regulator application practices and validating alternate use patterns (including low rate applications and multiple dose strategies) on barley crops. By managing excessive growth, growers will reduce harvest losses due to lodging.NorthSouth East QLD09/09/22Brigalow Grower Group Meeting
104
Alternative winter cropping opportunities including canola
NGN0145Growers understand that a monoculture of wheat is unsustainable due to the build-up of disease and weed issues. Due to the sodic nature of many of the soils, reliable chickpea production isn’t guaranteed. Growers have heard of the disease suppressive (fumigatory) properties of canola and are wondering if canola is a viable winter crop alternative.There is limited experience in the growing of canola in Queensland, but it has been included in rotations of the Northern Farming Systems trials six times since their inception. An analysis of the performance and legacy impacts of canola will be presented by Lindsay Bell from CSIRO at the GRDC Grains Research Update at Goondiwindi on Thursday 28 July 2022. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/how-well-does-canola-fit-into-northern-farming-systemsNorthSouth West QLD24/03/22
105
Machinery options for planting into variable soils
NGN0146Parallelogram planters are widely adopted but can cause establishment differences across different soil types both between and within paddocks depending on moisture conditions. Growers are seeking information on the downforce pressure required on different soil types at different moistures and if the self-adjusting units provide economic returns.Several recent GRDC investments have been focused on understanding and addressing the management options for poor establishment.

QDAF (DAQ2104-005RTX) in CQ has been validating the potential benefits of long coleoptile wheat (LCW) lines in the northern region. Read the article following the 2021 season of trials in GroundCover. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/long-coleoptile-wheat-may-counter-poor-establishment

Greg Rebetzke (CSIRO) has investigated the use of long coleoptile wheat in order to provide successful establishment from deep sowing into subsoil moisture. 2022 Research Update paper has further detail into CSIRO and partners’ findings. https://bit.ly/3sHEiUL

GRDC is currently in the process on procuring national investments for reducing risk to crop establishment through research, development and integration of new and existing knowledge and technologies (genetics x environment x management). Although, the initial investments are focusing on canola (IVT-02229) and long coleoptile wheat (CSP2212-007RTX) it is likely that similar novel approaches and technologies will be able to be utilised across more crops.

GRDC does not undertake investment in comparing machinery models. If you have any questions pertaining to specific machinery, contact your local dealership.
NorthSouth West QLD24/03/22Meandarra NGN Forum
106
Alternative winter cropping opportunities including canola
NGN0145Growers understand that a monoculture of wheat is unsustainable due to the build-up of disease and weed issues. Due to the sodic nature of many of the soils, reliable chickpea production isn’t guaranteed. Growers have heard of the disease suppressive (fumigatory) properties of canola and are wondering if canola is a viable winter crop alternative.There is limited experience in the growing of canola in Queensland, but it has been included in rotations of the Northern Farming Systems trials six times since their inception. An analysis of the performance and legacy impacts of canola will be presented by Lindsay Bell from CSIRO at the GRDC Grains Research Update at Goondiwindi on Thursday 28 July 2022. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/how-well-does-canola-fit-into-northern-farming-systemsNorthSouth West QLD24/03/22Meandarra NGN Forum
107
Alternative summer crop options
NGN0144Growers are seeking an alternative summer legume option as they struggle to get reliable production from mungbean. Wheat is by far the easiest and most reliable crop to grow but understand that a monoculture of wheat creates weed and disease issues and therefore require rotation crops to be grown. Sorghum is grown but doesn’t provide the benefits of a legume. Any alternative crop needs to be easily marketable. Some are growing lab lab and cowpea but markets are so small that expansion of the industry is unlikely. Growing any crop in summer provide crop competition benefits against weeds compared to a fallow. Potential crops include summer chickpea or pigeon pea.GRDC has partnered with University of Sydney (UOS2112-003RTX) to determine and validate the most commercially viable lines of several high-yielding, adoption-ready, summer chickpea lines that were developed as part of GRDC’s investments in ARC Research Hub Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture (LSA). In the summers of 2021/22 and 2022/23, these lines will be evaluated against commercial varieties at five sites in NSW and Queensland. The decision to release lines will be based on yield and quality performance, and a thorough analysis of market requirements.

There is growing interest in pigeon pea and GRDC has conducted an analysis to inform research and development requirements for a potential pigeon pea industry in collaboration with industry partners.

In the absence of viable summer legume options right now, growers might find the QDAF mungbean agronomy project resources valuable for improving the reliability of growing mungbean. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAQ1806-003RTX

The value of other summer crop options and strategies to improve their reliability are also considered in a range of Update papers and webinars.

As part of the Northern Farming System investments (DAQ2007-004RMX, DAQ00192 and CSA00050), the project team have considered the impact that summer crop choices have on root lesion nematode, charcoal rot, AMF and winter cereal crop pathogen levels. Read the August 2021 Update paper. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/08/summer-crop-choice-in-northern-farming-systems

The GRDC Update webinar series (2020) highlighted Summer crops in western regions – their role in the farming system and ways to increase reliability in NW NSW and SW QLD. https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2020/jul/grdc-update-live-stream-summer-crops

And the following Update papers following may be useful
The value of summer crops (cotton or sorghum) for improved water use and as a disease break for winter cereals https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/comparing-grain-and-cotton-in-northern-nsw.-impacts-on-the-cropping-systems-and-the-advantages-of-growing-summer-crops-to-improve-$mm-and-as-a-disease-break-from-winter-cereal-dominated-systems
Can we make sorghum production more reliable in western zones? https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/08/can-we-make-sorghum-production-more-reliable-in-western-zones
NorthSouth West QLD24/03/22Meandarra NGN Forum
108
Nitrogen cycling from legumes and applied fertiliser
NGN0143Growers are familiar with the results of the Billa Billa farming systems site which suggest that legumes are not contributing nitrogen to the system. There was concern however that as the site started with a high nitrogen level, the results may not be representative. QDAF provided feedback that the trial design and measurement does not provide adequate information on the fertiliser N recovery in the year of application, N contribution from legumes and estimates of the amount of N mineralisation. Questions still arise about the optimum timing of N application in fallows and how much biological N contributes.Results from the nitrogen research trials undertaken as part of the GRDC investment (NGA2009-002RTX) with Northern Grower Alliance (NGA) are available online. https://www.nga.org.au/grdc-update-papers-general-wheat-nitrogen-management

At the recent GRDC Grains Research Update for NNSW & QLD (webinar series), Nutritional decision making for 2022 was presented with the following topics (with links to relevant Update papers):
• Farming system nutrient legacies – impacts on N inputs, cycling and recovery of applied fertilisers (6 years of experiments). (Lindsay Bell, CSIRO & Jon Baird, NSW DPI)
• Nitrogen movement, use efficiency and timing of fertiliser application; how much fertiliser are 2022 crops likely to see and utilise? (Richard Daniel, NGA)
• Optimising rate and timing of N not already applied across crop types. (James Hagan, DAF Qld)
• Deep P and K – a call to action! Critical soil indicators, costs and benefits of deep P & K and timing. (Mike Bell, UQ & Michael Ledingham, Grower, Moree)
• Panel discussion on N issues and strategies for 2022 after big offtakes in 2021 and high fertiliser prices: How much soil N is there and what are soil tests telling us? Is there inconsistency between N legacy expectation and reality? Issues with crop access to N applied to vertosols late in northern dryland fallows. (Chair: Chris Dowling, BackPaddock Co) https://bit.ly/3LxkxYx

Various nutrition projects undertaken by UQ and QDAF have highlighted critical factors that are required for successful grain production. Read the Update paper by Mike Bell (UQ) and David Lester (QDAF) for a look into nutritional strategies to support productive farming systems. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/07/nutritional-strategies-to-support-productive-farming-systems

GRDC has recently contracted a major investment investigating nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems (UOQ2204-010RTX). The aim is to better inform economic nitrogen management decision making but also quantify potential environmental risks of any losses.

For further information on the QDAF’s findings regarding mungbean responses to different levels of nitrogen (DAQ1806-003RTX), the Queensland Grains Research 2020-21 Regional Agronomy Report is available online. https://www.publications.qld.gov.au/ckan-publications-attachments-prod/resources/34a33137-8b33-4a60-82b1-aa90bd2dafd8/regional-agronomy-2020-21.pdf
NorthSouth West QLD24/03/22Meandarra NGN Forum
109
Sorghum quality to meet market specifications
NGN0141Sorghum is a pillar crop of rotations on the Darling Downs yet the inclusion of sorghum in feed rations is declining (especially for cattle). There was a general concern that the focus of breeding programs has been on yield rather than considering quality attributes such as processability, starch content and digestibility. There was interest in looking at sorghum for human health but also to engage more closely with feedlots to understand their feed requirements.GRDC investment in sorghum pre-breeding has resulted in many productivity traits successfully progressing into commercial hybrids.

The investment in quality attributes has addressed both human and animal feed requirements. Research by Charles Sturt University (UCS1607-003RTX) has evaluated the suitability of Australian sorghum hybrids for novel food products and Baijiu production. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UCS1607-003RTX

And a co-investment with the University of Queensland is developing novel high value sorghum feed grain for feed markets
NorthSouth East QLD22/03/22Pittsworth NGN Forum
110
Soil biology - How do chemicals and fertilisers used at planting impact soil biology
NGN0139The use of soluble nutrients and chemicals at planting are common practice but potentially create zones of high concentration. Growers are seeking information on the interactions between the soil, plant and biology in these situations.There are potential interactions between nutrients, crop protection products and legume rhizobia which impact the success of nodulation in pulses. UOA1805-017RTX and DPI1901-002RTX are investigating these relationships with the aim to increase nitrogen fixation in pulse crops.
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA1805-017RTX
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DPI1901-002RTX

The use of residual herbicides has increased with the widespread adoption of zero till and their persistence is influenced by a number of factors. DAN00180 investigated the level of herbicide residues in cropping soils and generated new knowledge about the fate, behaviour and risk of herbicides to productivity and soil biological function. Read this media release, an update paper or listen to a podcast to learn about the results.
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/south/2018/01/withthegrain-soil-biology-proves-resilient-to-herbicide-inputs
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/impacts-of-residual-herbicides-on-soil-biological-function
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/herbicide-residues-in-soil-what-is-the-scale-and-significance
NorthSouth East QLD22/03/22Pittsworth NGN Forum
111
Nutrition and plant health - Interactions between nutrition and susceptibility to biotic constraints
NGN0138Growers are asking if there are known interactions between soil and crop nutrition and susceptibility to disease and pests.Over the years GRDC has invested heavily in soil biology research. The Soil Biology Initiative I and II generated update papers and contributed to the development of a soil quality monitoring website. An economic analysis of the Soil Biology Program was also conducted for this major GRDC investment.
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2015/02/soil-biology
https://www.soilquality.org.au/
https://grdc.com.au/about/rde-investment-strategy/impact-assessment/grdc_impass_soilbiology1.pdf

There have been numerous other investigations evaluating the link between soil nutrition and biotic threats including that of NSWDPI researcher Mitch Buster, who is completing his PhD looking at the interactions of soil water and nitrogen on Fusarium Crown Rot. His work was communicated at the recent GRDC Research Updates.
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/new-insights-into-nitrogen-and-water-interactions-with-fusarium-crown-rot

The Soil CRC is a handy site for all matters relating to dirt!
https://soilcrc.com.au/
NorthSouth East QLD22/03/22Pittsworth NGN Forum
112
Companion cropping - What role is there for companion cropping in grain systems
NGN0137There is increasing interest in regenerative agriculture of which companion or mixed species cropping is a key component. Growers are interested in understanding the most suitable species mixes for grain and mixed farming systems. There has been limited commercial trialling of faba bean and vetch in Northern NSW but local experimentation of other species or measurement to understand the benefits of this farming approach is wanted.

On the Eastern Downs, growers are seeking more information on the role of companion cropping and multispecies cropping particularly the benefits in terms of insect suppression and nutrient cycling. There was a request for more trials, extension and hearing from people who are utilising companion cropping.
In 2019, GRDC commissioned John Kirkegaard and Andrew Fletcher from CSIRO to conduct a scoping study of the role of companion cropping, intercropping and relay cropping in Australian cropping systems. Read an update paper or the GroundCover story on their findings. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/the-potential-role-of-companion-and-intercropping-systems-in-australian-grain-farming.-should-we-be-considering-them https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/industry-insights/profitable-intercrops-give-growers-optioins

Partnering with QDAF, GRDC’s investment DAQ2104-006RTX: Investigating the value of companion cropping systems of chickpea and cereals for improved crop and fallow water use efficiency is due for completion in June 2023. The investment will deliver a publicly availability feasibility report at the completion of the trials. Trials are located in Central and Southwest Queensland.

In a related topic, the role of cover cropping (including multispecies) on weed suppression, nutrient cycling and water capture has been investigated in a range of investments with project results discussed in this GroundCover story.
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/weed-suppressive-cover-crops-identified

In north-east Victoria, grower Ashley Fraser will incorporate companion cropping of faba beans/canola and field peas/canola into his rotation based upon recent trials (DJP1910-006BLX) undertaken as part of the Victorian Grains Innovation Partnership with co-investment from GRDC and Agriculture Victoria. Read Ashley’s story in two separate GroundCover articles published 25 March 2022 and 29 March 2022.

https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/southern/paddock-companions-show-profitable-potential
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/southern/research-seeks-out-perfect-paddock-marriage
NorthNorth East NSW
South East QLD
23/03/22Pittsworth NGN Forum Bellata NGN Forum
113
Longevity and ROI of soil remediation
NGN0142Growers in the Western Downs have been actively involved in the participatory research project investigating subsoil constraints. Many have seen positive yield results from implementing remediation in test strips but are still questioning how to scale this up to whole paddocks or the whole farm. There is a lack of expertise available to develop prescription maps and provide soil advice. Growers are still questioning the longevity of the return on investment and want to see the project continue to enable trial sites to be monitored for longer, and for this information to be agronomically and financially analysed to help inform adoption decisions.For the past three years a team from USQ, UQ and QDAF have been working with growers and agronomists trying to understand the practical and economic feasibility of ameliorating constrained soils. Information on this project can be found in https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=USQ1803-002RTX. Applying treatments that address compaction, nutrient and chemical constraints in replicated and grower scale plots, has delivered some compelling results but the longevity of effects is still unknown. In response, GRDC has recently contracted a new investment investigating the economics of amelioration of soil sodicity (UNE2209-001RTX) and exploring options to improve application of amendments for subsoil amelioration (UOQ2209-001CAX).

A technical manual for soil amelioration of sodic soils in the Northern Region (SMD2201-001SAX) will be available in 2023 in print and digital publication.
NorthSouth West QLD24/03/22Meandarra NGN Forum
114
Farming systems - A run of dry seasons may have influenced results of farming systems trials
NGN0136Considerable data has been collected from the Farming Systems trials in a run of dry seasons, so trials need to continue to ensure rotations and crop performance can be evaluated across the recent wetter seasons. Important to be able to compare between the range of seasons and the draw conclusions on the reasons for this performance.The Northern Farming Systems investment considers the impact of crop sequencing, nutrition strategies and agronomic management on water and nitrogen dynamics. Risk and financial returns are evaluated for a range of crop rotations in seven sites across the Northern Region with the core site located at Pampas. Now in its seventh year, the trial work will continue until 2025.
Relevant Update papers from the current investment (DAQ2007-004RMX) and previous investments (CSA00050 and DAQ00192) for your interest
Farming system performance - Cross site analysis of economics and water use efficiency https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/11/Performance-of-farming-systems-in-the-northern-region-Cross-site-analysis-of-economics-and-water-use-efficiency
Farming system nutrient legacies – N inputs, cycling and recovery https://bit.ly/3iEDC1K
The value of summer crops (cotton or sorghum) for improved water use and as a disease break for winter cereals
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/comparing-grain-and-cotton-in-northern-nsw.-impacts-on-the-cropping-systems-and-the-advantages-of-growing-summer-crops-to-improve-$mm-and-as-a-disease-break-from-winter-cereal-dominated-systems
NorthNorth East NSW23/03/22Bellata NGN Forum
115
Problem weeds - Sow thistle and feathertop Rhodes grass continue to present major challenges for growers.
NGN0135Sow thistle and feathertop Rhodes grass continue to present major challenges for growers in NNSW. Repeated rainfall events have meant timely control has been challenging, but many populations have survived double knock strategies.GRDC recognises the ongoing impact of weeds to the farming system, and invests heavily in monitoring of herbicide resistance, understanding weed ecology and integration of these factors into viable management options.
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UCS2008-001RTX
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOS1703-002RTX

ICAN have been leading a Feathertop Rhodes Grass extension project involving paddock demonstrations and workshops. Head to the ICAN website to follow the progress of the demonstrations, including one at Edgeroi, and to register for the final round of workshops in September 2022.
https://www.icanrural.com.au/feathertoprhodesgrass.html
To support this project, QDAF produced an update of the Integrated Weed Management of Feathertop Rhodes Grass manual.
https://grdc.com.au/integrated-weed-management-of-feathertop-rhodes-grass?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_campaign=DAQ1912-002SAX&utm_term=North&utm_content=Integrated%20Weed%20Management%20of%20Feathertop%20Rhodes%20Grass

Northern Grower Alliance (NGA) are supported by GRDC to respond to priority issues identified across Northern NSW and Southern Queensland. They have conducted many trials addressing sow thistle and FTR management and their Update papers and trial results are available on the NGA website. https://www.nga.org.au/results-and-publications

GRDC has also recently updated the Common Weeds of Grain Cropping Ute Guide https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/common-weeds-of-grain-cropping-the-ute-guide and compiled the Ecology of Major Emerging Weeds publication. https://grdc.com.au/ecology-of-major-emerging-weeds?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_campaign=UOA1505-001&utm_term=National&utm_content=Ecology%20of%20major%20emerging%20weeds

Additional information on weed and resistance management is available on the WeedSmart website. WeedSmart is an extension and communication platform where GRDC combines with machinery, chemical, seed, research and consultancy businesses to deliver science-backed weed control solutions. https://www.weedsmart.org.au/
NorthNorth East NSW23/03/22Bellata NGN Forum
116
Cropping options - Growers are seeking an alternative summer legume option as they struggle to get reliable production from mungbean.
NGN0133Growers are seeking an alternative summer legume option as they struggle to get reliable production from mungbean. Considerable interest in summer chickpea but the germplasm must be adapted to planting at this time of year. The crop needs to be quick to flower and determinate such that it finishes up naturally as the season gets cool. Chickpea work well with the residual herbicides commonly used and crop competition is an added benefit against problem weeds such as FTR and sowthistle. Pest management will be focussed around heliothis and diseases such as Botrytis and Ascochyta will need to be well managed to reduce impact to neighbouring cotton or subsequent chickpea crops. Smaller root and top biomass may be a challenge, but agronomic factors could be manipulated (row spacing/population) to counter this.Short season, determinate chickpea germplasm adapted to planting in summer has been identified through GRDC investment in the ARC Research Hub Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Sydney. In the summers of 2021/22 and 2022/23, these lines will be evaluated against commercial varieties at five sites in NSW and Queensland. The decision to release lines will be based on yield and quality performance in these trials, but also a thorough analysis of market requirements and acceptance.
https://www.sydney.edu.au/agriculture/our-research/research-facilities.html

A presentation by Angela Pattison and resulting discussion led to the development of a SWOT defining the wider implications of the introduction of summer chickpea into the farming system.
NorthNorth East NSW23/03/22Bellata NGN Forum
117
Alternative winter cropping opportunities including canola
NGN0145Growers understand that a monoculture of wheat is unsustainable due to the build-up of disease and weed issues. Due to the sodic nature of many of the soils, reliable chickpea production isn’t guaranteed. Growers have heard of the disease suppressive (fumigatory) properties of canola and are wondering if canola is a viable winter crop alternative.There is limited experience in the growing of canola in Queensland, but it has been included in rotations of the Northern Farming Systems trials six times since their inception. An analysis of the performance and legacy impacts of canola will be presented by Lindsay Bell from CSIRO at the GRDC Grains Research Update at Goondiwindi on Thursday 28 July 2022. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/how-well-does-canola-fit-into-northern-farming-systemsNorthSouth West QLD24/03/22Meandarra NGN Forum
118
Nutrition decline - How do farmers address long term nutrient decline in an economic and sustainable way
NGN0140Growers are concerned that the farming systems on the Eastern Downs are in long term nutrient decline with removal in grain greater than that being applied through crop sequencing, fertiliser or amendment application. A major concern that the profitability of grain will be questionable if nitrogen levels continue to decline and fertiliser prices continue to escalate. Increasing organic carbon is very challenging in a continuous cropping cycle and will require the addition of significant quantities of nutrients.GRDC has a number of nutrition and farming systems investments that investigate the issue of declining soil fertility.

More Profit from Crop Nutrition was a major GRDC and industry initiative that ran from 2012 to 2017. Activities ranged from delivering nutrient efficiency genetic traits to breeders, developing new fertiliser products and improved understanding of crop demand and nutrient supply interactions. https://bit.ly/3W8jJ0w

More recently UQ00063 has been developing soil testing guidelines for the northern region. Focussing on the major crops of wheat, sorghum and chickpea, trials have generated soil test x plant response curves for the nutrients phosphorus, potassium and sulphur with the objective to better match fertiliser inputs to crop demand. Addressing subsoil nutrient deficiencies has been a major focus of this work. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOQ1207-001RTX

GRDC has recently contracted a major investment investigating nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems (UOQ2204-010RTX). The aim is to better inform economic nitrogen management decision making but also quantify potential environmental risks of any losses.

The significance of organic carbon decline in Queensland cropping soils and strategies to halt that were studied extensively in DAQ00163. https://grdc.com.au/research/reports/report?id=3669

The Northern Farming Systems investment considers the impact of crop sequencing, nutrition strategies and agronomic management on water and nitrogen dynamics. Risk and financial returns are evaluated for a range of crop rotations in seven sites across the Northern Region with the core site located at Pampas. Now in its seventh year, the trial work will continue until 2025.
Relevant Update papers from the current investment (DAQ2007-004RMX) and previous investments (CSA00050 and DAQ00192) for your interest
Farming system performance - Cross site analysis of economics and water use efficiency https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/11/Performance-of-farming-systems-in-the-northern-region-Cross-site-analysis-of-economics-and-water-use-efficiency
Farming system nutrient legacies – N inputs, cycling and recovery https://bit.ly/3iEDC1K

For the past three years a team from USQ, UQ and QDAF have been working with growers and agronomists trying to understand the practical and economic feasibility of ameliorating constrained soils. Information on this project can be found in https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=USQ1803-002RTX. Applying treatments that address compaction, nutrient and chemical constraints in replicated and grower scale plots, has delivered some compelling results but the longevity of effects is still unknown. In response, GRDC has recently contracted a new investment investigating the economics of amelioration of soil sodicity (UNE2209-001RTX) and exploring options to improve application of amendments for subsoil amelioration (UOQ2209-001CAX).

A technical manual for soil amelioration of sodic soils in the Northern Region (SMD2201-001SAX) will be available in 2023 in print and digital publication.

These relevant and recent Update papers may be useful:
Making nutrition decisions in high-cost environments https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/making-nutrition-decisions-in-high-cost-environments
Deep P & K – critical soil indicators, costs and benefits
Yield responses to ripping, gypsum and OM placement in constrained soils
https://bit.ly/3LVuj6B
NorthSouth East QLD22/03/22Pittsworth NGN Forum
119
Harvest management - Growers are challenged at mungbean harvest by crops that want to keep growing.
NGN0134Growers are challenged at mungbean harvest by crops that want to keep growing. They are seeking alternate desiccants or trialling of cotton type strategies such as thidiazuron/ethephon + low dose herbicides. Swathing was considered risky due to the frequency of rainfall.The decision to desiccate mungbean is a trade-off between logistics and market acceptance. The recent registration of metsulfuron methyl herbicides and Sharpen have shown to improve speed of maturity and increase harvest efficiency. For the full list of current permits for use in mungbean head to the Australian Mungbean Association website but always check with your grain trader to determine if certain herbicides are accepted in the destination market. http://www.mungbean.org.au/agronomy.html

There is growing interest in mechanical desiccation and the QDAF mungbean agronomy project, supported by GRDC, is conducting grower scale comparisons of swathing and chemical desiccation over the next two seasons.
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAQ1806-003RTX
For more information on mechanical desiccation head to the AMA website, watch the Mungbean agronomy webinar or read an Update paper by Doug Sands.
http://www.mungbean.org.au/mechanical-desiccation.html
https://bit.ly/31NRpu3
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/11/swathing-mungbeans-is-it-an-alternative-desiccation-method-in-mungbeans
NorthNorth East NSW23/03/22Bellata NGN Forum
120
Development opportunities for young and emerging grain growers to acquire the technical and business knowledge and experience to successfully manage grain production businesses.
NGN0096Growers in Northern Region have identified the need to provide development opportunities for young and emerging growers to acquire the technical and business knowledge to manage and grow farm businesses. The target group would generally be the <40 year old age bracket, and have worked in the business. Often they understand how to work in the business and are seeking to take on greater managerial responsibilities. Key topics often raised include succession planning, grain marketing, hearing from experienced operators, getting business priorities right, where to invest and how to grow their business.Business management topics are often covered in the Farm Business Updates and Research Updates. Noting the topics are not always targeted at a young and emerging growers audience.

GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
ORM1906-002SAX GRDC Farm Business Update series
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=ORM1906-002SAX

Useful resources:
ICN1906-003SAX GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=ICN1906-003SAX
NorthNorth East NSW
North West NSW
18/02/22NGN Industry Meeting AMPS
121
Current Barley varieties have limited standability in high yielding Northern Region growing environments of NNSW and SQLD
NGN0095Barley crops in the warmer cropping areas of GRDC's Northern Region can, in some seasons, experience rapid growth periods in early crop development stages and later during head emergence. This fast and excessive growth in seasons of high rainfall can result in significant crop lodging, harvest issues and potential yield declines. Significant lodging was observed across commercial barley crops throughout NNSW and QLD in the 2020 harvest (personal coms NVT Laurie Fitzgerald). While commercial plant growth regulators (PGR) are available, growers and advisers have low confidence with the current use patterns which are often reactively rather then proactively applied during periods of excessive growth. An opportunity exists to validate current, and pilot alternate use patterns for the commercial PGR involving low rate, multiple dose strategies which are better aligned to manage periods of excessive growth, extend the grain filling period, better manage crop standability and ultimately increase crop yield.GRDC has current investment looking at PGRs in southern NSW and the Southern Region.

GRDC is investigating a potential Investment on this issue in NNSW.
NorthNorth East NSW
North West NSW
18/02/22NGN Industry Meeting AMPS
122
Increasing value of P and Zn fertiliser use in NWNSW in paddocks with long cropping history
NGN0094The soils in North West NSW have traditionally been high in P and Zn reserves and hence use starter P and Zn fertilisers has been low in these areas. As the length of cropping history increases the availability of P and Zn status of the soils has been declining across the region. Recent research conducted by AMPS Research in these regions has shown yield responses to the addition of P and Zn fertilisers. Therefore, there is an opportunity in these region to extend and demonstrate the value P and Zn starter and deep P fertilisers strategies may have on increasing crop yield. The key extension messages to consider include: soil testing strategies (Colwell -P vs BSES-P), starter P and deep P fertiliser strategies, understanding P stratification and depth in the soil (extraction from deep in the profile 60-90 cm), when in the rotation to apply deep P (eg. prior to or with the legume plants 15-30 cm), application methods, rates, response periods and economic returns in lower rainfall western zones.GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
UOQ1606-002RTX UQ00082 - Updated nutrient response curves in the northern and southern regions
UOQ1207-001RTXUQ00063 - Regional soil testing guidelines for the northern grains region
UOQ1905-009RTX Post-doctoral Fellowship: Understanding P dynamics and bioavailability in alkaline clay soils aligned to UQ00082.
UOQ1706-006RTX UQ00086 - Fertiliser form and soil interactions when applied in high concentration bands – Post-Doctoral Fellow aligned UQ00063
UOQ1505-001RTX UQ00078 - Deep placement of nutrients

Useful Resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX
NorthNorth West NSW18/02/22NGN Industry Meeting AMPS
123
Improving canola establishment through best practice agronomy in the Northern Region
NGN0090Poor and variable establishment is a major issue for canola growers across all Australian growing regions, particularly when planting dry and/or into warmer soils typical of April sowing (as documented by the SNSW RCSN MAKAT 2019). The improved understanding of canola phenology, sowing time and parent seed block management resulting from GRDC investments (CSP00187, CSP00187 & DPI1906-007RTX) has afforded many canola growers the opportunity to plant canola across a wider sowing window. However, this change in grower practice has exposed the scale and magnitude of poor canola plant establishment nationally. Even in favourable conditions, canola establishment remains an ongoing issue for growers with consistent reports of 50% establishment even with the use of high-quality seed with high germination rates. For example, a survey of 96 commercial canola paddocks in a favourable year (2017), by NSW DPI reported average plant establishment of 48% which improved by 12% from low to high rainfall zones. Inconsistent crop establishment and poor early growth results in poor conversion of the high early input costs (seed cost hybrid, fertiliser, fungicide seed treatments) to yield and remains a significant impediment to profitable canola production particularly in medium to lower rainfall zones.GRDC have recently approached the market with a tender to address this issue:
PROC-9176470 Improving canola establishment through best practice agronomy in the Northern Region

GRDC Investments:
DPI1906-007RTX - Improving production of grower retained open pollinated canola seed using agronomic management to increase establishment in the MRZ and LRZ of the GRDC Northern Region.
CSP1907-001RTX - Increasing return on investment from canola seed through improved establishment - Program 1
CES1810-001SAX - Managing early season canola establishment pests in New South Wales – Development of technical content

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/canola-establishment-across-central-nsw
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/optimising-canola-establishment-and-performance-by-phosphorus-fertiliser-placement
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2014/02/canola-establishment-does-size-matter
GRDCC Publications:
https://grdc.com.au/10TipsEarlySownCanola?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_campaign=CSP00187&utm_term=North;%20South&utm_content=Ten%20Tips%20to%20Early%20Sown%20Canola
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/insect-pests-of-establishing-canola-in-nsw
GRDC Podcasts
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/tips-on-monitoring-for-insects-in-early-season-canola
GRDC Videos:
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/growers-encouraged-to-plan-ahead-for-controlling-canola-pests
NorthCentral East NSW
Central West NSW
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East NSW
South West NSW
27/10/21SNSW & CNSW RCSN Meeting
124
Investing in Fertiliser Infrastructure in the Northern Region
NGN0085Growers in the Northern Region have traditional relied on a 'just in time' approach to sourcing fertiliser through the established supply chain. Increasing pressure on both supply availability and price has increased the number of growers looking to invest in infrastructure to store fertiliser on-farm to meet their in-crop requirements. Storing fertiliser on-farm provides growers with the capability to forward purchase fertiliser requirements to manage price and manage supply to match high in-crop requirements in good seasons.In response to this grower raised issue, GRDC has contracted Cussons Media to collate technical material and grower case studies into a publication
CMP2202-001SAX - Investing in Fertiliser storage infrastructure in the GRDC Northern Region

Useful resources:
GRDC Farm Business Update series ORM1906-002SAX:
Procurement strategies to manage supply chain dynamics https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-farm-business-update-northern-livestream-feb-2022
NorthCentral East NSW
Central QLD
Central West NSW
Coastal QLD
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East NSW
South East QLD
South West NSW
South West QLD
29/09/21Northern Panel Meeting
125
Farming Water - a technical manual to increase grower and adviser use of plant available water dynamics in agronomic decision making.
NGN0084Growers and advisers at GRDC Grower Network Meetings (formerly RCSNs) have identify the need to better understand the importance and measurement of water dynamics in the farming systems to improve on-farm decision making. Key aspects to consider relating to water availability include – rainfall, soil water, plant demand/use/loss and fallow management infiltration/accumulation/loss.GRDC have recently approached the market with a tender to address this issue:
PROC-9176456 Farming Water Technical Manual.

Useful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/may/grdc-grains-research-update,-online-farming-plant-available-water-differences-in-crop-ability-to-extract-soil-water-and-implications-for-subsequent-crops
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/07/soil-water-methods-to-predict-plant-available-water-capacity
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/05/managing-crop-differences-in-soil-water-extraction-and-legacy-impacts-within-a-farming-system
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/05/plant-available-water-capacity-crop-and-varietal-differences-in-soil-water-extraction
GRDC Podcasts:
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/plant-available-water-capacity
GRDC Publications:
https://grdc.com.au/GRDC-Booklet-PlantAvailableWater?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_term=National;%20North;%20South;%20West&utm_content=Estimating%20Plant%20Available%20Water%20Capacity
NorthCentral East NSW
Central QLD
Central West NSW
Coastal NSW
Coastal QLD
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East NSW
South East QLD
South West NSW
South West QLD
17/09/21
126
Weather essentials for pesticide application technical content review and update
NGN0083Recent research trials work associated with "MRE00002 Air Inversion Modelling to manage spray drift" has identified new information primarily relating to the development of hazardous surface temperature inversion events that requires extension to growers and advisers.GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
In light of new research the GRDC Publications 'Weather Essentials For Pesticide Application" and an associated Factsheet "Hazardous Surface Temperature Inversion" will be updated and widely distributed to improve spray application decision making.

Useful Resources:
GRDC Publications:
Weather Essentials For Pesticide Applications (Currently under revision) https://grdc.com.au/GRDC-Booklet-WeatherEssentials
Hazardous Surface Temperature Inversions (Currently under revision) https://grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-SprayInversions?utm_source=website&utm_medium=short_url&utm_campaign=BGC00001,%20MRE00001&utm_term=North;%20South;%20West&utm_content=Surface%20temperature%20inversions%20and%20spraying
NorthCentral East NSW
Central QLD
Central West NSW
Coastal NSW
Coastal QLD
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East NSW
South East QLD
South West NSW
South West QLD
17/09/21
127
How to deep band P & K without disturbing stubble
NGN0080Growers in Central Queensland are looking for means to place deep P&K without disturbing their stubble cover. Strategic cultivation, viable machinery options and timing of input are all important considerations in this environment where rainfall is variable and evaporation rates high.Research (UOQ1505-001RTX) has demonstrated that substantial yield responses can be recorded when immobile nutrients like P are placed in subsoil layers where roots are prolific enough to ensure good crop recovery, and soil moisture availability is such that an extended period of root activity is achievable.
https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOQ1505-001RTX
NorthCentral QLD02/12/21NGN Meeting CQLD
128
Nitrogen loss and legacy in CQLD
NGN0072Growers in CQLD are keen to validate a range Nitrogen strategies to better understand loss and legacy impacts across rotations in their environment. Work in this area could take the form of demonstration sites evaluating a series of treatments that compare spreading v banding applications, application timing to understand nitrate availability (e.g. early or late in fallow), product choice (e.g. urea, anhydrous, liquid), importance of rate in different soil types, water availability and N movement. The key purpose is to understand N cycling over the rotation including N applied, N loss, crop use and or removal over the time.
Participants identified the need to support D&E activities in three central QLD locations; Nth Central Highlands, Sth Central Highlands, Dawson-Callide leading into wheat or sorghum.
GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):
NGA2009-002RTX - Agronomic management of weeds, crop nutrition and farming practices in Northern NSW & Southern QLD to maximise crop profitability.

Useful Resources:
NGA2009-002RTX Trial data available on available on GRDC Online Farm Trial - https://www.farmtrials.com.au/

At the recent GRDC Grains Research Update for NNSW & QLD (webinar series), Nutritional decision making for 2022 was presented with the following topics (with links to relevant Update papers):
• Farming system nutrient legacies – impacts on N inputs, cycling and recovery of applied fertilisers (6 years of experiments). (Lindsay Bell, CSIRO & Jon Baird, NSW DPI)
• Nitrogen movement, use efficiency and timing of fertiliser application; how much fertiliser are 2022 crops likely to see and utilise? (Richard Daniel, NGA)
• Optimising rate and timing of N not already applied across crop types. (James Hagan, DAF Qld)
• Deep P and K – a call to action! Critical soil indicators, costs and benefits of deep P & K and timing. (Mike Bell, UQ & Michael Ledingham, Grower, Moree)
• Panel discussion on N issues and strategies for 2022 after big offtakes in 2021 and high fertiliser prices: How much soil N is there and what are soil tests telling us? Is there inconsistency between N legacy expectation and reality? Issues with crop access to N applied to vertosols late in northern dryland fallows. (Chair: Chris Dowling, BackPaddock Co) https://bit.ly/3LxkxYx

Various nutrition projects undertaken by UQ and QDAF have highlighted critical factors that are required for successful grain production. Read the Update paper by Mike Bell (UQ) and David Lester (QDAF) for a look into nutritional strategies to support productive farming systems. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/07/nutritional-strategies-to-support-productive-farming-systems

GRDC has recently contracted a major investment investigating nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems (UOQ2204-010RTX). The aim is to better inform economic nitrogen management decision making but also quantify potential environmental risks of any losses.
NorthCentral QLD02/12/21NGN Forum CQLD
129
NGN - Understanding the nitrogen contribution of pulses in commercial paddocks using the natural abundance technique.
NGN0150A range of summer and winter pulse crops are widely grown in the Northern Region for the benefits they provide in the crop rotation including improved nitrogen (N) nutrition, weed and disease management. While the perception has been that legumes benefit the rotation by contributing atmospherically fixed nitrogen N to subsequent crops, the magnitude of this is questionable and not well understood. When soil nitrogen N is available, pulses can become 'lazy' and utilise soil N reserves rather than fixing their own N. In addition, as growers have become better at growing pulses, harvest index has increased, and significant quantities of N are exported off the paddock in harvested grain. Research conducted by QDAF using the presence of naturally occurring stable 15N in non-fixing species (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/11/what-contribution-do-mungbeans-make-to-soil-nitrogen) shows mungbean grown in Central Queensland across two seasons were net exporters of soil nitrate. While the natural abundance methodology has been used to determine N fixation of pulses in a research setting, using this technique in commercial paddocks has not been investigated, and if successful, could provide a relatively simple and inexpensive methodology with wider application.The contribution of nitrogen by mungbean was investigated at reported in a GRDC Update paper from Doug Sands. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/11/what-contribution-do-mungbeans-make-to-soil-nitrogen

GRDC is reviewing this approach for wider application across both summer and winter pulses.
NorthSouth East QLD11/10/22Clifton Allora TopCrop Meeting
130
Mungbean fusarium management
NGN0071Fusarium wilt is a disease that has been growing in incidence and severity in mungbean crops over the past decade (as evidenced by plant pest diagnostics and disease surveys). It has been reported in crops in Central Queensland, the Burnett, widely across the central and eastern Darling Downs and as far south as Forbes in NSW. In a survey of accredited mungbean agronomists following the 2020-21 growing season, it was determined that approximately 20,000 ha of the total plant of 125,000 ha was impacted in some way by the disease. Incidence can be as low as 5% causing negligible yield losses. In extreme cases, entire paddocks have been lost to the disease. At an average yield loss of 20%, Fusarium has cost the mungbean industry an estimated $4.8m in the 2020-21 season.

F. oxysporum and F. solani have been identified as causal organisms but detailed understanding of the pathogens and management options to minimise their impacts have not been researched in mungbean. Like other fusarium species, they are pathogens that survive for multiple years in the soil, but experience from the cotton industry has shown that utilising tolerant varieties, practising good hygiene on farm and good agronomy are important management strategies.
GRDC investments related to this issue (Search the contract number on the GRDC website for more information):

In response to this issue GRDC has varied DAQ1806-003RTX Optimising mungbean yield in the northern region - Mungbean agronomy to establish 3 x field sites to demonstrate the varying susceptibility of commercial varieties to Fusarium, conduct field walks and prepare a Fact Sheet on Mungbean Fusarium.

The National Mungbean Improvement Program National Mungbean Improvement Program DAQ2201-004RTX is also providing ratings on varietal performance under Fusarium infection which will help guide planting recommendations.

Useful Resources:
GRDC Research Update Papers and Webinars ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/06/management-of-the-major-mungbean-diseases-in-australia
https://bit.ly/3IT6UUW
NorthCentral QLD
North East NSW
North West NSW
South East QLD
South West QLD
17/09/21Numerous Update Planning Meetings and Mungbean Industry Meeting
131
Co-ordination of grains extension field days in the Qld Western Downs region (Maranoa-Balonne)
NGN0152When asked what GRDC could do to support grain production in the Maranoa-Balonne, Muckadilla growers indicated they wanted plots of wheat, barley and oat varieties planted in their area to give them an indication of local performance, as they did not believe the NVT trials (at Mungindi) were representative of their climate. Given Mungindi is not the local NVT trial, there is an obvious lack of visibility over the site at Wallumbilla. Being largely mixed-farming enterprises, the opportunities and pitfalls of entering the carbon market is also front-of-mind for local businesses.GRDC is aware of the capability and capacity gap which exists in the Maranoa-Balonne and is investigating the opportunity to leverage the networks and services of local consultants to increase the awareness of GRDC investments (particularly NVT trials). In this region which is dominated by mixed farming enterprises, it makes economic and logistical sense to coordinate activities proposed by numerous RDCs (e.g. GHG accounting), thereby maximising attendance and ensuring relevance to the local audience and farming system.NorthSouth West QLD02/09/22Agforce Meeting
132
Maximising production utilising long season wheats
NGN0228Is it possible to sow wheat earlier in the northern region? Traditionally this region relies on stored soil moisture to grow winter cereals, can we sow them earlier and grow longer season wheats? Some years rainfall is received earlier than the traditional sowing window (May onwards) and growers would like to take the opportunity to sow early to enable better management of resources on farm. There is no real interest in the graze and grain types, grain only.There is currently no investment in this area in the NorthNorthNorth East NSW
North West NSW
South West QLD
27/02/23Goondiwindi NGN
133
Agronomic and genetic suitability of canola
NGN0229Is it economically viable to include canola into the farming system north of Moree? What at the current impediments to adoption - are there no suitable varieties, is the canola seed too small to get good emergence in black clays? Is there a farming system benefit?NorthNorth East NSW
North West NSW
South West QLD
27/02/23Goondiwindi NGN
134
Variable rate application of nutrients
NGN0230This issue is centred around precision ag and the issue that farmers collect a large amount of data in their headers but are unsure of the ways to utilise this data to create efficiencies and increase profitability on farm. The end goal would be for growers to understand the steps required to be taken to implement variable rate technologies on farm. There also needs to be clear implementation information and cost benefit analysis.GRDC invested in a Case study book 2017 - Variable Rate Technology: Maximising Returns for Western Australian Grain Producers - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2017/03/variable-rate-technology-maximising-returns-for-western-australian-grain-production
this project is currently ongoing.

GRDC has invested SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers This national investment will provide introductory precision agriculture training that will impart technology skills to growers in a 'hands-on' manner.
The information provided will be specific to and driven by issues raised by growers in each region through an initial scoping phase.
Specific to these issues, it will showcase mobile device integration technologies and low cost, simple PA methods already in use by growers and advisers.
Various mapping-based apps that may assist in simplifying the transition to applied decision making utilising spatial information, including a discussion on the opportunity VRT integration in farm management system.

GRDC has invested previously in Embracing Precision Ag - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture

SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate:
This project is a natural extension to the previous Hands-on Precision Ag Training workshops. It will assist growers to better manage input prices, maximise on-farm productivity/environmental efficiencies and build economic resilience within their farming systems in high input-cost seasons.
It will take the form of face-to-face workshops, a virtual event, take home reference materials such as an updated version of the highly successful joint GRDC/SPAA 2012 publication, PA in Practice II.
NorthNorth West NSW
South West QLD
27/02/23Goondiwindi NGN, Mungindi Cropping Group
135
Reliable messaging around carbon markets
NGN0231It was raised at the Goondiwindi NGN that growers would like some information around carbon markets, what is involved and how to identify if they need to look into this as part of their wider farming business. It is understood that at some point farmers will need to be able to show what they are doing toward being more sustainable on farm, are there steps that they can be taking now to start the process and be on the front foot?NorthSouth West QLD27/02/23Goondiwindi NGN
136
Wild Oats and Phalaris management
NGN0232Phalaris has been raised at a number of recent NGN's as an issue for farmers in the North West NSW and South West Qld areas. Although it has been confirmed by the crop protection team that a lot of work has been done in this area in wild oats, the same cannot be said for Phalaris. There is currently a lack of information available on the ecology, dormancy and management of the weed. Growers and consultants have advised that they are mostly interested in an over the top spray for a disc system.Crop Protection team has been consulted and confirmed that there could be an NGN to address the management of Phalaris and that there is currently a gap in knowledge.NorthNorth West NSW
South West QLD
27/02/23Goondiwindi, Cryon and Wee Waa NGN
137
Exposure and access to NVT sites and associated extension
NGN0233There is currently no requirement under the NVT investment for there to be any extension activities with the exception of the data being able to be accessed via NVTonline. Growers and consultants would like for GRDC to invest in getting some field walks going at selected sites each season, as well as where possible bringing in key research leads such as Steve Simpfendorfer in the example of disease issues to speak on key topics that have arisen during that season.There is currently a small NGN under procurement with ConnectAG to provide NVT field walks at the Wallumbilla NVT site with local interested farmers and consultants (PROC-9176801)NorthNorth West NSW
South West QLD
27/02/23Goondiwindi, Cryon, Wee Waa NGN
138
Mapping yield gap and yield variability in commercial pulse crops
NGN0089Growers are interested in making pulse crops a more significant part of on-farm sequences, however cash flow in the year of pulse production continues to act as a handbrake on greater representation of pulses in the crop sequences. Many of the insights provided by growers also make refers to the large in paddock yield variation and that the downside yield variation contributes significantly to lower profits.
This investment represents the opportunity to examine current and historic yield maps of pulse crops to estimate farmer based potential yield (best yield in small grid area) and within and between paddock variation to identify the extent of the downside risk in profits and to also examine and determine soil characteristics associated with low yielding areas.
NorthCentral East NSW
Central West NSW
South East NSW
South West NSW
11/10/21
139
Nitrogen Use Efficiency
NGN0269Maximising N efficiency at all stages of season to optimise profit and reducing losses to minimise emission intensity.GRDC have a current investment underway with the University of Queensland Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling- UOQ2204-010RTX. The WA section will be run by Dr Louise Barton at UWA. Search GRDC Investments - insert project number.

This five year investment will collect a comprehensive data set of N balance and cycling with explicit measurement of loss pathways to address key gaps in data for the most important soil types and farming systems across Australia's grain growing areas. This data set will feed into APSIM model development and validation. The revisions made to APSIM will improve its capacity to simulate N cycling processes and predictions of N losses across the broader Australian grains industry.

Podcasts

Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/predicting-nitrogen-cycling-and-losses-in-australian-cropping-systems

Nitrogen losses – better data decisions https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/predicting-nitrogen-loss-better-data-better-decisions

Updates papers – Nitrogen loss pathways – How much do we lose and in what form https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/06/nitrogen-loss-pathways-how-much-do-we-lose-and-in-what-form-under-different-situations

Updates paper – A systems approach to nitrogen management https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/a-systems-approach-to-nitrogen-management

Journal article - Nitrogen use efficiency of 15N urea applied to wheat based on fertiliser timing and use of inhibitors https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10705-019-10028-x

GRDC is also currently conducting an analysis of the investment opportunities, in regard to carbon dynamics and the implications for N cycling, as well as the different pathways of N takes to leave the production system and ways to mitigate these losses. GRDC are also looking at how Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers (EEFs) and crop residues impact NUE and emissions.
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/01/23Mandurah NGN forum
140
On-farm technology
NGN0270There is a lot of technology available for growers now. How do we sort through the options so we’re able to adopt?Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s recent investments into SPA2001-001SAX - Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT) and SPA2201-001SAX - Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate. These investments involved a series of workshops and peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption.

Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website https://www.spaa.com.au . These investments are due to conclude in June 2023 with reinvestment in this space currently in development.

Other resources:

Podcast: Step by step guide to precision agriculture https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/step-by-step-guide-to-precision-agriculture

Booklets: Profit from precision agriculture https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/profit-for-precision-agriculture and

Embracing precision agriculture https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture

Updates paper – Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically groundtruth https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/08/using-common-precision-ag-data-layers-to-accurately-and-economically-ground-truth

Factsheet – Using production zones to develop a soil testing strategy https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/using-production-zones-to-develop-a-soil-testing-strategy

Factsheet – Fertiliser – establishing fertilise strip trials https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/fertiliser-fact-sheet
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/01/23Mandurah NGN Forum
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Managing heavy stubbles
NGN0271What options are available without burning?GRDC currently has a couple of investments in this space so keep an eye out in your local area

LIE2110-001 – The WA stubble story – Investigating alternative stubble systems - This investment is a preliminary step that looks to compare conventional stubble structures and heights, and load (straw & chaff) with taller stubble residue systems, heights and load (mostly only chaff) and in frost risk areas, a no residue system. Treatments will be implemented using grower equipment and will be replicated. Importantly the investment will include monitoring soil moisture, plant establishment, presence of disease, weed competitiveness and herbicide efficacy, HWSC options, nutrient budgeting and ultimately grain yield responses.

Trial sites implemented in 2022 are located with Liebe Group – Latham, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group – Corrigin, Facey Group – Wickepin and Stirling to Coast Farmers – Kendenup.

Keep up to date with project news here https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=LIE2110-001SAX

CRP2201-001SAX - Weed control in high standing residue systems in the Northern Ag Region of WA

This investment aims to provide grain growers in the NAR with an understanding of the implications on weed control of changing harvest systems to implement a tall standing residue system. This will be done with farm scale demonstrations and extension of results.

Trials are being conducted at Mingenew, Yuna, Tenindewa, Ogilvie, Ajana and Binnu.

Keep up to date with project news here https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CRP2201-001SAX

New publication:
Keep an eye out for a new guidebook - WA Stubble Retention – due for release in 2023
WestKwinana West Port Zone18/01/23Mandurah NGN forum
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Overuse of Insecticides
NGN0273Attendees identified that local growers were experiencing issues in the control of Diamondback Month (DBM). DBM appears to have developed a material resistance to certain insecticides, leading to expensive control measures with remaining chemistry.

In addition to this, growers have found that using insecticides too early in canola growth stages can take out beneficial bugs which assist with controlling non-beneficials later in the season.

Growers wanted to know what other control options or chemistry is available to help control DBM in canola crops.
GRDC are currently investing in a project to survey the summer and autumn Brassica refuges for DBM to be able to predict the risk of early season infestation – DAW1905-010RTX. More information on this project can be found here: https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW1905-010RTX
GRDC has several resources regarding managing Diamondback Moth, including information on current insecticide resistance status of DBM in WA, and alternative options for control.
GRDC Video - Managing Diamondback Moth in WA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NcrfE5xPYs
GRDC Podcast - Managing Diamondback Moth in WA: https://megaphone.link/RTTNS6051235437 and - Using All Our Tools for Pest Management: https://open.spotify.com/show/37clYPDVVyVszgwmRo5lpI

Groundcover - Managing Insecticide Resistance In Diamondback Moth https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/managing-insecticide-resistance-in-diamondback-moth
and - Tactics to manage Diamondback Moth https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/oilseeds/tactics-to-manage-diamondback-moth

GRDC Updates - Towards Prediction of Diamondback Moth Risk In Canola https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/towards-prediction-of-diamondback-moth-risk-in-canola-new-insights-into-ecology-and-resistance-management?_gl=1*1dohtta*_ga*MjExODkyNTM0MS4xNjgxMjc5NTk3*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4Mzg3NDMwOC4zOC4xLjE2ODM4NzQ1NTEuNDcuMC4w

GRDC factsheet - Resistance Management Strategy for Diamondback Moth in Australia https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2017/06/resistance-management-strategy-for-diamondback-moth-in-australian-canola
WestGeraldton Port Zone20/02/23Yuna NGN forum
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Placement of N to reduce volatilisation.
NGN0274Growers are looking at how to reduce N volatilisation from applied fertiliser: where is the fertiliser best placed to reduce volatilisation, how should it be applied, what is the of size of impact of volatilisation on fertiliser efficiency and emissionsOne project looking at nitrogen losses and GHG emissions post application of lime has just been completed. The project found that applying the fertiliser sulphate of ammonia onto a paddock that has recently been limed may increase soil nitrogen losses through volatilisation.

More information regarding this project, including a podcast, can be found here. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UWA2202-001RTX Keep an eye out for a factsheet as well.

The analysis being undertaken for the Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers (EEFs) will also link to the outcomes from this project.

The current project - Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - UOQ2204-010RTX, will also be able to address this issue in the future.
WestGeraldton Port Zone20/02/23Yuna NGN forum
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Rule of thumb measuring carbon footprint
NGN0275Attendees noted there is increasing social pressure on farmers regarding their carbon footprint on the environment, with large corporations signalling the carbon footprint declarations will be something they require from their supply chain in the not-too-distant future.

Growers wanted to know if there was a “Rule of Thumb” they could use for various farming practices and how these practices impact on their carbon footprint.

Additionally, growers wanted to know if there any calculators, reference material or independent services available to assist them in measuring and managing their farm’s carbon footprint.
Start with GRDC’s comprehensive baseline report: Greenhouse gas emissions - GRDC .

More GRDC and partner resources on carbon farming follow:

Additional information can be found below:

GRDC Updates video - Carbon Farming and the Grains Industry – (Dr Richard Eckard)

GRDC Updates - Carbon Neutral Grain Farming by 2050 – (Mandy Curnow)

and - Nitrogen and Your Carbon Footprint

and - Building Soil Carbon for your Business

Ground Cover article - Soil Carbon Farming a Poor Fit for the Grains Industry – (Dr Richard Eckard)


DPIRD - Carbon Calculators – Western Australian example farms

DPIRD - How to Calculate the Carbon Emission from your own farm

DPIRD - Carbon Neutral Grain Pilot Project


Video
Dr Richard Eckard (Uni of M) - Carbon Farming in WA

Mandy Curnow (DPIRD) - How is Carbon Measured?

Tools:
PICCC calculators can be found here

The Cool Farm Tool can be found here

The CSIRO FarmPrint tool can be found here
WestGeraldton Port Zone20/02/23Yuna NGN forum
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Companion cropping legumes for lower cost nitrogen supply in farming systems
NGN0234An NGN proxy meeting with Riverine Plains provided a list of issues raised by their membership which had been prioritised by their research committee. Two top priorities that related to the grains industry included (i) managing ryegrass control with a wide germination window and (ii) reducing crop N inputs with companion legumes, this NGN speaks to the latter.
Grower issue identification: Grain growers have identified there increasing reliance on inorganic fertiliser N for crop production and are looking at innovative ways of reducing synthetic N inputs. One established approach is to incorporate legumes in the farming systems to add N2 to the soil in organic form that is later mineralised to ammonium and nitrate and taken up by subsequent non-leguminous crops. This approach dedicates a year of production to the pulse crop. Many growers grow pulses 1 in 6 years while others remain reluctant to grow pulses at all. The other or additional approach is to sow a companion legume (e.g., vetch), in every year the non-leguminous crop is sown and then desiccate before the companion plant impacts on the yield of the non-leguminous crop.
GRM team in south and north consulted.NorthSouth East NSW13/03/23Proxy meeting with Riverine Plains
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National Variety Trials access to disease screening data
NGN0235NVT is highly valued by growers, and it is appreciated that breeders put advanced breeder lines through the NVT system as they rely on this data for decision making. Growers note there are sites at Birchip but are keen to see more local sites (if these could be managed and resourced).

Attendees identified that they would like to access the disease screening and ratings data from NVT. They want to be able to see impact of genetic disease resistance in managing disease so they can make better variety selections and reduce selection pressure on disease resistance to fungicides. It was identified that attendees were having difficulty finding and accessing this data through the NVT website.
NVT disease ratings information is generally released as part of the variety guide addendum released around March each year. These ratings are available on the NVT website and can be found here https://nvt.grdc.com.au/nvt-disease-ratings. It is noted that this does not include trial data values from plots as the screening process is undertaken in laboratories where inoculum can be controlled.

There are a range of investments in understanding disease epidemiology, resistances, monitoring and surveillance and impacts on yield and these are complementary to NVT investment. Due to the highly variable nature of biotic threats on a seasonal basis localised trials would represent a high-cost investment for highly uncertain outcomes due to variability.

GRDC is currently investing in a range of programs to look best practice in season responses to seasonally variable disease such as the new investment BWD2303-002RTX NGN-Seasonal management of disease complexes in a variable climate for the Southern Vic Mallee, commencing this year and run by the Birchip cropping group which may be of interest for growers to link in with.
SouthWimmera28/03/23Wallup NGN Forum
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Nonchemical weed control options and farming without Glyphosate
NGN0236Nonchemical weed control options (mechanical, biological and cultural) is seen as a priority for attendees. International regulation is driving grower desire to be prepared well in advance for how to deal with such challenges. There is a desire to use less chemical intensive systems with certain actives already banned or having restrictions on their use in Europe.

Whilst non-chemical options exist, not all growers are employing the big 6 to manage weeds. It was noted that local growers have had limited success with weed seed mills due to limitations on speed, power, and blockages among other factors. This is contributing to slow adoption and more information is wanted on novel or innovative approaches, such as microwave, mechanical or laser technologies.

Ongoing research into the changing epidemiology of plants was discussed, with many reporting they have seen plants change in their growth habits and response to chemical applications. Growers are keen to have a continual understanding of how resistance evolves and are keen to see investment into new chemical modes of action. There was also a great deal of interest in potential for biological control options.
GRDC have invested in a range of projects which consider non-chemical weed control tactics. UOA1711-005RTX - Cultural management for weed control and maintenance of crop yield is looking at integration of non-chemical weed control tactics for rye grass and barley grass in the southern region in a variety of crop types. More can be found in this GroundCover article: https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/new-findings-advance-tactical-art-of-integrated-weed-control?_gl=1*1t80p71*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4Mjk4MTA0OS44MS4xLjE2ODI5ODM0NjYuNjAuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4Mjk4MTA0OC4xMDkuMS4xNjgyOTgzNDg2LjQwLjAuMA .
RDC2004-004OPX - Rural R&D for Profit - Underpinning agricultural productivity and biosecurity by weed biological control is an investment being delivered by AgriFutures to assess and understand biocontrol options for potential release. The grain weeds of focus in this research are Fleabane, Sowthistle, Saffron thistle and Silverleaf Nightshade. Findings from this investment can be found here https://agrifutures.com.au/news/biological-weed-control-providing-cost-effective-sustainable-solutions

UOS1703-002RTX - Innovative crop weed control for northern region cropping systems, is looking at unique weed control strategies. The investment will explore herbicide resistance and integrated weed management options including herbicide innovation, crop competition, strategic weed control and engineering weed control solutions. Some of the innovative methods are described in the Ground cover article "Lasers and electricity show weed zapping potential" here https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/lasers-and-electricity-show-weed-zapping-potential?_gl=1*1tbnpfl*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4Mjk4MTA0OC4xMDkuMS4xNjgyOTg1MDA5LjUyLjAuMA..*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4Mjk4MTA0OS44MS4xLjE2ODI5ODUwMzYuMjQuMC4w Further research in the weed management space includes UOA1904-004SAX - Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems. More on the investment can be found in a Podcast https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/making-barley-grass-barely-a-problem Publication https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2023/control-of-barley-grass-in-the-low-rainfall-zone-farming-systems and GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/crop-rotations-a-key-to-barley-grass-control?https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/weeds/crop-rotations-a-key-to-barley-grass-control?_gl=1*1qymkg3*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4Mjk4MTA0OC4xMDkuMS4xNjgyOTg1OTg5LjU5LjAuMA..*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4Mjk4MTA0OS44MS4xLjE2ODI5ODU5ODkuNTkuMC4w (Continued in Internal GRDC Comment)
SouthWimmera28/03/23Wallup NGN Forum
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Economic viability of retaining pickled seed, and pickle efficacy for disease control under high inoculum loads
NGN0238Attendees identified a desire to better understand the frequency with which seed should be replaced and how long it will store and remain economically viable to retain. Attendees understood that pickle products reduced seed viability but identified difficulty in deciding whether to pickle seed where varieties are used opportunistically in the rotation to respond to seasonal developments which risk sitting in silos for extended periods of time.

In addition to storage issues, discussion also included whether standard pickles are effective in high disease carryover with the high level of inoculum on stubble and high stubble loads potentially impacting disease prevalence and infection profile through the season. Given existing fungicide resistance and or risks of developing resistance from long-term use of pickle, there is a desire to understand the incidence of resistance in current seed treatments.
PRB2011-001SAX - On-farm grain storage - development and extension to support best practice management, also known as the Grain Storage Extension project (https://storedgrain.com.au) provides a number of resources to support on farm management of grain and grain storage.
Some which might be of interest include:
Videos - https://storedgrain.com.au/storing-planting-seed
GroundCover articles -https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/learning-and-development/optimising-seed-saving-strategies-starts-at-harvest?_gl=1*kd2f6p*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4Mjk5NTIxMC44Mi4xLjE2ODI5OTY2NzQuNjAuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4Mjk5NDkxMS4xMTEuMS4xNjgyOTk2Njc0LjYwLjAuMA
https://storedgrain.com.au/grdc-ground-cover-supplement-grain-storage-jan-feb-2022

SARDI provide a useful guide on cereal seed treatments: https://pir.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/237920/Cereal_Seed_Treatments_2021.pdf

Podcast - https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/fungicide-resistance-in-the-south and https://afren.com.au/resources/resources-podcasts/

A large GRDC investment in the Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network is designed to support growers in managing and reducing fungicide resistance. https://afren.com.au Information on resistance to different actives, including those in seed treatments can be found on the website, including Factsheets, Case Studies. On GRDC find a Management Guide https://afren.com.au/resources/#management-guide .

GRDC Update papers and factsheets:
- Fusarium crown rot seed fungicides - independent field evaluation 2018-2021 (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/fusarium-crown-rot-seed-fungicides-independent-field-evaluation-2018-2021
- Managing grain quality during storage (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/managing-grain-quality-during-storage
- Blackleg – new seed treatment, stubble management and fungicide resistance (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/blackleg-new-seed-treatment,-stubble-management-and-fungicide-resistance
- Seed quality – strategies to ensure good establishment in 2019 (2019) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/seed-quality-strategies-to-ensure-good-establishment-in-2019
- Retaining Seed fact sheet https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/grdc-fs-retainingseed
- Inoculant and seed treatment fact sheet https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2022/inoculant-and-seed-treatment-fact-sheet
SouthWimmera28/03/23Wallup NRM forum
149
Matching variety to market
NGN0239Attendees discussed a disconnect between what markets want and what breeders are breeding. Growers are keen to see improved communication between breeders, growers and industry to ensure they are managing marketability, but also so varieties have traits and management strategies suited to the region (i.e. disease resistance).

There is a perception that when barley varieties get released, they are pushed into malt accreditation pathways (sometimes repeatedly) and that this is often at odds with what the market is chasing and/or delivery options available to growers. For example, new malt barley Maximus CL had limited delivery points and a low market premium in 2022/early 2023 as the market wanted RGT Planet and Spartacus CL (established malt varieties) instead.

The same was said for pulse varieties, with a recent example in Hallmark XT lentils. These lentils were released without market acceptance of their classification, so the discount growers received was $20-$50/t. This has been largely cleared up, but some buyers still offer discounts to Hallmarks from other Nipper type (NIPT) lentils.

To get a segregation at a receival site meant growing large areas within a region to warrant its existence. This complicates things if there are many different malt varieties being grown within a region, meaning growers have to travel further to deliver malt or take a discount to feed barley prices to deliver locally.
GRDC invests in Grains Australia https://grainsaustralia.com.au to support the grains industry through a range of industry good functions. These include supporting classification methods and systems, trade and market access, provision of market information and education. This website provides information on barley accreditations and market demands for varieties (and by region) which may be of interest to growers.

GRDC has a long history of investing in AEGIC (Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre) which has provided economic and market insights for the grains industry and has now been amalgamated into Grains Australia.

GRDC publications relating to the barley market intelligence include Groundcover:
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/industry-insights/reducing-market-concentration-risk-for-australian-malting-barley
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/australian-barley-market-opportunities-towards-2030
https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/industry-insights/paving-the-way-for-malting-barley-exports-to-asia

In the first year and sometimes the second year from variety release, grain accumulators do not have a lot of locations to receive grain. AEGIC has developed a malting quality system that will ensure that more buyers have access to more realistic test results earlier. This should facilitate increased demand.

Similar to cereal grains, pulse classification is being supported in a number of ways, some of which you can read about at Pulse Australia https://www.pulseaus.com.au/marketing/classification. Breeders need to consult to ensure market acceptance when new cultivars are close to release.

In addition to the above, GRDC works closely with breeders to inform breeding objectives, and for several crops where there is no commercial breeding program, directly invests in breeding programs. This information will be shared with industry and Grains Australia as feedback for consideration around future classifications and variety releases.

Industry has discussed the number of new releases each year. This is being addressed through a number of points in the supply chain and will be facilitated by the pilot malting work.
SouthWimmera28/03/23Wallup NGN forum
150
Spray efficacy and sprayer set up
NGN0240Attendees discussed that they feel there is a market gap in spray rig set-up advice and that there is a lack of consultants who have the expertise to provide assistance in their region in setting up both second-hand and new spray rigs. It was discussed that more intensive training, and resources (How to guides) may assist growers to optimise their set up. It was noted that ideally ‘how to’ set up guides should come with new equipment, but also guides available online would help growers to address issues with poor set up, efficacy, drift etc. It was also noted that there is a training gap around the use of optical sprayers, affecting adoption of the technology.

There is a strong awareness amongst growers of the social acceptance issues with spraying and would like to see communication campaigns to assist the general public to better understand the role of spraying in farming systems, including complexity of decisions and trade-offs when not used.
In addition, attendees discussed a need for clear insights into the impacts of chemicals on physical, chemical, and biological environment so they can better manage this and make informed choices.
Continuous education on set up, speed, chemical safety/MRL’s, environmental management, reducing drift and efficacy are sought.
Developed as part of previous investment in spray efficacy workshops, one of the most useful resources which should be of interest is the GrowNotes – Spray application manual which goes through STEP BY STEP modules for setting up to achieve optimal sprayer performance. This includes video ‘how to’ summaries of the chapters if this is your preferred learning style. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grownotes/technical-manuals/spray-application-manual

A National Spray Strategy is currently under development in the GRDC to address this known gap in service delivery. Having previously gone to open market to procure services to deliver set up training, delivery has taken a regionalised approach due to the lack of applicants in the Southern region.

This remains a priority area for GRDC and the strategy under development includes consideration of how to build capacity in this area.

At present an investment in this area is being contracted for delivery in the Mid-north of South Australia as a pilot program including behavioural science approaches to tackling spray drift as well as sprayer set up, which will inform the strategy and future delivery across the region.

The Spray Drift page on the GRDC website has a range of information including nozzle guides and links to state specific resources. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/spray-drift?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Spray%20Drift

Another investment which is designed to support growers to achieve spray efficacy includes:
MRE2111-001SAX - Weather essentials for Pesticide Application technical content review and update (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=MRE2111-001SAX) which has a number of updated resources on weather impacts on spraying including a Hazardous inversion factsheet, a Meteorological Principles influencing Pesticide Application manual and a Weather essentials for pesticide application manual - all accessible through the link above.

Podcast discussing how to make good weed spraying decisions https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/the-most-expensive-herbicide-is-the-one-that-doesnt-work
Update papers https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/choosing-and-justifying-the-right-sprayer
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/08/spray-boom-technology-improving-coverage-and-managing-drift
Videos
Fact sheets
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2023/pulse-width-modulation-sprayers
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2022/mixing-and-batching-agricultural-chemical-application-grower-case-studies

GRDC website Resources and Publications includes factsheets and manuals on rotations, adjuvants, soil behaviour and fallow management. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour
SouthWimmera28/03/23Wallup NGN Forum
151
Faba bean yield potential and stability
NGN0241Participants identified that beans are a key legume for local cropping systems but generate the lowest profit margin. Beans’ waterlogging tolerance, and to a lesser extent acid tolerance make them the best fit for legume options in the locality. There is also an increasing importance places on N fixation abilities.

Yield instability in beans was noted as a considerable barrier to closing the yield gap, and there was curiosity as to how local grain legume D&E bean trials were consistently achieving yields far in excess of local growers. It was noted that local research trials can achieve up to 9.6 tonne for beans, but growers are achieving more like four as a good yield. Discussion identified that if yields similar to wheat could be consistently achieved this would be a game changer for bean profitability. Consequently, attendees are looking for management options that can help bridge the yield gap and improve yield stability.

Attendees discussed that disease and nutrition management are challenging for beans. Growers are proactive and have a structured management program, but this is also challenged by seasonal conditions such as trafficability affecting timeliness. Moving forward, it is felt that growers may benefit from upskilling in early disease detection, monitoring, and management, and assessing where beans should be prioritised in the spray program.

It was noted that the podding period has the greatest influence over yields and understanding what the levers are to influence pod development is key.

Specific questions about faba bean management included:
- What management tools can be employed to improve podding?
- Flower numbers seem to be quite low, how can this be improved?
- The canopy has shading effects on the flowers and pods down the plant – what canopy management required?
- How can we achieve timely application of crop protection chemicals in wet or waterlogged conditions?
- How well do our rhizobia perform? Can this be improved?
- How well are pollinators performing and what levers are available to improve this? We know pollinators can increase yields by 17-20%.
GRDC currently invests in faba bean breeding through UOA1606-009RTX - Pulse Breeding Australia: Faba Bean Breeding to improve genetics for Australian production environments (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA1606-009RTX). A range of update papers and podcasts are available through the above link.

Other investments aiming to improve faba bean yield and yield stability include:

UOA2204-004RTX - Bench marking faba bean yield genetic gain will look at recent genetic gains in bean production. This will help shape breeding targets going into the future.

UOA2202-006RSX – Physiology of yield determination in faba bean genotypes with differing phenological and morphological traits is a PhD project, working to build understanding of the drivers of faba bean yield determination and identify traits that broaden management options and provide breeding strategies to increase grain yield and reliability in southern Australia.

DJP2105-006RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in Victoria, this investment is designed to bring a whole of systems approach to closing the yield gap in grain legumes (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DJP2105-006RTX). This work has included faba bean trials which as noted by attendees has demonstrated yield potential well in excess of that being achieved by local growers. As well as resources (update papers, groundcover, podcast and events) accessible through the link above you can also follow updates from this project on the new Grain Legume Extension Hub (https://spahub.com.au/).


The following GRDC Update Papers may be of interest:
- 2022 Pulse disease wrap up (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/2022-pulse-disease-wrap-up
- The agronomics of pulses, implications of new varieties and herbicide tolerance (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/the-agronomics-of-pulses-implications-of-new-varieties-and-herbicide-tolerance
- Pushing yield barriers in irrigated and dryland faba bean (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/pushing-yield-barriers-in-irrigated-and-dryland-faba-bean
- Yield response to plant density in faba beans: management and profitability implications (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/yield-response-to-plant-density-in-faba-beans-management-and-profitability-implications
- Faba bean agronomy and varieties (2021) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/08/faba-bean-agronomy-and-varieties
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Precision ag technology capacity gaps
NGN0242Attendees mentioned that the technology available on headers was broadening the potential applications of precision ag, however identified that a lack of technical support in industry is meaning the data collected never sees the light of day.

There is a large gap in the technical capability and availability of people with the skills to manage and manipulate data into meaningful outputs and insights. There are years’ worth of yield and now protein maps not being used and interpreted for on farm decisions.

Training, extension, and communication on profitable use of precision ag technologies was also seen as beneficial.
Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s recent investments into SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT) (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SPA2001-001SAX) and SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertilise decisions in a tight economic climate (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SPA2201-001SAX). These investments involved a series of workshops and peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption.

Fact sheets on Proximal soil sensing, improving N decisions with crop sensing and satellite based remote sensing for PA can be found using the links above

Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website (https://spaa.com.au/resources). These investments are due to conclude in June 2023 with reinvestment in this space currently in development.

GRDC's online livestream event held 10th May on VRT can be viewed at Events: https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2023/may/grdc-society-of-precision-agriculture-spaa-livestream-variable-rate-technology

Publications and Update Papers:
- Profit from precision agriculture – designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/profit-for-precision-agriculture
- Embracing precision agriculture - a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/embracing-precision-agriculture
- Using production zones to develop a soil testing strategy – factsheet on zoning providing insights into understanding variation and identifying production zones within paddocks to develop an effective soil testing strategy https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/using-production-zones-to-develop-a-soil-testing-strategy
- Fertiliser fact sheet – provides insights into to establishing fertiliser test strips https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/fertiliser-fact-sheet
- Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically ground truth (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/08/using-common-precision-ag-data-layers-to-accurately-and-economically-ground-truth
- Better targeted, more precise fertiliser decisions as a counter to rising fertiliser prices – focusing on 3 of the 6 Rs (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/better-targeted,-more-precise-fertiliser-decisions-as-a-counter-to-rising-fertiliser-prices-focussing-on-3-of-the-6-rs

PODCAST around the Profit from Precision Agriculture project: https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/step-by-step-guide-to-precision-agriculture
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Crop Establishment
NGN0243Attendees identified a desire to see ongoing RD&E to improve crop establishment across all crops. Canola was noted as particularly challenging due to its seed size and resulting shallow seeding depth, with slugs, millipedes and other pests, stubble residues and seeding systems factors, but this is an issue across all crops.

Attendees identified that establishment issues were often highly spatial in nature resulting in patches which need to be resown. Strong support was expressed for developing innovative technology solutions to identify poor establishment early would allow for spatial management of its causes such as concentrated baiting in slug affected areas. At present this assessment is visual after sowing and there is a significant delay to detectability by human eye – seedling needs to be large enough to see difference.

Potential technology solutions identified included satellite imagery – accessing imagery with high frequency (at least daily) or tractor/ boom mounted cameras to scan crops in real time for objective assessment of establishment success. It was noted that development of on machine sensors may also allow for multipurpose technology for example could also be programmed with the ability to count mouse burrows, snails or detect disease or changes in plant health. It was also noted that at present barriers to solutions involving satellite technology included the infrequency of images being taken and weather conditions such as clouds affecting the image taken. On the go technology suggestions included not only tractor or boom mounted cameras/ sensors but also one for a ute for agros – to make objective assessments.

It was clear from discussion that attendees would like to see a more whole of systems approach to establishment across the program, showing how to optimise management for all the integrating factors and including temporally across the cropping program. Factors such as rotations, pests and diseases, soil types, burning, fertiliser, plant health, seeding depth and seeder set up were put forward for consideration.
GRDC currently has a local NGN investment, DJP2204-006RTX - Stubble residue management for optimising canola establishment in the Wimmera, which is aiming to assist growers to assess stubble loads and raise the ceiling on the stubble volume able to be handled by different seeding systems used locally – in an effort to improve canola establishment and reduce stubble burning.

As part of UOA1803-009RTX Optimising plant establishment, density and spacings to maximise crop yield and profit in the southern and western regions surveys were undertaken to identify the factors most affecting crop establishment and to quantify their impact. A range of update papers and GroundCover articles on the project findings can be found using link https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA1803-009RTX .

This information has helped to inform new investment in this area. One new investment resulting from this CSP2212-005RTX - Reducing risks to canola establishment through an integrated understanding of genetics, management, and environment aims to increase reliability of canola establishment. The four-year project commencing in 2023 delivered by CSIRO, also builds on a 2019 GRDC investment which focused on genetic solutions to help canola breeders develop varieties that better establish in growers’ paddocks. GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/learning-and-development/$8.2m-national-project-to-boost-canola-establishment .

Other investments directly related to this issue include:
CSP1907-001RTX - Increasing return on investment from canola seed through improved establishment - Program 1, https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP1907-001RTX looking at genetic traits related to establishment. Through this investment, growers and advisers will gain a better understanding of how establishment-related traits are influenced by their management decisions.

CSP2212-007RTX Integrating long coleoptile wheat into Australian farming systems through an integrated understanding of genetics, management and environment, which you can read about here https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/industry-insights/grdc-announces-$12.7m-project-for-long-coleoptile-wheat (Continued in Internal Comment)
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Modelling of pest and disease incursions / pest surveillance
NGN0244Difficulties with responding to pest and disease incursions in an early and timely fashion was raise as an area of concern for attendees. There is a desire to access early warning systems and objective disease and insect pest monitoring tools and to be able to geospatially track the progress of incursions through a season. Image surveillance systems which link to their existing tools (i.e., weather stations and soil monitoring stations) to capture real time data which can provide early warning of a disease or pest in the paddock were proposed as a potential solution. Satellite imagery measuring plant health indicators, tractor, boom, drone, or ute cab mounted quantification technology (e.g., to count mouse burrows, insects, plant health) were potential options discussed to assess objectively.

Participants discussed that they valued the new Trapview Predictive Pest Network (delivered by ADAMA), which utilises technology to monitor insect populations. This nationwide network of more than 500 Trapview automated pest traps targets key insect pests and provides an understanding of pressure. The information helps guide decision making around insecticide applications. It was noted that ADAMA Australia is working closely with BCG to install traps in pulse and canola crops throughout the Mallee and Wimmera regions. Participants discussed that it would be great to roll this project out to wider regions to enhance pest monitoring and management.

They suggested greater linkages between the LMA, Plant Health Australia and GRDC to develop a national monitoring surveillance system to pre-empt disease incursions.
The iMapPests https://imappests.com.au is an innovative pest and disease surveillance unit designed to offer optimal sampling of airborne fungal spores and insects. The project is funded in collaboration with other RDCs and industry bodies, and it is set to deliver rapid and accurate monitoring and reporting of airborne pests and diseases to growers across the country.

Podcast describing the project: https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/sky-is-the-limit-for-new-pest-and-pathogen-sampling-technology
GRDC update paper: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/imappests-sentinel-surveillance-for-agriculture
GroundCover article discussing the sentinel network: https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/biosecurity/sentinels-boost-region-specific-pest-and-disease-monitoring

GRDC has invested in CES1904-002RTX - Identification, surveillance and advisory platform for management of grains pests, https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CES1904-002RTX which included a national grains pest identification, surveillance and advisory initiative. It used available monitoring data to accurately identify pest problems and provide timely and independent management options for growers and advisers.

CES2004-002SAX - Development of identification resources and enhancing diagnostics capacity for High Priority Plant Pests, https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CES2004-002SAX will support growers and agronomists to identify exotic pests. The project also looked at identification of 'early indicators' and development of diagnostic protocols to increase the speed and efficiency of delimiting surveillance during an incursion, and predict pest spread and establishment.

DJP2103-005RTX - Disease surveillance and related diagnostics for the Australian grains industry (within the Southern region - Victoria) https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DJP2103-005RTX is part of a national disease surveillance program to monitor the changes in pathogen populations including their incidence and severity, and provide extension through communications such as CropSafe™ and CropAlert (Wordcount exceeded. Continued in Internal comment)
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Early career farmer mentoring
NGN0245Growers discussed that they are keen to see an industry campaign which mentors, supports and encourages early career farmers particularly in business skills and decision making.

It was noted by attendees that many young farmers come back to the farm and don’t know what information or support they need to understand and manage their business.
Knowledge gaps were identified around how to:
- manage banking,
- purchase machinery (calculate depreciation and ROI),
- make investment decisions (i.e., expand) and,
- general farm management.

A desire to see industry support and mentor young, motivated farmers so they gain business intuition and know how to ask the right questions was expressed in discussions.

It was noted that BCG run a Young Farmer Network https://www.bcg.org.au/registeryfn and that Ag Vic also runs a young farmer business boot camp https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/support-and-resources/networks/young-farmers/young-farmer-business-bootcamps which is delivering to a portion of the Southern region, but that it would be good to see these programs supported and expanded.

Participants suggested there needs to be ongoing business training to help support young farmers success and build successful businesses.
GRDC has been investing in ORM1906-002SAX Farm Business Updates over the long term as one of its flagship investments aimed at upskilling farmers in farm business skills including early career. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=ORM1906-002SAX

In addition to this capacity building for growers is a priority area for GRDC investment aligned to the Thriving for Future Generations pillar in GRDC’s new 5-year RD&E plan. As part of this a review of capacity needs is being prepared to be undertaken.

Other investments which relate to this topic and may be of interest include GRDC supported Nuffield scholarships, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Scholarships, and other capacity building investments as well as more foundational research including:

RDP1802-001WSX GRDC Opportunity for Profit workshops covered profit drivers of grains businesses delivering workshops and developing management guidelines for different regions. You can find useful information in the following resources:
- Opportunity For Profit - Management Guideline (booklet) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/opportunity-for-profit-management-guideline
- GRDC 'Opportunity for Profit' workshops help growers identify opportunities (GroundCover) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/business-management/workshops-focus-on-efficiencies-to-maximise-profit
- Characteristics and habits of Top 20% farm business operators (Update Paper) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/characteristics-and-habits-of-top-20-farm-business-operators

GRDC are passionate about supporting farmers, and have developed a wide range of business resources, such as Farming the Business and Farm to Profit. These resources may be of interest to share with young farmers:
- Farming the Business Manual discussing everything from finances to succession planning https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2018/opportunity-for-profit-management-guideline
- GRDC Farm Business Update: Practical strategies to manage growth (2023)
- Processes help to guide good farm decision-making (2020)
- Webinar recording (Available soon) "Money balling" the farm business – knowing your business from the inside out for easier & effective decision making (2023)
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Understanding plant resistance to diseases and breakdown/changes in cultivar resistance ratings.
NGN0246Breakdown of genetic disease resistance in varieties in season was discussed as a significant issue for growers to consider in variety selections, noting it was difficult to keep up to date. Attendees expressed desire be better informed on resistance status of diseases as they evolve to
1. overcome plant resistance and/or
2. develop fungicide resistance.
And consequently, resulting changes genetic plant resistance ratings to assist variety selections.

Inconsistency in plant resistance ratings and how they relate to diseases was noted as complicating understanding. There is a desire to understand the relationship between the rating i.e., MR – MS and fungicide management (e.g. rates, timings, thresholds)

Surveillance is seen as critical to assessing in season disease risks and monitoring for breakdown of plant resistance and development of fungicide resistance in diseases and spore traps and disease forecasting tools to predict spore movement, timely disease alerts and disease modelling to inform management was well supported.

Attendees expressed concern that many growers / breeders have a ‘yield is king’ attitude when selecting or breeding varieties, and that the wider grains industry needs to be more conscious of utilising resistant varieties. Some had observed a difference between South Australia and Victoria, noting that SA has more intensive disease pressure.
GRDC has a range of investments which aim to:

1. Understand seasonal disease spread, this includes disease development through the season, surveillance, early detection, resistance monitoring, modelling and warning systems, a few of these investments include:

DJP2103-005RTX - Disease surveillance and related diagnostics for the Australian grains industry (within the Southern region - Victoria) https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DJP2103-005RTX is part of a national disease surveillance program. This monitors changes in pathogen populations and informs industry of disease risks in season. Read more about this investment in this GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/researchers-issue-warning-on-high-disease-pressure?_gl=1*1p1txsf*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjkxNDQyNi4xMDcuMS4xNjgyOTE1NTA4LjM4LjAuMA..*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjkxNDQwMC43OS4xLjE2ODI5MTUxODYuNDUuMC4w

DAW2112-002RTX Disease epidemiology, modelling and delivery of management support tools https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW2112-002RTX which has a focus on YLS, Stripe rust, NFNB. SFNB, Blackleg, Ascochyta, and choc spot.

2. Understanding individual diseases and developing tools to manage them, including changes in resistance, epidemiology, genetics, informing breeding programs, examples of this include:
- Cereal Rust Program https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP1801-013RTX
- Septoria Epidemiology for LRZ/MRZ https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DJP2104-004RTX
- Blackleg Programs https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/emerging-blackleg-challenges-this-season
- Ascochyta blight https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/plant-breeding/ascochyta-blight-discovery-to-improve-variety-choices-for-lentil-growers
Among MANY others.

DPIRD Apps (available from App Store or Google Play) which have been developed to help growers navigate specific diseases and disease RISKS include:
- Blackleg CM
- StripeRustWM
- Sclerotinia CM
- Powdery Mildew MBM
See also https://www.agric.wa.gov.au Tools and Support tab.
3. Coordinated industry extension
The Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network https://afren.com.au which aims to keep growers and advisers informed and up to date on the prevalence and management of fungicide resistance.

and
4. Innovate new solutions.
This includes investment through our GrainInnovate (venture capital) program, which currently supports
- BioScout – detection and prevention of airborne diseases https://www.graininnovate.com/Projects/BioScout
- Fleet Space Technologies – satellite sensors/ detection https://www.graininnovate.com/Projects/Fleet-Space-Technologies (Continued in Internal Feedback)
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Best practice fungicide application and fungicide availability
NGN0247Many growers are wanting to move away from prophylactic use of fungicides (and wider chemical use). However, to do this attendees expressed a desire to better understand fungicide rates and timings.

The 2022 season was conducive to very high disease pressure and coupled with a low supply of fungicide, it was noted that normal disease monitoring and management was not effective or sufficiently robust. This resulted in more frequent disease monitoring and an increased need for responsiveness. This change in approach to disease meant there was a diversion away from strategic and judicious use of fungicides and growers were often close to MRL limits for a range of chemistries.

Coupled with this was a lack of availability of product in Australia that limited options available to growers. It was noted that there is a desire to see industry action to ensure growers have access to the range of fungicide products they need to ensure they have strategies to last through a high disease season.

It was also noted by attendees that in a high disease pressure year, frequent reminders from industry on MRLs and impacts of exceeding these and the need to adhere to label recommendations may be warranted.

In addition to the above discussion was also held around the role of different rotational phases in exacerbating particular disease issues where disease inoculum can build up in the soil and remain for many years such as Sclerotinia.

Growers report that priority diseases are rust, fusarium, sclerotina, chocolate spot and Phytophthora. Growers would like to see the adoption of more resistant / tolerant varieties.
The Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network (AFREN) https://afren.com.au is a collaborative network of Australian grains industry stakeholders working to deliver regionally specific fungicide resistance extension messages to grain growers and agronomists across Australia. The GRDC Fungicide Resistance Management Guide is a key publication https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/fungicide-resistance-management-in-australian-grain-crops

A new GRDC investment BWD2303-002RTX – NGN Seasonal management of disease complexes in a variable climate for the Southern Vic Mallee https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=BWD2303-002RTX delivered by the Birchip Cropping Group and commencing in 2023 aims to assist growers with assessing risks and decision making as diseases infect crops in season.

These Podcasts and videos from the above investments offer some more insights:
- ‘Fungicide Resistance Five’ (FR-5) Podcast Series https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/fr-5-podcast-series-a-roadmap-for-fungicide-resistance-management
- Fungicide resistance video series https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/fungicide-resistance-management-techniques-explained-in-videos

The following GRDC papers, publications and GroundCover stories is a small selection of resources relating to fungicide usage which may be of interest:
- Paddock Practices: Avoiding chemical residues in pulse grain https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2020/north/may/paddock-practices-avoiding-chemical-residues-in-pulse-grain
- Fungicide resistant wheat powdery mildew – update on management and resistance testing (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/s15-trengrove-sam
- Managing sclerotinia stem rot of canola in 2023 (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/managing-sclerotinia-stem-rot-of-canola-in-2023
- Fungicide timing essential for chocolate spot (2022) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/fungicide-timing-essential-for-chocolate-spot?_gl=1*10tvocm*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjkyMTUyNC44MC4xLjE2ODI5MjI3MTkuNTUuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjkyMTUxMC4xMDguMS4xNjgyOTIyNzE5LjU1LjAuMA
- Do canola fungicide applications always pay? (2020) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/do-canola-fungicide-applications-always-pay (Continued in Internal Comments)
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Snail management
NGN0248Snails were noted as an increasing problem in the local area. It was noted by attendees that Carbendazim (fungicide) use on pulse crops is doing an excellent job on snails and that it is more efficacious than baits and there is desire to see the use patterns for this active to be broadened for other crops for the control of snails.

Attendees reinforced that growers are looking for additional options to baits to provide greater efficacy of control as populations swell following a few good seasons.

Control options which were noted as points of interest for attendees included:
- Biological controls (e.g., understanding native veg requirements to provide a habitat for the parasitic fly).
- Spatial approaches to baiting to enable large applications to be targeted to high infestation areas.
- Buffer plants around perimeter of crop – can non-palatable/natural deterrents (plants snails don’t like) be used to shield encroachment from fence lines.
- Better understanding breeding cycles of different species – species are changing and there is some suspicion that the baiting timings are not always targeting the populations at the right time.

Other challenges around snail management included considerations such as, cereal-based baits being attractive to sheep, machinery movement around farms spreading snails i.e., difficulty of quarantine – they can be in anything, lack of council control – council used to pay for bait but don’t anymore.
GRDC have invested in a new national program geared at More effective control of pest snails in Australian grain crops. This project (UOA2205-005RTX https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA2205-005RTX ) will develop an integrated package of new biological knowledge, surveillance, and control methods, which will become tools to assist farmers to better manage molluscs on farm. Read more about this new $4.6 million national research project in GroundCover: Multifaceted approach to combat snails in grain crops https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/learning-and-development/multifaceted-approach-to-combat-snails-in-grain-crops?_gl=1*50w8y8*_ga*MTM1OTA1NTUyMy4xNjc5OTYwMTgw*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjQ5OTk5NS4zNC4xLjE2ODI1MDIyNDcuNDYuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjQ5OTA0Ni4yOS4xLjE2ODI1MDIyNDcuNDcuMC4w

Another new GRDC investment (SAG2205-002OPX https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SAG2205-002OPX ) is investigating Revegetation for enhanced biocontrol of pest conical snails. The project will quantitatively evaluate and demonstrate how targeted revegetation can be used to suppress conical snails by promoting biocontrol.

Ag Victoria recently ran a workshop series in the Wimmera region (Feb 2023) on Managing snails with Michael Nash from La Trobe University whose research was funded by the GRDC. Findings from new investments listed above are likely to result in further extension activities into the future.

GRDC resources can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:

- Slugs and Snails - Paddock Practices: Tips and tools for reducing snails at harvest
- Movement, breeding, baiting and biocontrol of Mediterranean snails (2021)
- Managing small conical snails factsheet (2021)
- Snail control improves harvest efficiency and quality (2020)
- Snail Management – learnings from recent studies (2020)
- Baiting snails – success is all about the timing (2020)
- Snail research – optimising control (2019)
- Snail Management factsheet (2012)
- Snail Identification and Control: The Back Pocket Guide (2011)

The SARDI research page provides insights into a range of GRDC funded snail management projects. Here you will find insights into snail and slug baiting guidelines. Timing is everything: when to bait snails - PIRSA https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/research/publications/pestfacts/past_issues/2021/pestfacts_march_2022/timing_is_everything_when_to_bait_snails

In 2012 the APVMA (Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority) undertook a review of the active constituent Carbendazim and labels relating to its use. While minor adjustments to labels around risks were required, use of the active constituent was supported under current use patterns. However, expansions to other use patterns were not supported due to issues around toxicology and both human and environmental risks. Consequently, expanding use of carbendazim for snail management or to other crop uses will not be pursued. Read the report here. https://apvma.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication/14541-carbendazim-review-findings-report.pdf
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Nitrogen uptake and use efficiency
NGN0249Understanding nitrogen (N) uptake efficiency, particularly with respect to formulations is an area of interest for attendees. Of particular interest is whether there is a difference in N uptake between granular and liquid formulations of urea (i.e., soil vs foliar applied N) and what is the most economical. Other questions included, what other additives e.g., Zn2+, might improve uptake?

In addition to this it was noted that attendees were keen to understand more around grain protein and its relationship to nitrogen formulations and NUE. Anecdotal observations included that attendees are seeing better N uptake and protein responses from N applied in the window from GS 30 to flowering

Growers also discussed they would like to understand variation in NUE between varieties to aid varietal selections.
With N applications representing one of the largest components of the yield gap, GRDC has a large portfolio of investment in this area. A small selection of these which may be of some interest include:

UOQ2204-010RTX - Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling is a 5-year investment on N balance and cycling insights, starting in 2022 https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOQ2204-010RTX . This project is geared at building knowledge of N cycling processes, losses and their impact on the environment in modern Australian cropping systems. The above link connects to update papers, groundcover articles and podcast material related to this project.

UMU1506-001RTX - Genetic approaches to reduce the nitrogen dilution effect and increase nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) in wheat in wheat, has also looked at delivering tools to breeders to assist with selection for high nitrogen use efficiency and grain protein content in new varieties https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU1506-001RTX . Also a part of this was the development of a NUE ranking system for new varieties, but this is yet to be adopted.

Also commencing in 2022 UWA2202-002RSX - Measuring protein storage efficiency during wheat grain development to optimize decision making in late nitrogen fertiliser applications in the field, is a PhD project investigating how the amount of nitrogen applied and time of application influences the rate of protein accumulation in the developing grain https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UWA2202-002RSX .

GRDC resources can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:
- Paddock Practices: Manage soil nitrogen to optimise yields
- Fertiliser fact sheet
- Nitrogen fertiliser management in 2022 (2022)
- Nitrogen fertiliser placement in wheat and canola – effects on yield, quality and nitrogen use efficiency (2019)
- Easy N® versus urea at different growth stages (2016)
- Nitrogen decision - Guidelines and rules of thumb (2013)

In a GroundCover article GRDC partners in the ‘Hydrogen to Ammonia’ project alongside CSIRO, Orica, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). This is investigates new green fertiliser sources: https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/climate/new-green-fertiliser-sources
SouthWimmera30/03/23Kaniva NGN Forum
160
Sustainable soil management
NGN0250Attendees are seeking to understand the impact different crop protection chemistries have on soil microbial populations and are concerned high usage may be negatively impacting the overall health of their soils.

Anecdotal information was shared around attendees noting a change in soil structure and strength, having noticed a reduction in soil aggregates, and higher drift levels in no-till systems than previously (between rows). There is uncertainty about what is causing this, but attendees suspect it may be related to the use of crop protection chemicals impacting soil biological components.

It was noted that high use of fungicide, is likely to be impacting beneficial fungi and there is desire to understand the role of beneficial fungal hyphae in maintaining good soil structure and whether current usage of fungicide is having a measurable negative impact. Attendees identified that growers are keen to test and monitor soil microbial and fungal populations over time and to understand how they can support beneficial microbes in their system and maintain healthy soils.

It was noted that a soil biology laboratory in Adelaide was providing soil tests for analysing microbial populations. However, the value, interpretation and relative benchmarks were areas which were not well understood.

Understanding the role of fungi and bacteria in nutrient dynamics and particularly in plant availability is another area of great interest for attendees.

In addition, it was noted that attendees are keen to grow crops with robust root systems to retain high soil carbon and improve soil biology.

There is also a desire from attendees to better understand how to manage and whether it is possible to build beneficial soil microbial populations. An ability to evaluate the efficacy of biological products in improving soil physical, chemical, and biological health would be highly valued by attendees.
Commencing in June 2023, GRDC has co-invested with the SA Grains industry trust (SAGIT) in SAG2306-001OPX Understanding the pesticide effects on soil microbial functions in contrasting SA soils which is seeking to address this issue and improve understanding of the impacts of pesticides on soil microbial populations. Findings from this investment are likely to inform future research development and extension in this area across the Southern region. Go to https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments and enter the project code in the search function.

Previous investment in this area has included DAN1307-007RTX - Benchmarking and managing soil herbicide residues for improved crop production, where the impacts of common herbicides were tested on soils across Australia. This work focussed on detecting the chemical residues and understanding what this means for soil health (biological, physical and chemical interactions). The focus of this work was primarily plant toxicity thresholds. Consider:

Update Papers
- Impacts of residual herbicides on soil biological function https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/impacts-of-residual-herbicides-on-soil-biological-function
- Herbicide residues in soil – what is the scale and significance? https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/herbicide-residues-in-soil-what-is-the-scale-and-significance
Podcast
- Herbicide residues in soil – what is the scale and significance? https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/herbicide-residues-in-soil-what-is-the-scale-and-significance

Related investments include:
UWA1904-005RTX - Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Exploiting the Potential of a Novel Fungal Biofertiliser. This investment will characterise the potential of the native symbiotic fungus as a biofertiliser for three major grain crops (canola, wheat and barley), with a particular focus on improvement of crop yield and P nutrition. See GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/biofertiliser-potential-in-native-fungus?_gl=1*144db5s*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjkwMTI4MC4xMDYuMS4xNjgyOTAyODEzLjYwLjAuMA..*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjkwMTQ4MS43OC4xLjE2ODI5MDI4MTMuNTkuMC4w

UOS1606-006OPX - ARC Research Hub for Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture, which aims to provide plant materials to maximise production and environmental sustainability. In this investment researchers are searching for new rhizobia and growth-promoting bacteria to improve the productivity of grain legume crops. See GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/roots-soil-interplay-the-new-production-frontier

In addition to these investments through the Grain Innovate program GRDC is also investing in LoamBio https://www.graininnovate.com/Projects/Loam-Bio which is developing and commercialising carbon assimilating seed microbial inoculum to build soil carbon.

Further GRDC resources can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:

- Microbiome engineering as a tool to increase crop production in the 21st century (2021)
- Fungi and bacteria could play a role in ameliorating poor soil structure (2019)
- Soil biology - latest messages for advisers (2015)
- Managing soil biology to optimise nutrient availability (2014)
SouthWimmera30/03/23Kaniva NGN Forum
161
Adoption of variable rate technology (VRT)
NGN0251Attendees identified that local growers are keen to explore VRT for specific use cases (particularly around liming and claying), having observed changes in soil pH and localised sodicity. They are also keen to optimise inputs by targeting spending to zones where the greatest response can be realised.

It was noted that only a few growers in the region are undertaking soil amelioration and clay spreading but that liming, and gypsum are more common to see VRT.

Participants identified that understanding how best to map soil types within paddocks to target underperforming areas was a key area for local extension. Extension was proposed to build confidence and understanding of the technologies available, potential return-on-investment (ROI), as well as insights into risks and barriers to adoption.
Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s recent investments into SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT) and SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate. These investments involved a series of workshops and peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption. Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website https://spaa.com.au/resources . These investments are due to conclude in June 2023 with reinvestment in this space currently in development.

GRDC had an online livestream event on the 10th May on VRT as a result of this investment. See https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2023/may/grdc-society-of-precision-agriculture-spaa-livestream-variable-rate-technology

Further GRDC resources can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:
- Profit from precision agriculture – designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology
- Embracing precision agriculture - a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA.
- Using production zones to develop a soil testing strategy – factsheet on zoning providing insights into understanding variation and identifying production zones within paddocks to develop an effective soil testing strategy
- Fertiliser fact sheet – provides insights into to establishing fertiliser test strips
- Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically ground truth (2022)
- Better targeted, more precise fertiliser decisions as a counter to rising fertiliser prices – focusing on 3 of the 6 Rs (2022)

A PODCAST around the Profit from Precision Agriculture project and publication is also available at https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/step-by-step-guide-to-precision-agriculture
SouthWimmera27/03/23Goroke NGN forum
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Soil amelioration
NGN0252Attendees identified that there is an opportunity to assist growers to better understand their soil constraints and opportunities for amelioration to set a new yield potential.

Currently in the area amelioration with gypsum and clay spreading is being undertaken by some growers, however gaps in understanding exist around the management of multiple constraints and how to prioritise for amelioration potential or address multiple constraints at once.

Questions were also raised around how to assess the ROI (cost vs. long term reward) of soil amendments, taking into consideration factors like reformation of constraints, or assessing overall value for longer terms solutions such as clay spreading and spading. There was also some uncertainty expressed around understanding the importance of incorporation (e.g., spading) compared to clay spreading.
Numerous investments by GRDC have contributed to the development of a soil constraint ranking tool, ROSA (Ranking Options for Soil Amelioration) https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/rosa . Learn more about it through the podcast ROSA, GroundCover Article or gain access to the tool by contacting the team at DPIRD – the tool is an excel file that can be requested – contact details are in the GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/rosa-supports-soil-constraint-management-decisions

GRDC has a number of other investments in this space which may also be of interest, find with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:
UOA2206-009RTX – NGN Updating acidification rates, lime recommendations and extension aids to overcome soil acidity constraints to crop production in the southern region with the University of Adelaide. Trials in Victoria and South Australia are looking at long term profits and revising liming recommendations.

For growers keen to make informed decisions on liming rates, the GRDC Acid Soils Southern project provides a range of calculators which can assist making decisions:
Resources | Acid Soils Southern Region (acidsoilssa.com.au) at https://acidsoilssa.com.au/index.php/home/resources

DAV1606-001RMX – Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoils application of amendments in the Southern Region which you and learn more about through the GRDC Update Paper https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/subsoil-amelioration-update-on-current-research

MSF2201-001SAX – NGN Optimising soil amelioration costs in typical Mallee soils, which aims to quantify the power requirements and fuel use for various soil amelioration techniques in typical Mallee soils along with monitoring effects on soil characteristics and crop performance post-amelioration.

CSP1606-008RMX – Increasing production on sandy soils in low and medium rainfall areas of the South. This investment looks to unpack the yield gap in paddock due to constraints in sandy soils and develop cost-effective management strategies for these constraints. Related resources are at the link https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP1606-008RMX

DJP2209-002RTX - Managing multiple and variable soil constraints to optimise soil amelioration in southern Australia, which aims to identify multiple variable soil constraints across a paddock and determine the most cost-effective soil amelioration options within each zone. More soil amelioration publications can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:
- Soil mixing by Spading factsheet
- Tackling amelioration on variable soil types booklet which covers how to identify, prioritise and amend soil constraints on farm.
- A Case Study on clay spreading out of WA on Assessing the profitability of soil amelioration may also be of interest.

Update Papers:
- Soil amelioration in medium and high rainfall regions – where will it pay (2023) - features a decision tree which may be of interest when unsure of the payback to amelioration decision
- Tailoring subsoil amelioration to paddock zones in southern Australia – a two-year update (2023)
- The potential to increase the crop productivity by treating hostile subsoils (2021)
SouthWimmera27/03/23Goroke NGN Forum
163
Faba bean genetic disease resistance, yield, and yield stability
NGN0253Attendees identified that beans are an important part of the rotation locally, providing an option for land not suited to lentils or other pulse production.

It was noted that attendees would like to see better genetic disease resistance in bean varieties coming through breeding programs, particularly for chocolate spot and Ascochyta blight. In the 2022 season growers ran out of options for fungicide due to MRL limits with continued seasonal disease pressure of the soft finish, along with breakdown in some genetic resistances.

Attendees noted that there were opportunities for better fungicide control through timely and judicious application.

Imidazolinone tolerant varieties are also desired by growers to provide alternative weed management options, however, compromises to yield potential and poorer disease packages due to targeting herbicide tolerance traits was a noted risk. PBA Bendoc (imi tolerant) was widely grown in the local area despite its poor disease ratings compared to other bean varieties, which amplified disease pressures last season.
GRDC currently invests in UOA1606-009RTX - Pulse Breeding Australia: Faba Bean Breeding which targets traits such as heat, frost, and disease resistances. Feedback from this forum will be shared with breeders to inform breeding objectives into the future. This podcast provides an overview of the breeding program https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/breeding-high-yielding-disease-resistant-faba-beans

In addition, UOA2204-004RTX - Bench marking faba bean yield genetic gain is seeking, as the title suggests, to benchmark genetic gain in bean yields over the last 40 years and measure shifts in phenology to inform future breeding objectives.

Another GRDC investment, DJP2105-006RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in Victoria, has a number of trials looking at economically increasing bean yield and yield stability. You can follow trials in this project through the season via the Grain Legume Extension Hub https://spahub.com.au

The following Update Papers may also be of interest:
- The agronomics of pulses, implications of new varieties and herbicide tolerance (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/the-agronomics-of-pulses-implications-of-new-varieties-and-herbicide-tolerance
- Pushing yield barriers in irrigated and dryland faba bean (2023) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/pushing-yield-barriers-in-irrigated-and-dryland-faba-bean
- Yield response to plant density in faba beans: management and profitability implications (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/07/yield-response-to-plant-density-in-faba-beans-management-and-profitability-implications
- Faba bean agronomy and varieties (2021) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/08/faba-bean-agronomy-and-varieties
SouthWimmera27/03/23Goroke NGN Forum
164
Residue (stubble) management impacts on seeding operations and crop establishment
NGN0254Following a series of high yield seasons managing stubble loads was identified as a major issue for seeding operations and crop establishment. High stubble loads are increasing pest refuges and it was noted that snail and slug populations in particular have seen a surge in recent seasons.

It was noted that poor establishment results are creating other management issues, such as lack of competition with weeds, which echo through the season.

To manage high stubble loads, growers are burning as a last resort, and are looking to other options such as incorporating stubble or use a speed tiller. Questions were raised by attendees around whether working the stubble back into the soil is more beneficial than burning and what the impacts on nutrition in the next crop are.

Questions were also raised on the role of carbon in locking up nitrogen reserves from the crop, with attendees querying whether additional applied N could offset lock up and accelerate mineralisation of N in stubbles through improving soil C:N ratios to support soil microbes
GRDC currently has an investment in DJP2204-006RTX - Stubble residue management for optimising canola establishment in the Wimmera. This aims to help growers assess options for stubble management and raise stubble retention limits by optimising seeding set up/ systems. This Ag Victoria project has undertaken a set up phase in 2022 with the trial commencing this season in 2023 and attendees are encouraged to engage with extension activities related to this project.
Other related investments in this space include:
- SFS2112-002SAX - Large stubble loads and the impact of stripper/disc systems in the High Rainfall Zone of Southern Australia.
- UOA2212-003RTX - Enterprise choice and sequence strategies that drive sustainable and profitable southern Australian farming systems.
GRDC has previously invested in Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble, or the “Stubble Initiative” which ran from 2014 to 2018. The July-August 2018 GroundCoverTM Supplement feature on Stubble highlights some of these research outcomes and has links to a range of useful resources. Further info on the Stubble Initiative can be viewed at: https://grdc.com.au/stubble-initiative
The following related GRDC Update papers may be of interest:
- Soil organic matter in dryland systems – management and opportunities (2022) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/soil-organic-matter-in-dryland-systems-management-and-opportunities
- Stubble and nutrient management to build soil carbon – challenges and opportunities, by Singh (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/stubble-and-nutrient-management-to-build-soil-carbon-challenges-and-opportunities
- Stubble management and nitrogen mineralisation Paddock Practices (2018) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2018/south/september/paddock-practices-stubble-management-and-nitrogen-mineralisation
- Profitable stubble retention systems for the high rainfall zone (2016) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/profitable-stubble-retention-systems-for-the-high-rainfall-zone
SouthWimmera27/03/23Goroke NGN Forum
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Legume options for southern Wimmera
NGN0255Beans remain the main legume grown by the attendees at the Goroke NGN forum. They are often viewed as the only grain legume that is suited to the rainfall and farming system through the region. Growers desire to grow alternative grain legume varieties adapted to their region to provide options for growers to access different markets and enhance profit.

Acid tolerance is a breeding trait attendees would like prioritised in legume breeding programs. Comments were made by attendees that they were lucky to have balansa clover as a rotational option due to its acid and waterlogging tolerance. Other grain legumes with similar adaptability would be ideal.

Locally, lupins are seen as a viable alternative option due to the proportion of mixed farming systems in the area. However, with a majority of the breeding program focussed on WA production, attendees feel there is a lack of confidence in the performance of lupin varieties in the VIC Wimmera sub-region. Agronomic management and how to achieve high yields in the MRZ-HRZ is also an area of uncertainty for growers.
DJP 2105-006RTX Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in Victoria is designed to assess the systems fit of pulse species and how to reduce the yield gap. Consequently, this investment has the ability to incorporate lupins and other crops. This has included demonstration of the impact of acid tolerant rhizobia for improving crop options in moderately acidic soils.

In 2016 the national lupin-breeding program was commercialised and is now run by Australian Grain Technologies, to date programs have focused on finding sources of genetic diversity for introgressing new traits into lupins. Breeding programs for lupins have historically been focused on WA growing environments and AGT may be able to provide advice on new germplasm in the pipeline which may be better suited to the Wimmera region https://www.agtbreeding.com.au/varieties/lupin . In addition to the above, GRDC invests in a range of pulse breeding programs including for vetch, chickpeas and faba beans.

Ground cover articles which may be of interest include:
Lentil trial gives impetus to Wimmera pulses https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/lentil-trial-gives-impetus-to-wimmera-pulses

The Publication Legumes in acidic soils - Maximising production potential is a guide developed to manage acidic soils and help growers choose the right legume for their production system. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/legumes-in-acidic-soils?utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=Legumes%20in%20acidic%20soils%20-%20Maximising%20production%20potential&utm_source=website&utm_term=North%3B%20South
SouthWimmera27/03/23Goroke NGN Forum
166
Soil carbon
management and
implications long
term
NGN0256Participants discussed that they are keen to increase their soil carbon and are seeking information on how to best measure their current soil carbon levels, benchmark this process over time and potentially build soil organic carbon. There is a desire to see communication outputs which share best practice approaches to building soil carbon, where the industry is at, what is required from a compliance perspective and what management strategies they will need to implement to be market ready for potential regulation etc.

Growers are motivated to be better managers of soil carbon, as this benefits their soil health, productivity, and the environment i.e., helping Australia meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. They are keen to be ahead of market signals in measuring, reporting, and monitoring soil organic carbon.

The desire for recognition or reward for the implementation of no-till practices was noted, and attendees are keen to see positive communication around their adoption of practices already implemented which are improving soil health.

Attendees noted that many growers are still burning to manage stubble (trash flow, establishment, weeds, pests and diseases) and that more extension is needed to build confidence in alternative options to limit (e.g., windrows) or eliminate burning.
As part of GRDC’s purpose to invest in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers, we are taking a strong RD&E lead not only to help Australian grain growers to adapt to climate change, but also to meet market and community demand that all sectors contribute to reducing global warming.

To do this GRDC recently commissioned the CSIRO to establish a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions baseline for the Australian grains industry. The Report and presentations on its findings are available from the Greenhouse gas emissions webpage. https://grdc.com.au/about/our-industry/greenhouse-gas-emissions

In addition to the presentations on this report the Grains Research updates also included a presentation from Professor Richard Eckhardt titled A realistic guide to soil carbon farming, which may be of interest. https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2022/february/grdc-grains-research-update-adelaide

GRDC has had a range of investments to understand the role of soil carbon in soil physical, chemical, and biological processes including the potential for building soil carbon. This includes a brand-new five-year investment with CSIRO CSP2302-011RTX - Options to increase soil organic carbon in grain production systems to investigate the potential to economically increase soil organic matter through effective nutrient management and whole of systems approaches to increase soil microbes. Read more about the recent announcement here. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/$3.5m-national-project-to-examine-ways-to-boost-soil-organic-matter

In addition to these investments through the Grain Innovate program, GRDC is also investing in LoamBio which is developing and commercialising carbon assimilating seed microbial inoculum to build soil carbon. https://www.graininnovate.com/Projects/Loam-Bio
More can be found with the search function at https://groundcover.grdc.com.au
- Highly productive crops can be more greenhouse gas efficient
- Australian grain: a leader in low emissions intensity production
- Carbon capture? There's an app for that

More can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab - Update Papers or Resources:
- Building soil carbon for your business (2022)
- Soil organic matter – what the science tells us (2020)
- Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Factsheet (2016)
- Managing Soil Organic Matter: A Practical Guide (2013)
- Managing soil biology to optimise nutrient availability (2014)
SouthWimmera28/03/23Rupanyup NGN Forum
167
Snail management
NGN0257Participants discussed that they have had snails in the region for 10-15 years, but that they are becoming an increasing issue. Active management of snails using all approaches they have access to is being undertaken, however there is a preference not to burn, as growers are keen to retain their stubbles. It was noted that current control strategies are not getting on top of the issue. Snails are a significant problem at harvest and are making a mess of the harvester. Snails are seen as a major contaminant issue at harvest with significant costs incurred with cleaning and delays to solve, so investment in alternative management approaches would be valuable.


Attendees reported that snail management is difficult, reporting the following concerns:
- Cabling has had limited success, is considered a fire risk, and there are concerns over it breaking the straw.
- Rolling has had limited success, with concerns that squashing the snail doesn’t kill the eggs.
- Growers report that the paddocks with lentils have better controlled snail populations due to the use of Carbendazim fungicide. Growers commented that it is unfortunately not registered in every crop and questioned if its use could be expanded to include snail management.
- Growers are seeking research into non-chemical control options, as well as the use of other products such as Carbendazim, to help them get on top of populations.
GRDC have invested in a new national program geared at More effective control of pest snails in Australian grain crops. This project (UOA2205-005RTX) will develop an integrated package of new biological knowledge, surveillance, and control methods, which will become tools to assist farmers to better manage molluscs on farm. Read more about this new $4.6 million national research project here: Multifaceted approach to combat snails in grain crops - GroundCover article

Another new GRDC investment (SAG2205-002OPX) is investigating Revegetation for enhanced biocontrol of pest conical snails. The project will quantitatively evaluate and demonstrate how targeted revegetation can be used to suppress conical snails by promoting biocontrol.

Ag Victoria recently ran a workshop series in the Wimmera (Feb 2023) on Managing snails with Michael Nash from La Trobe University whose research was funded by the GRDC. Findings from new investments listed above are likely to result in further extension activities into the future.

GRDC has created a landing page that collates slugs and snails slug resources.

The following GRDC papers, publications and Ground Cover stories provide insights into best practice snail management:
- Paddock Practices: Tips and tools for reducing snails at harvest
- This link takes you to the SARDI research page which provides insights into a range of GRDC funded snail management projects. Here you will find insights into snail and slug baiting guidelines. Timing is everything: when to bait snails - PIRSA
- Movement, breeding, baiting and biocontrol of Mediterranean snails (2021)
- Managing small conical snails factsheet (2021)
- Snail control improves harvest efficiency and quality (2020)
- Snail Management – learnings from recent studies (2020)
- Baiting snails – success is all about the timing (2020)
- Snail research – optimising control (2019)
- Snail Management factsheet (2012)
- Snail Identification and Control: The Back Pocket Guide (2011)

In 2012 the APVMA (Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority) undertook a review of the active constituent Carbendazim and labels relating to its use. Whilst with minor adjustments to labels around risks were required, use of the active was supported under current use patterns. However, expansions to other use patterns were not supported due to issues around toxicology and both human and environmental risks. Consequently, expanding use of carbendazim for snail management and or to other crop uses will not be pursued. Read the report here.
SouthWimmera28/03/23Rupanup NGN Forum
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Slug management
NGN0258In addition to snails, the impact of slugs was also raised as a priority issue, where attendees noted a significant increase in slug pressure in recent years and a shift regionally in where slugs are an issue.

It was noted that modern farming systems with retained stubble provide an ideal environment for slugs, and that numbers are continuing to increase in number and territory despite management attempts. Recent seasons which have been favourable for crop biomass production has resulted in large stubble loads and is thought to be contributing to slug population increases.
It was noted that there are several species of slugs present in the region and that current baiting strategies had been ineffective at driving down slug populations, and attendees are seeking new management options.
GRDCs investment in MAN2204-001SAX - communication and extension of slug management in the Southern Region aims to provide growers impacted by slugs in the Southern Region with improved knowledge on management strategies as delivered through workshops and updated communication and extension material. See https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=MAN2204-001SAX for a range of related resources including update papers, fact sheets, podcasts and more. The recently updated (Jul 2022) Slug Back Pocket Guide and Slug control factsheet have been developed as part of this investment. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2022/slugs-in-crops-the-back-pocket-guide and https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2022/slug-control-identification-and-management

New investment in optimising slug management through population modelling and innovative management strategies is currently under procurement. See PROC-9176861 at https://grdc.com.au/research/partnering-in-rde-investment/tenders/open-tenders/optimizing-slug-management-enhancing-capacity-and-capability-through-population-modelling-and-innovative-management-strategies

GRDC has created a landing page that collates slugs and snails slug resources at https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/slugs-and-snails?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Slugs%20and%20Snails

The following GRDC GroundCover stories, papers and fact sheets may also be of interest:
- Wet conditions make vigilance the key for slugs - Groundcover
- New insights into slug control - GRDC Update
- How do new molluscicide products perform in wet conditions - GRDC Update

CESAR and SARDI’s Pest Facts pages are handy resources too:
- Tackling slugs during establishment – Cesar Australia https://cesaraustralia.com/pestfacts/slugs-establishment-2023
- Slug baiting for integrated control - PIRSA https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/research/publications/pestfacts/past_issues/2021/pestfacts_april_2021/slug_baiting_for_integrated_control
SouthWimmera28/03/23Rupanup NGN Forum
169
Soil microbiology – chemical/soil/fungi interaction
NGN0259Attendees are seeking to understand the impact different crop protection chemistries have on soil microbial populations and are concerned high usage may be negatively impacting the overall health of their soils.

Anecdotal information was shared around attendees noting a change in soil structure and strength, having noticed a reduction in soil aggregates, and higher drift levels in no-till systems than previously. There is uncertainty about what is causing this, but attendees suspect it may be related to the use of crop protection chemicals impacting soil biological components.

It was noted that high use of fungicide, is likely to be impacting beneficial fungi and there is a desire to understand the role of beneficial fungal hyphae in maintaining good soil structure and whether current usage of fungicide is having a measurable negative impact. Attendees identified that growers are keen to test and monitor soil microbial and fungal populations over time and to understand how they can support beneficial microbes in their system.

There is also a desire from attendees to better understand how to manage and whether it is possible to build beneficial soil microbial populations, also with respect to the resulting impacts this may have on healthy plant growth.
Commencing in June 2023, GRDC has co-invested with the SA Grains industry trust (SAGIT) in SAG2306-001OPX Understanding the pesticide effects on soil microbial functions in contrasting SA soils which is seeking to address this issue and improve understanding of the impacts of herbicides and fungicides on soil microbial populations. Findings from this investment are likely to inform future research development and extension in this area across the Southern region.

Previous investment in this area has included DAN1307-007RTX - Benchmarking and managing soil herbicide residues for improved crop production, where the impacts of common herbicides were tested on soils across Australia. (Search GRDC Investments) This work focussed on detecting the chemical residues, plant toxicity thresholds and understanding what this means for soil health (biological, physical and chemical interactions). More can be found with the search function at https://grdc.com.au Resources and Publications tab:
Update Papers
- Impacts of residual herbicides on soil biological function
- Herbicide residues in soil – what is the scale and significance?
Podcast
- Herbicide residues in soil – what is the scale and significance?

Other investments related to this area include:
UWA1904-005RTX - Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Exploiting the Potential of a Novel Fungal Biofertiliser. This investment will characterise the potential of the native symbiotic fungus as a biofertiliser for three major grain crops (canola, wheat and barley), with a particular focus on improvement of crop yield and P nutrition. This is outlined in a GroundCover article. See https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/biofertiliser-potential-in-native-fungus?_gl=1*144db5s*_ga*MzUzMDA0MDQ1LjE2NzgwNTk4MTI.*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjkwMTI4MC4xMDYuMS4xNjgyOTAyODEzLjYwLjAuMA..*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjkwMTQ4MS43OC4xLjE2ODI5MDI4MTMuNTkuMC4w

UOS1606-006OPX - ARC Research Hub for Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture, which aims to provide plant materials to maximise production and environmental sustainability. One part of this investment is researchers are searching for new rhizobia and growth-promoting bacteria to improve the productivity of grain legume crops. This is outlined in a GroundCover article at https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/roots-soil-interplay-the-new-production-frontier

In addition to these investments through the Grain Innovate program GRDC is also investing in LoamBio which is developing and commercialising carbon assimilating seed microbial inoculum to build soil carbon. https://www.graininnovate.com/Projects/Loam-Bio

The following GRDC papers, publications and Ground Cover stories provide insights into soil microbiology interactions:
- Microbiome engineering as a tool to increase crop production in the 21st century (2021)
- Fungi and bacteria could play a role in ameliorating poor soil structure (2019)
- Soil biology - latest messages for advisers (2015)
- Managing soil biology to optimise nutrient availability (2014)
SouthWimmera28/03/23Rupanup NGN Forum
170
Understanding variances in frost impacts
NGN0260Frost was raised as an issue in the region, with growers wanting to better understand spatial variance i.e., growers noted they have lower country which doesn’t get frosted compared to higher elevations on the black ground which suffers. There is a desire to understand why this occurs.

Attendees reported that they are seeing frosts from August through to 8 November, so avoidance by targeting the flowering window isn’t highly effective as a frost management strategy.

The high degree of spatial and seasonal variability means frost damage is hard to predict and as such this limits management strategies. There is also a desire to understand the role of plant health/ nutrition in the ability of plants to tolerate frosts.

At present, both cereals and legumes are being severely impacted by frost.

Anecdotal observations around frost patterns included that attendees seemed to see higher incidence of frost with lentils on wheat stubble, where straw wasn't spread full width of header. Behind the header got knocked around harder, with visible strips of crop more heavily impacted. In addition, there are differences noted where stubble has been left standing compared to other residue lying on the ground. There is interest in better understanding the impact of stubble in mitigating frost damage.
GRDC currently has a Frost management webpage to group the latest resources to help growers navigate frost management and access the latest research. The page is broken down into sections for pre season, in-season and post frost management strategies which can be employed. See https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/frost-management Of particular interest on this page is information related to:

• Identifying paddocks or areas that are frost prone on your farm https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/frost-management/paddock-planning-key-part-of-effective-frost-management
• Stubble management considerations https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/frost-management/stubble-management-considerations
• Crop and variety choice https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/frost-management/crop-and-variety-choice

In addition to the above resources and information GRDC has a long history of investing in frost research, current investments in this space include:
( Related resources are at the link https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments and enter the project code in the search field)
FAR2204-001RTX - Enhancing frost tolerance and/or avoidance in wheat, barley and canola crops through in-season agronomic manipulation. This project will look at how frost avoidance could be achieved through the manipulation of crop phenology using novel agronomic practices. The project is also assessing methods of controlling ice nucleation active bacteria and the use of cryoprotectants in mitigating frost damage.

MSF2007-001SAX - Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future - southern region. This project is looking at extending and applying the outcomes of previous R&D investments relating to frost and will assist grower with management decisions relating to pre-season planning, in-season management and post-frost event responses.

CSP2002-006RTX - Frost SENSE: An integrated modelling framework to rapidly map the extent of stem and reproductive frost damage in wheat and barley. This project aims to demonstrate the capability of satellite data, combined with temperature maps and other data sources, to map frost damage in wheat and barley crops.

CSP1903-004RTX - Alternative phenotyping for reproductive stage frost tolerance using metabolite markers and identification of frost tolerance QTL in wheat. This investment aims to develop phenotyping tools for development and future development of chilling and frost-tolerant wheat.

The following resources provide insights into the latest frost learnings via GRDC Resources tab and search function:
UPDATE PAPERS
- Stubble and senesced leaves are the main sources of ice nucleation activity in wheat (2021)
- Bacterial ice nucleation activity in rainfall and on crop residues may explain why pre-frost rainfall and stubble retention increase frost damage in WA cropping systems (2021)
- Mounting evidence that soil amelioration can contribute to reduced frost severity on water repellent soils (2019)
PODCASTS
- Pre-seeding checklist for mitigating frost risk,
- Managing Frost Risk,
- Identifying Frost Damage,
- Frost Mapping and
- Frost Damaged Crop Salvage Options and Seed Retention
FACT SHEET
- Managing frost risk fact sheet
SouthWimmera28/03/23Rupanup NGN Forum
171
Salt Drainage
NGN0261Ability to test subsurface drainage & deep drainage solutions for management of salty country and short-term solutions for small salt areas that have come up after two wet years in a rowAny drainage of saline water from a farming property requires a notice of intent to drain (NOID) to be filled out. More details of this can be found here https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/soil-salinity/land-drainage-and-soil-and-land-conservation-act-western-australia

GRDC has 2 current investments underway focussing on sub-surface drainage.

Understanding return on investment of sub-surface water management options for waterlogged areas in the Western Region (Albany Port Zone)- SCF2005-001SAX - here https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SCF2005-001SAX

Understanding return on investment of sub-surface water management options for waterlogged areas in the Western Region- SCN2005-001SAX - herehttps://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SCN2005-001SAX

GRDC in conjunction with Southcoast Natural Resource Management and host growers will be releasing a podcast and YouTube video relating to this project. Sign up to the GRDC podcast and YouTube channel here for updates:

Podcast:

https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/thegrdc

GRDC and DPRID also have an investment underway relating to the management of sodic soils and management of transient salinity. More details can be found here:

Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region- DAW1902-001RTX - here https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW1902-001RTX

Papers relating to this research can be found here https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/the-role-of-elemental-sulfur-in-improving-chemical-and-physical-characteristics-of-a-sodic-soil
WestEsperance Port Zone19/01/23Bremer Bay NGN Forum
172
Salt Drainage
NGN0262Alternative species i.e. Lucerne or clover to grow in salt areas.Previous research into salt tolerant pasture species has been undertaken by both GRDC and DPIRD. More information on salt tolerant pasture species can be found here: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/02/new-pasture-legumes-for-the-grainbelt

More information on determining the level of salinity and the best way of selecting tolerant pasture species for your situation can be found here: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/soil-salinity/saltland-pastures-western-australia

We’ve also asked the experts. Here’s what they had to say:

For pasture legumes:
• High waterlogging/ moderate salt= Messina (Melilotus siculus)
• High salt /low rainfall areas (waterlogging risk is low): Burr medics (Medicago polymorpha) prevail (i.e. Serena, Santiago, Circle Valley, Scimitar and Cavalier) with the less productive species also having some tolerance (i.e. Barrel Medic M. truncatula).
• High salt / low waterlogging, Woolly ball clover (T. tomentosum)
• High waterlogging/low salt= Balansa or Persian Clover (Trifolium michelianum/resupinatum)
• Low-medium salt/low waterlogging, lucerne (M. sativus) (there is a SARDI cultivar) and strawberry clover (T. fragiferum)
• Other species, we do not know about serradellas (Ornithopus sativus), but the plant does not like waterlogging.
• Gland clover (T. glanduliferum) can handle some waterlogging but don’t know about salinity.
• Bladder clovers (T. spumosum) can’t handle too much waterlogging but don’t know about salinity.
• Biserrula pelecinus has no salt and waterlogging tolerance.
• Trigonella balansae

For grain legumes:
Lupin, lentil and chickpea are very sensitive, while vetch, faba and field pea have some but low tolerance to soil salinity.
Faba is quite waterlogging tolerant.

Inoculant:
Sinorhizobium is by far the most salt tolerant rhizobia (Group AL and AM for medics)
Esperance Port Zone19/01/23Bremer Bay NGN Forum
173
Disease resistance
NGN0263Net blotch in barley – needing 3 fungicide sprays in season, expensive and minimal result, needing to rotate fungicides, barley varieties are only lasting 5 years before the disease rating breaks down, not thinking about the order to use fungicides in (not using them in most effective way)

Powdery mildew in wheat – fungicide applications. Scepter was the most impacted variety in 2022

Canola – sclerotinia is still an issue.
Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network (AFREN): Aims to provide growers with consistent and reliable information on fungicide resistance development and management strategies – https://afren.com.au for more information GRDC has recently approached the market with a tender - Effective control of blackleg in canola. The program takes a multifaceted approach (genetic, cultural, chemical) to improve the management of blackleg for Australian canola growers.

AFREN has a great website with lots of information here: https://afren.com.au

Useful resources:

Net blotches
Groundcover article - Innovation to curb barley blotches https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/co-innovation-to-curb-barley-blotches

Factsheet

Fungicide resistance in barley - GRDC https://grdc.com.au/fungicide-resistance-in-barley
Net form net blotch (NFNB), spot form net blotch (SFNB) and powdery mildew are important diseases of barley that have exhibited fungicide resistance in Australia.
grdc.com.au

Disease management for WA growers in 2023

Paddock Practice – Variety selection for disease management https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2022/west/november/paddock-practices-variety-selections-for-fungal-disease-management-in-2023
DPIRD - 2023 WA Crop sowing guide:
2023 WA Crop Sowing Guide | Agriculture and Food The Crop Sowing Guide for Western Australia is a one stop shop for variety information on all the major crops grown in WA. see https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/grains-research-development/2023-wa-crop-sowing-guide The publication aims to provide information to support growers with decisions on the best choice of variety for each of the major crops for the upcoming season. Some management tips for cereals are also provided.
The pulse section includes an ‘agronomy guide’ see www.agric.wa.gov.au
WestEsperance Port Zone19/01/23Bremer Bay NGN Forum
174
NGN - Understanding herbicide behaviour workshops.
NGN0264An NGN forum at Howlong, Tullamore and Wentworth identified that growers require continuous updating of herbicide knowledge (pre and post) including new products, new findings on old products, changes to MRLs and carriers as well as herbicide mixing does and don’ts.

A GRDC report, ‘Management of Residual Herbicides in Broadacre Cropping’ contracted under THA00001, provided a summary of gaps and opportunities for future extension relating to the on-going management of herbicides. This report identified specific herbicides and/or mixes that pose a risk to subsequent crops including sulfonylureas, imidazolinones, triazines, clopyralid, triclopyr, pyrasulfotole, isoxaflutole, 2,4-D, dicamba, glyphosate, propyzamide and pyroxasulfone.
With increasing weed populations becoming resistant to post emergent herbicides and in particular glyphosate, improved understanding of how post emergent herbicides work helps to extract the maximum remaining efficacy from products. To continue to use herbicides in these complex settings it is essential that advisors, consultants and users have a deep understanding of what drives herbicide behaviour.NorthCentral East NSW
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15/08/22NGN forums at Howlong, Tullamore and Wentworth
175
Legume options for alternate sources of nitrogen (N)
NGN0265How effective are the alternate legume options as N sources? Vetch? Green manuring or take to harvest? How do the economic stack up with green or brown manuring followed by the cereal crop response V's no "fallow"?

Lupins are not good in waterlogged situations; is there a vetch variety that is waterlogging tolerant?
GRDC has previously invested in Boosting profit and reducing risk on mixed farms in low and medium rainfall areas with newly discovered legume pastures enabled by innovative management methods - Western region (Dryland pasture legume systems)- UMU1805-001RMX. Resources and information regarding this investment can be found here:

Video
YouTube Video- Dryland Pasture Legumes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM-zKtpTLwg

Groundcover articles
GRDC Groundcover Supplement Dryland Pasture Systems, July-August 2022 https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grdc-groundcover-supplement?supp=dryland-pasture-systems-july-august-2022

Chickpeas and rhizobia https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/chickpea-rhizobia-partnerships-are-exclusive

High value pulses https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/could-high-value-pulses-play-a-tactical-role-in-rotations

Double break legumes https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/benefits-of-a-double-break-crop-being-explored-in-the-west

Novel pasture legumes https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/western/peers-and-advisers-guide-novel-pasture-pursuit

GRDC Factsheets

Legume N fixation https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2014/07/grdc-fs-nfixation-legumes

Legume tips and tactics https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2017/06/tips-and-tactics-legumes-and-nitrogen-fixation


Further investment into pasture and grain legumes by GRDC is currently underway:

WAARC: Summer sown aerial seeded pasture legume development for Western Australia project- UMU2303-005RTX
GRDC Investment https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU2303-005RTX

Closing the Economic Yield Gap for Grain Legumes in Western Australia- GGA2110-002SAX
GRDC Investment https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=GGA2110-002SAX

NGN - Growing summer active legumes for winter nitrogen in the HFZ- SCF2301-002SAX
GRDC Investment https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SCF2301-002SAX

GRDC Nitrogen manual written for the Southern Region (SA/Vic) might provide some helpful information:
GRDC N reference manual- Southern Region. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/a-nitrogen-reference-manual-for-the-southern-cropping-region

GRDC update paper on profitable break crops including canola and legumes in the LRZ:
GRDC update paper- Profitable break crops https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/break-crops-can-form-part-of-a-profitable-cropping-system-in-the-low-rainfall-zone-of-western-australia

CSBP Fertiliser conducted a trial showing the value of legumes compared to canola to a following wheat crop:
CSBP Results- Benefits of legumes https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/benefits-of-legumes-to-cropping-rotations
WestGeraldton Port Zone21/02/223Carnamah NGN forum
176
Most profitable cropping rotation
NGN0266For example - wheat/lupin/wheat/canola
or lupin/canola/wheat?

Growers are looking for a long term view as it was seen in this area, in 2022, there was an extra ton/ha of canola produced following a lupin crop.

Need to start by looking at the economic modelling and then move into trials once modelling has been completed.

What are the N dynamics with canola following lupins, and how does potassium (K) recycle?
While only in its first year of trials, the WA Farming Systems project - DAW2204-003RTX – with DPIRD, is expected to assist current knowledge on how to best manage current production system risks and prepare for potential future scenarios. More information on the project can be found here. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW2204-003RTX Major trial sites are located near Northampton, Merredin and Lake Grace.

In 2017 GRDC produced this booklet of case studies - “Break Crops and Rotations of Western Australia” - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2017/03/break-crops-and-rotations-of-western-australia - it outlines some of the rotation options that Western Australian growers from the Kwinana East and Geraldton port zones have adopted to maintain profitability and diversity in their farming system. It contains some tips and tricks that growers have adopted to make the decision on what, if any, break crop or pasture works for them.

As part of the “Developing farming systems for the low rainfall of WA” project – CSP1606-00RTX, the researchers produced this Updates paper:
Monitoring every crop sequence across the Western Australian low rainfall zone https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/monitoring-every-crop-sequence-across-the-western-australian-low-rainfall-zone
More information on the entire project can be found here https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP1606-007RTX

As a result of the 2022 NGN Forums, GRDC has now invested in the project “Determining optimal potassium levels and management options”, WMG2304-001SAX, that aims to support growers in the West Midlands region to understand potassium (K) cycling across their system and determine their farm's K budget. This project has commenced this year so keep an eye out for results.
WestGeraldton Port Zone21/02/23Carnamah NGN forum
177
Biological control options for pests
NGN0267Attendees identified an increasing occurrence of resistance to insecticides in their region as a major issue. They were interested to know if there is any research regarding biological insect control, or beneficials, that could assist with the control of red legged earth mite (RLEM), lucerne flea, aphids, diamondback moth (DBM) and native budworm.GRDC currently has some investments researching biological and beneficial controls of crop pests, these are listed below:

Project UMU2001-003RSX is a PhD funded research project examining to alternative methods of control for green peach aphid.

GRDC Ground Cover article discusses this project here. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/natural-enemies-to-be-enlisted-against-green-peach-aphid


Project UOM1906-002RTX is investigating novel solutions for pest management in Australian cropping systems. It is taking new technology that exists in the medical space into agricultural pest management.

A Podcast discussing this project can be found here. https://open.spotify.com/show/37clYPDVVyVszgwmRo5lpI

GRDC Ground Cover article discusses on this project here. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/authority-warns-of-growing-insecticide-resistance-risk?_gl=1*mvlqit*_ga*MjExODkyNTM0MS4xNjgxMjc5NTk3*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4NDczMjI5OS41NC4xLjE2ODQ3MzM0MTguMzMuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4NDczMjI5OS40OC4xLjE2ODQ3MzM0MTguMzMuMC4w


Project DAW2106-001RTX is examining the economic impact of Native Budworm in cereal crops in the Western region. More information on this project can be found here. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW2106-001RTX

You can listen to Podcast discussing this project here. https://open.spotify.com/show/37clYPDVVyVszgwmRo5lpI

A GRDC YouTube video also discusses the project here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz02oMiNiO0

Project CES2010-001RTX is investigating future options for the control of RLEM in Australian grain crops. More information on this investment can be found here. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CES2010-001RTX

Further to the above projects, existing research has shown that an Integrated Pest Management approach is key to controlling non-beneficial insects in cropping systems and slowing pest resistance to insecticides. Below are some related articles:

Pesticide resistance in Australian Grain regions – lesson to be learned. GRDC https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2018/06/resistance-management-strategy-for-the-redlegged-earth-mite-in-australian-grains-and-pastures?utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=Resistance%20management%20strategy%20for%20the%20Redlegged%20Earth%20Mite%20in%20Australian%20grains%20and%20pastureses&utm_source=website&utm_term=National

Project UOM1607-003RTX examined management practices for controlling RLEM in Australian cropping systems. A Ground Cover article discusses the project here. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/mite-resistance-mapping-sets-up-management Resistance management strategy for the Redlegged earth mite in Australian grains and pasture can be downloaded here https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/mite-resistance-mapping-sets-up-management

New research points to lack of insecticide resistance in lucerne flea – GRDC Ground Cover https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/testing-program-finds-no-insecticide-resistance-in-lucerne-flea-pest

Managing Diamondback Moth – GRDC Paddock Practice. Integrated Pest Management Approach. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2022/west/september/paddock-practices-managing-diamondback-moth

Strategies to control native budworm – GRDC YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRfOzNyGJMc
WestGeraldton Port Zone21/02/23Carnamah NGN Forum
178
Dye nights to measure herbicide application efficacy.
NGN0268Attendees commented they had issues in recent years with crop damage which they believed resulted from pre-emergent herbicide incorporation.

A grower noted that ground speed had a material impact on soil through, incorporation and potential herbicide contamination in the adjoining furrows. It was further noted that seeder row spacing dictated the speed at which machines could operate so as to not cause excessive soil throw into the adjoining furrow.
Field Demonstration:
In addition to the above, 3FINs & GRDC ran a Dye Night Demonstration in May examining the impact of row spacing and ground speed on soil throw and pre-emergent incorporation.

Four demonstration runs were completed using two seeders with row spacings of 10inch and 12inch, each seeder then completed runs at 8 and 10 kilometres per hour to observe the difference in soil through between the runs.

The UV dye showed up particularly well on stubble resides and organic matter leading to good conversation around the management of pre-emergent herbicide options, efficacy in moderate stubble residue loadings and early post-em control options. With new herbicide chemistry options and modes of control entering the marketplace it is prudent to revisit the importance of correct application practices and sprayer setup to ensure effective weed control.

GRDC Updates:
-Understanding Pre-Emergent Herbicide – GRDC Update https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/understanding-pre-emergent-herbicide-availability,-selectivity-and-persistence-and-how-we-can-use-this-knowledge-to-predict-behaviour-of-new-herbicides.
-Pre-emergent herbicide: review of what we know and need to know – https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/pre-emergent-herbicide-a-review-of-what-we-know-and-need-to-know
-Pre-emergent Herbicides Fact Sheet – https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2021/pre-ermergent-herbicides-fact-sheet?utm_medium=short_url&utm_term=National&utm_content=Pre-emergent%20herbicides%20fact%20sheet&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=ICN1811-001SAX

Tips for tackling post-emergent weeds – https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2018/west/may/paddock-practices-tips-for-tackling-post-emergent-weeds

Sprayer Setup and Calibration – https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/learning-and-development/events-in-the-western-region-set-to-deliver-best-practice-spray-information

Podcast:
The Most Expensive Herbicide is the one that doesn’t work – GRDC (Bill Campbell) https://open.spotify.com/show/37clYPDVVyVszgwmRo5lpI

YouTube:
What you should know about the new pre-emergent herbicides – GRDC Update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHEk1Um8xzA&feature=youtu.be
WestGeraldton Port Zone21/02/23Carnamah NGN Forum
179
Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and
understanding nutrient dynamics throughout the season.
NGN0272Better understanding the soil nutrient dynamics throughout the season. How does it impact on crop performance? What management decisions can be made to optimise yield?

How do nutrient dynamics impact on crop performance and what management decisions can be made to optimise yield?

CSBP did a workshop to help understand N and all the different fertilisers available. The trial did soil and plant testing all throughout the season and in legumes it showed that the levels of N went up and down dramatically due to rain, heat and other factors. It showed you could have high N then 1 month later fluctuation would be large and levels would be really low. Rain plays a large factor when modelling. It would be helpful to understand the cycle.
GRDC have a current investment underway with the University of Queensland Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems - augmenting measurements to enhance modelling - UOQ2204-010RTX. WA section will be led by Dr Louise Barton at UWA.
This five year investment will collect a comprehensive data set of N balance and cycling with explicit measurement of loss pathways to address key gaps in data for the most important soil types and farming systems across Australia's grain growing areas. This data set will feed into APSIM model development and validation. The revisions made to APSIM will improve its capacity to simulate N cycling processes and predictions of N losses across the broader Australian grains industry.

Search the investment on GRDC.com.au/RD&E/Investments and enter the project code (above)

Podcasts relating to this investment can be found here:

Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/predicting-nitrogen-cycling-and-losses-in-australian-cropping-systems

Also search: Nitrogen losses – better data decisions.

GRDC Updates – Nitrogen loss pathways – How much do we lose and in what form https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/06/nitrogen-loss-pathways-how-much-do-we-lose-and-in-what-form-under-different-situations

GRDC Updates – A systems approach to nitrogen management https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/a-systems-approach-to-nitrogen-management

Journal article - Nitrogen use efficiency of 15N urea applied to wheat based on fertiliser timing and use of inhibitors https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10705-019-10028-x

GRDC is also currently conducting an analysis of the investment opportunities, in regard to carbon dynamics and the implications for N cycling, as well as the different pathways of N takes to leave the production system and ways to mitigate these losses. GRDC are also looking at how Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers (EEFs) and crop residues impact NUE and emissions

Regarding the CSBP trial discussed at the forum, the trial data from the Dandaragan site can be found on their website. Full details here
WestGeraldton Port Zone20/02/23Yuna NGN Forum
180
Profitable break crops
NGN0276Profitable break crops that can provide disease break benefits as well as N fixing.

Profitable break crops to market fluctuating prices.

Pasture legumes for heavy soils that make money and produces sufficient biomass for grazing.

What is the impact of legume nitrogen?

Logistics around storage?
Profitable Break Crops:
GRDC has previously invested in cropping sequences including profitable break crops. More information can be found at the following links:
GRDC Update paper- Profitable Break crops https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/break-crops-can-form-part-of-a-profitable-cropping-system-in-the-low-rainfall-zone-of-western-australia

GRDC update paper- Break crop yield benchmarking https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/break-crop-yields-benchmarked-against-wheat-in-wa

GRDC update paper- Double break https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/04/can-double-break-crop-rotations-be-effective-and-profitable-across-the-wheatbelt

GRDC update paper- Disease control using break crops https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/give-me-a-break!-options-for-paddocks-infested-with-both-root-lesion-nematodes-and-rhizoctonia-solani-ag8

Search www.GRDC.com.au click RD&E/Investment tab for "Safflower as a profitable break crop, NGN Safflower Agronomy and Extension: WA- CRP2205-002SAX"

Pasture Legumes:
GRDC has previously invested in Boosting profit and reducing risk on mixed farms in low and medium rainfall areas with newly discovered legume pastures enabled by innovative management methods - Western region (Dryland pasture legume systems)- UMU1805-001RMX
Explore GRDC Updates, Groundcover articles, videos and more information on the website and search Dryland Pasture Systems; Serradella in Ardath; New Pastures; and Vetch in Narembeen.

Previous GRDC investment around the N fixation by legumes resulted in a number of GRDC Factsheets: Search under RD&E for Legume N Fixation; and Legume Tips and Tactics.


Further investment into legumes by GRDC is currently underway as a part of the WAARC: Summer sown aerial seeded pasture legume development for Western Australia project - UMU2303-005RTX Search on the RD&E tab -Investments.
Try:
YouTube Video- Dryland Pasture Legumes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM-zKtpTLwg

N management:
Download the GRDC Nitrogen manual PDF written for the Southern Region.

While only in its first year of trials, the WA Farming Systems project - DAW2204-003RTX – with DPIRD, is expected to assist current knowledge on how to best manage current production system risks and prepare for potential future scenarios. Major trial sites are located near Northampton, Merredin and Lake Grace.

External Resources:
CSBP Fertiliser recently conducted a trial showing the value of legumes to a following wheat crop:
CSBP Results- Benefits of legumes https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/benefits-of-legumes-to-cropping-rotations

Grain Storage and logistics resources:

Grab a coffee and watch GRDC webinar- Grain Storage planning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-GbTVIYrZI

Stored Grain website https://storedgrain.com.au
WestKwinana East Port Zone22/02/23Narembeen NGN Forum
181
Legumes and nitrogen inputs in fallow and fallow management
NGN0277Profitability of legumes in fallow rotation.

Quantifying the N benefit in different legume rotations and profitability in the fallow season.

Chemical application timing

Mechanical - crimping etc

Understanding the actual system to be able to present to bank to allow budget to fallow.
GRDC have previously invested in fallow research as a part of Developing farming systems for the LRZ of Western Australia-CSP1606-007RTX which concluded in 2022. Ongoing research into fallow economics and options as a part of Fallow Management and the economic costs-LAK2204-002SAX will conclude in 2024.
More information about both of these projects can be found here:

GRDC Groundcover- Fallow Management https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/water-resources/fallow-tool-for-the-low-rainfall-zone

A GRDC publication about managing weeds in a summer fallow situation can be found here: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2014/05/grdc-manual-summerfallowweedmanagement


Previous GRDC research into moisture conservation in fallow situations can be found here: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2014/05/conserving-and-managing-soil-moisture

GRDC update paper has a novel approach to weed control in fallow involving chipping weeds mechanically. https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/news-and-media-releases/west/2019/2/technology-could-chip-away-at-weed-problem

A scientific paper outlining long fallow in WA can be found here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308521X22001974
(Integrating long fallow into wheat-based cropping systems in Western Australia: Spatial pattern of yield and economic responses)
WestKwinana East Port Zone22/02/23Narembeen NGN Forum
182
Innovation for low profit margin areas
NGN0278Analysis of subscription-based technologies vs outright purchase to own your own data and to stop the ongoing extra percentage of $$$ going out each year for propriety software access

How to better utilise data for farm planning, VRT training and implementation.

Better utilising data in mapping for example weather stations, IOT and profit data.
Subscription based technologies:
GRDC is unable to influence the pricing decisions commercial companies make for software products they have built using their own funds. GRDC would be inducing market failure if we invested in duplicating products already built by commercial companies.

Utilising data for VRT:
Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s recent investments into SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT) and SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate. These investments involved a series of workshops and peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption. Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website. These investments are due to conclude in June 2023 with reinvestment in this space currently in development.

SPAA https://www.spaa.com.au

A webinar related to this project was held on the 10th of May and can be viewed here:

GRDC - SPAA Webinar https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2023/may/grdc-society-of-precision-agriculture-spaa-livestream-variable-rate-technology

This Video and Podcast gives a quick insight before you search www.grdc.com.au on
Data management:
At the Cunderdin GRDC updates held a few years ago GRDC spoke to Agworld in the below video about data management options:

GRDC Video - Data Management and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvU_Ndlc4IA
GRDC podcast - Step by step guide to PA https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/step-by-step-guide-to-precision-agriculture

Click RD&E/Resources & Publications for more on using Precision Ag. Search these PDF titles:
Profit from PA– designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology
Embracing PA- a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA

On the Fact Sheet tab
Soil testing production zones
Fertiliser test strips
Try GRDC Update Papers such as:
Common data layers- Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically ground truth (2022)
Targeted fertiliser decisions Better targeted, more precise fertiliser decisions as a counter to rising fertiliser prices – focusing on 3 of the 6 Rs (2022)

Better utilising data
GRDC has invested in Future Farm Phase 2: Improving farmer confidence in targeted N management through automated sensing and decision support- CSP1803-020RMX
GRDC update paper- In crop N sensors
GRDC update paper- New and emerging technology to improve business management

News article
GRDC News- Using off farm data
WestKwinana East Port Zone22/02/23Narembeen NGN Forum
183
Rotational benefits of legumes
NGN0279What is the nitrogen (N) value from pasture and crop legumes and how do we quantify?GRDC has previously invested in Boosting profit and reducing risk on mixed farms in low and medium rainfall areas with newly discovered legume pastures enabled by innovative management methods - Western region (Dryland pasture legume systems)- UMU1805-001RMX
Resources and information regarding this investment can be found here:

YouTube Video- Dryland Pasture Legumes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM-zKtpTLwg

GRDC update paper- Dryland Pasture Systems Project https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/cereals-after-pasture-legumes-have-higher-grain-protein-levels

GRDC update paper- Novel annual pasture legumes https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/phases-of-novel-annual-pasture-legumes-are-a-profitable-and-low-risk-option-in-low-medium-rainfall-regions

Further investment into legumes by GRDC is currently underway as a part of the WAARC: Summer sown aerial seeded pasture legume development for Western Australia project- UMU2303-005RTX
GRDC Investment https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UMU2303-005RTX

Previous GRDC investment around N fixation by legumes resulted in a number of GRDC Factsheets which can be searched on www.grdc.com.au Resources & Publications tab

- Legume N fixation
- Legume tips and tactics

Groundcover articles found at: https://groundcover.grdc.com.au
- Dryland pasture systems

- Serradella in Ardath

- Pastures that can supercharge crop sequences

- Vetch shows promise as WA pasture option (Narembeen)

- Hard seeded Nature of novel pasture legumes

- Annual legumes to build soil nitrogen

A GRDC Nitrogen Reference Manual (PDF) written for the Southern Region might provide some helpful information: search Nitrogen Reference Manual

CSBP Fertiliser conducted a trial showing the value of legumes to a following wheat crop:
CSBP Results- Benefits of legumes https://csbpresults.com.au/trials/benefits-of-legumes-to-cropping-rotations

While only in its first year of trials, the WA Farming Systems project - DAW2204-003RTX – with DPIRD, is expected to assist current knowledge on how to best manage current production system risks and prepare for potential future scenarios. More information on the project can be found Western Australian Farming Systems (grdc.com.au). Major trial sites are located near Northampton, Merredin and Lake Grace.
WestKwinana East Port Zone22/02/23Narembeen NGN Forum
184
Green on green technology
NGN0280Green on green for weeds in cropping and green on green for weeds in pasture.Green on green spraying technology is currently under development by a number of commercial companies in Australia. As yet there are no plans to develop algorithms for weed control in pastures, however there are algorithms already being tested for in crop control of certain weed species in grain crops.

At the 2019 Grain Research updates in Perth the below paper was presented, this paper also contains links to factsheets from SPAA:

GRDC update paper https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2019/02/green-on-green-camera-spraying-a-game-changer-on-our-doorstep2

GRDC is aware of the emerging green-on-green technology, and aware of the current regulatory limitations with the registration of a herbicide with this technology, particularly if there is a known adverse effect on crop health. GRDC is currently engaging with the agrichemical industry and the regulatory authority (APVMA) to attempt to understand and resolve some of these issues.
WestAlbany Port Zone23/02/23Newdegate NGN Forum
185
Trace Elements/Micronutrients
NGN0281- Copper and manganese economics and determining requirements?
-Copper on lighter land and frost.
There are several relevant fact sheets and resources which relate to understanding and interpreting plant trace element/micronutrient needs. Listen to this grower perspective:
GRDC Podcast https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/a-growers-perspective-on-micronutrient-foliar-application
GRDC Video- Copper and Frost MPCN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uWpcQBjnDQ

In www.grdc.com.au, click Resources & Publications/ all Publications/Factsheets and search for titles:
Micronutrients and Trace Elements
Plant tissue testing

GRDC Update Papers
Plant tissue testing
Trace elements: Copper and Manganese

DPIRD- Monitoring plant nutrition levels: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/mycrop/monitoring-plant-nutrition-levels

GRDC is currently investigating further investments into trace element requirements for pulse crops.

A range of useful external resources, such as micronutrient fact sheets can be found via the International Plant Nutrition Institute website. These resources have largely resulted from GRDC investment.
IPNI Website: http://anz.ipni.net/topic/micronutrients
CSBP Fertilisers have a research results website with relevant recent trace element results available here:
CSBP Results: https://csbpresults.com.au/trials
CSBP video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP1uo1dB0-Y using an app.
Summit Fertilizers have a research results website with relevant recent trace element results available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP1uo1dB0-Y
WestAlbany Port Zone23/02/23Newdegate NGN Forum
186
Cost of grid mapping soil N for variable rate nitrogen application
NGN0077Understanding the value of protein mapping for nitrogen applicationsUseful resources:
GRDC Northern Region Research Update Papers and Presentations ICN1906-003SAX:
https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2021/may/grdc-grains-research-updates,-online-re-thinking-n-across-the-farming-system
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/08/within-paddock-nitrogen-variability-and-the-potential-role-of-cereal-grain-protein-mapping-for-site-specific-n-management
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/managing-water-and-n-across-years-and-crop-sequences-to-drive-profit
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/strategies-for-long-term-management-of-n-across-farming-systems
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/07/within-paddock-nitrogen-variability-and-the-potential-role-of-cereal-grain-protein-mapping-for-site-specific-n-management
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/07/on-the-go-protein-sensors-using-real-time-protein-data-for-more-profitable-marketing-aggregations-and-nitrogen-decisions
NorthSouth East NSW
South West NSW
01/08/22
187
NGN - Identifying the legacy effects on canola and/or wheat following pulse crops
NGN0147The legacy effects of pulse crops are not factored into Gross Margin accounting. This approach creates negative bias for the inclusion of pulse crops in farming systems. There is an opportunity to better value pulse crops by re-cropping pulse plots established in the southwest and central west of NSW so an unbiased value of the pulse crop contribution can be established.The proposed action is to re-crop pulse trail plots in southwest and central west NSW to develop a more accurate understanding of the financial contribution pulse crop make to subsequent wheat or canola crops. The work would be demonstrating the pulse crop legacy effects at a local level in western regions of NSW so growers can track and trace progression of benefits at field days and at local GRDC Update events. The proposal is to re-crop pulse plots established as part of an existing investment call 'Development and extension to close the economic yield gap from grain legume production in New South Wales'. Yield, costs, and profits would be recorded for scrutiny by local grain growers.NorthCentral West NSW
South West NSW
01/08/22NGN at Barellan and Narromine
188
NGN - Economic returns from managing sclerotinia in medium rainfall landscapes – an applied agronomy perspective.
NGN0148Growers in medium rainfall zones have often adopted fungicide control programs practised in higher rainfall settings for sclerotinia control in canola (e.g., fungicide application at 30% flowering). However, the disease has specific requirements for upper canopy infection where a continuously wet canopy is required for three days with Sclerotinia present on petals that lodge in branches. Growers would like to know what the likelihood of an economic return is in the medium rainfall zone where environmental conditions are typically not as wet as those experienced in the higher rainfall zone where fungicide control programs are common practise. Depending on the findings these results may result in cost savings (likely - no fungicide required) or income protection (likely – fungicide required).The proposed action is to test the application of fungicides for sclerotinia in canola at a range of sites located in the medium rainfall zone. Petals will be tested for presence of the disease and yield will be taken to calculate the probability of an economic return over sites (4) and years (2). This will inform growers of the likely return on investment acquired from fungicide application in canola for the control of sclerotinia. Get a head start with this related investment: GOA2006-001RTX Agronomic management of weeds, crop nutrition and farming practices in central west NSW to maximise crop profitability. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/fungicide-on-canola-in-the-low-and-medium-rainfall-zones-of-nsw-great-investment,-safe-insurance-or-a-waste-of-moneyNorthCentral West NSW
South West NSW
08/08/22NGN at Trundle and Temora
189
NGN – Understanding the nutritional requirements of hyper yielding crops – learnings from organic fertiliser use.
NGN0149Growers are looking to obtain yields promoted out of the ‘Hyper Yielding Crops’ investment. Findings to date indicate that additional yield can obtained by supplementing with manures (organic fertiliser) compared with traditional inorganic fertilisers only (e.g., MAP, DAP and urea). This suggests some nutritional requirements of these crops (primarily canola) are not being supplied by traditional fertiliser practises. To better understand these effects, growers are keen to determine the full range of nutrient requirements for Hyper yielding canola crops.The proposed action is to compare and contrast canola yields under traditional (MAP and urea) and non-traditional fertiliser programs (manure, MAP and urea) to establish which nutrients may be adding additional yield to hyper yielding canola crops. These results will then be compared on a financial basis to establish the profit or loss from the supplementary fertiliser program. In addition, this will highlight how inorganic fertiliser programs can be altered to maximums hyper yielding canola crops.NorthSouth East NSW15/08/22NGN at Howlong and Barellan
190
Developing expertise in precision technology
NGN0300Precision agriculture is a space within the grains industry that offers producers a significant opportunity for gains in productivity and input efficiency.

Growers who attended the NGN forum mentioned equipment manufacturer technicians generally only know the basics which creates a knowledge gap for growers wanting to integrate this technology onto their farms.

The lack of precision technology experts across the state who are adequately qualified to assist with them with setting up and effectively operating these systems is a significant barrier to the adoption of this technology.
Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s recent investments into Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT) - SPA2001-001SAX (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SPA2001-001SAX ) and Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate - SPA2201-001SAX. (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SPA2201-001SAX) These investments involved a series of workshops and peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption.

Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website ( https://www.spaa.com.au ). These investments are due to conclude in June 2023 with reinvestment in this space currently in development.

Livestream Recording May 2023 - GRDC Society of Precision Agriculture (SPAA) Livestream – Variable Rate Technology https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2023/may/grdc-society-of-precision-agriculture-spaa-livestream-variable-rate-technology

Further GRDC Publications and Update Papers:
- Profit from precision agriculture – designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology
- Embracing precision agriculture - a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA.
- Using production zones to develop a soil testing strategy – factsheet on zoning providing insights into understanding variation and identifying production zones within paddocks to develop an effective soil testing strategy.
- Fertiliser fact sheet – provides insights into to establishing fertiliser test strips
- Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically ground truth (2022)
- Better targeted, more precise fertiliser decisions as a counter to rising fertiliser prices – focusing on 3 of the 6 Rs (2022)

PODCAST discussing the Profit from Precision Agriculture project (https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/step-by-step-guide-to-precision-agriculture )
WestKwinana West Port Zone20/06/23Yerecoin NGN Forum
191
Value adding post farm gate and grain marketing options.
NGN0299With cost-price squeeze increasingly impinging on whole farm profitability, attendees saw post farm gate value adding and grain marketing options as mechanisms growers could use to widen the cost-price gap.

Attendees wanted to know what opportunities existed or were being developed for value-adding farm produce and creating market opportunities.

The comment was made that Canola is exported, processed, then imported as food grade oil. Why is the Australian grains industry not developing local processing opportunities for food grade oils or biofuels?

Growers also commented there have previously been attempts to market lupins for human consumption. Is anything happening in this space?

Additionally, growers noted there are several marketing options such as cash and swaps, with pools coming back into fashion. They wanted to know if training or services were available to assist with making grain marketing decisions.
GRDC invests in Grains Australia https://grainsaustralia.com.au to support the grains industry through a range of industry good functions. These include supporting classification methods and systems, trade and market access, provision of market information and education. This website provides information on barley accreditations and market demands for varieties (and by region) which may be of interest to growers.

GRDC is investigating Lupins for human consumption, links below:

Program 1 enhancing the nutritional quality of narrow leafed lupin by reducing anti-nutritional seed alkaloid levels – this investment is seeking to improve palatability for human consumption. (https://grdc.com.au/research/partnering-in-rde-investment/tenders/open-tenders/program-1-enhancing-the-nutritional-quality-of-narrow-leafed-lupin-by-reducing-anti-nutritional-seed-alkaloid-levels )

Program 2 enhancing the agronomic and nutritive value of narrow leafed lupin by reducing seed coat thickness and increasing protein content – this investment is seeking to improve grain quality for human consumption.

Through its GrainInnovate investment fund, GRDC has invested in WA-based foodtech company Whole (https://whole.green/). The company’s technology can help growers maximise paddock-to-plate opportunities for crops including lupins and other pulses and cereals including oats.
GRDC is actively scoping investments in "Add value to the crop to increase margins." as described in the GRDC 2023/28 RD&E plan.

Grain marketing is a specialised field and beyond GRDC’s remit and skillset. There are a numerous private grain marketers and consultants who can assist growers with grain marketing options and education to maximise profit opportunities.
WestKwinana West Port Zone20/06/23Yerecoin NGN Forum
192
Profitable legume crop options
NGN0298Over the last 20 years livestock have become a less significant component of WA farming systems in favour of higher gross margin rotations such as canola which have added weed/disease control benefits.

Legume crops and pastures were once a staple of these mixed farming systems with the additional benefit of providing organic nitrogen to following crops.

In recent years with the increased cost of N and carbon footprint becoming front of mind, legumes are again being considered for rotations however profit margins don’t always compare to other crop options.

Attendees wanted to know which legume options were most profitable, including the carry-over benefit of organic nitrogen to following crops.
GRDC has several current investments investigating legume options for rotations:

The Farming Systems investment which is a 5-year project will examine the profitability of various rotation options, including legume crop & legume fallows. The effect of carry-over nitrogen on profit will be assessed - DAW2204-003RTX found at https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/western-australian-farming-systems

The Maximising Profitability in Fallow investment includes legumes species - LAK2301-001SAX at https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=LAK2301-001SAX

Investment Closing the Economic Yield Gap for Grain Legumes in Western Australia is demonstrating latest legume genetics, acid-tolerant rhizobia and management techniques to improve profitability - GGA2110-002SAX (search the GRDC-RD&E Investments page using the Investment code)

NGN - Growing summer active legumes for winter nitrogen in the HFZ investment is assessing summer legume crops for nitrogen fixation - SCF2301-002SAX

Increasing the effectiveness of nitrogen fixation in pulses through improved rhizobial strains in the GRDC Western Region examines new rhizobial stains for WA conditions - UMU1901-002RT

New investment Summer sown aerial seeded pasture legume development for Western Australia is looking at self-sown legume pasture and fallow options to benefit following cereal crops UMU2303-005RTX

Additionally, GRDC currently has a tender open looking to enhance N fixation in pulse crops. Explore https://grdc.com.au/research/partnering-in-rde-investment/tenders for "Genetic initiative to transform symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Australian pulse crops"
WestKwinana West Port Zone20/06/23Yerecoin NGN Forum
193
Effect of high stubble load management on crop establishment
NGN0297Good rainfall across much of the WA grain growing region during 2021 & 2022 has seen some higher-than-average yields. As a result, some growers found managing stubble residue loads in the following crop a challenge.

Burning stubbles is an effective way to manage high residues and control disease, however more growers are looking to retain residues to build soil nutrition.

Growers who attended the forum wanted to know whether there was a difference in crop establishment between burning or retaining stubbles.


.
The GRDC WA Stubble Retention Guide published in August 2023 provides a comprehensive review of stubble management practices specific to WA. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2023/wa-stubble-retention-booklet?_gl=1*1y0uhih*_ga*NDIwOTczMDg3LjE2ODYwOTg4NTk.*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY5NjgxOTEwMS43My4wLjE2OTY4MTkxMDkuNTIuMC4w

Also in Resources & Publications, GRDC has previously invested in Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble, or the “Stubble Initiative” which ran from 2014 to 2018 in southern and eastern Australia to develop guidelines for managing stubble loads. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2016/02/profitable-stubble-retention-systems-for-the-high-rainfall-zone

In RD&E -Investments find GRDC investment The WA Stubble Story: Investigating alternative stubble systems for cropping systems in the Western Region in conjunction with the Liebe Group is comparing various stubble management practices and their impact on cropping systems – more details can be found via investment code LIE2110-001SAX (Enter this code into the Search field)

Further GRDC Resources & Publications below:
- Soil organic matter in dryland systems – management and opportunities (2022)
- Stubble and nutrient management to build soil carbon – challenges and opportunities, by Singh (2020)
- Stubble management and nitrogen mineralisation Paddock Practices (2018)
- Profitable stubble retention systems for the high rainfall zone (2016)
WestKwinana West Port Zone20/06/23Yerecoin NGN Forum
194
What can be learnt from HYC
NGN0337Attendees at the Eudunda NGN Forum wonder if there are learnings from the Hyper Yielding Crops investment that can be transferred into the medium and low rainfall zones.

Growers in the region are concerned that they can’t seem to achieve the same yields as others in similar rainfall zones, despite following the same practices. They want to better understand the plants photosynthetic capacity in their specific climate, and questioned if this is a limiting factor.

Participants in the forum wonder if there could be better varietal decisions made through understanding cold, cloud cover and soil temperature impacts on yield.
GRDC has invested in FAR2004-002RTX - Hyper Yielding Crops ( https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=FAR2004-002RTX )which has looked at whole of system thinking for new yield benchmarks for the high rainfall zone (HRZ). One of the key learnings has been to optimise crop development to the environment and that the photo thermal quotient (light and temperature) during the critical period may set the yield potential boundary in higher productivity zones.
FAR2204-002SAX - NGN Barley management options to close the yield gap and reduce pre-harvest losses is an investment taking some of the canopy management principles from HYC to the LRZ and MRZ. This update paper (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/maximising-growth-and-yield-canopy-management-is-more-important-in-seasons-of-better-potential ) discusses key learnings from the above two investments.
The FAR Australia website ( https://faraustralia.com.au/hyper-yielding-crops ) also contains trial results, podcasts and videos covering the investments.

Other GRDC resources that might be of interest include:
- Hyper yielding dryland crop agronomy - key levers and their interactions (2023)
- Study reveals essential ingredients for hyper-yielding wheat
- Hyper Yielding Crops – are there learnings outside of the high rainfall zone? (2021)
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Eudunda NGN forum
195
Pulse options for LRZ heavy soils
NGN0338Attendees note that the subregion is different to other regions where pulse work has occurred, with heavy soil types, low rainfall and cold conditions making biomass production low and limiting production.

Most other low rainfall zone trial work in pulses has been conducted on lighter soil types in the Mallee or through the Upper North where it doesn’t get as cold as early. This is considered a gap in the current work by the attendees at Eudunda.

Cold conditions at the start of the year around sowing and then hot conditions in the back end of the year limit the ability of the plants to put on biomass and therefore pulses tend to have lower yields compared with other regions. Early vigour in current varieties or understanding on time of sowing are considered current pulse gaps.

Attendees note that the region also has high soil variability with pH noted to change from highly alkaline to highly acidic. High soil strength also impacts pulse’s ability to access soil moisture or nutrition limiting the area that pulses can be grown.
UOA2105-013RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia( https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA2105-013RTX ) is designed to assess the systems fit of pulse species and how to reduce the yield gap. This investment has included grain legume performance on ameliorated soil types and different herbicide packages for weed control in pulse crops.

CSP2107-003RTX - Matching adapted pulse genotypes with soil and climate to maximise yield and profit, with manageable risk in Australian cropping systems is another investment looking at better matching crop types to cropping systems. The aim is to reduce the yield gap of pulses and ensure management suits the region.

GRDC currently invests in DJP2104-003OPX - National Lentil Breeding Program which targets traits such as heat, frost, and disease resistances. Feedback from this forum will be shared with breeders to inform breeding objectives into the future. Details of the breeding program can be found at https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/research-aims-to-expand-lentils-geographic-range. Field peas see a similar breeding program in DJP2105-007RTX - National Field Pea Breeding Program as do faba beans in UOA1606-009RTX - Pulse Breeding Australia: Faba Bean Breeding.

In regards to acid soils and pulse production, check out the following GRDC resources:
- New Group E Rhizobia Inoculant for Field Pea, Lentil and Vetch (factsheet)
- New Group F Rhizobia Inoculant for Faba and Broad Bean
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Eudunda NGN forum
196
Management of cutleaf mignonette
NGN0339Cutleaf mignonette was mentioned as a weed of concern by the participants of the forum. It presents an issue particularly at harvest due to the seeds ability to taint the flavour of meat and milk. This makes it a contaminant which can potentially downgrade grain at harvest.

Attendees also note that the weed is particularly an issue due to the ability of the weed to regrow from the roots, so note that hard grazing doesn’t help control it. Sheep too don’t enjoy it due to the weed being unpalatable and contributing to taint of milk and meat. Other chemical controls, such as glyphosate, can have limited effect on the weed.

The weed can be managed over summer, but late weed control options in crop are essentially non-existent. The weed also loves calcareous soils which sees it prevalent in the Eudunda region.
GRDC has done some work on hard to manage weeds previously:
An investment looking at emerging weeds, UOA1505-001RTX - Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds), looked at a number of weeds, their ecology and management ( https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA1505-001RTX )

I GRDC's Resources and Publications section,uses the search function for:
- "The Ecology of major emerging weeds" report is a great place to start to understand the biology of weeds before implementing weed control tactics.
- Integrated Weed Management Manual describes a variety of tactics for weed management

The PIRSA management plan for cutleaf mignonette includes some more information on the weed (https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/mr/publications/pest-plant-cutleaf-mignonette#:~:text=Cutleaf%20mignonette%20(Reseda%20lutea)%20can,in%20association%20with%20calcareous%20soils )

CSIRO has also completed some work which included looking at biological controls for cutleaf mignonette but have found they have limited efficacy in the Australian climate.
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Eudunda NGN forum
197
Technology use on farm - data
NGN0340Attendees note that there is an increase in the amount of data collected on farm in cropping businesses, but there are gaps in understanding how these technologies can be used.

Yield maps, protein maps and other data layers (such as soil type, pH, NDVI) are collected by growers, but there is a lack of understanding, knowledge and expertise on how to pull these together into a usable format on farm. There is also a lack of awareness on the regional capacity that exists to assist in the implementation of these data layers on farm.

Costs of utilising these technologies is not well understood either with questions being asked around the cost of implementing the technology on farm and the cost of ensuring the data is usable in the first place.

There are a lot of questions around how the data generated on farm can be utilised and what the low hanging fruit is for producers to ensure the data use is having a meaningful impact.
GRDC has multiple R&D investments aimed at figuring out what types of farm data can be used to optimise input decisions. Two key ones are Future Farm Phase 3: technology transfer (CSP2211-009RTX) focussed on N decisions and machine learning to map soil constraints to depth and PAWC (CSP2211-009RTX). The commercial partner in both projects is expecting to have tools ready for use by growers by autumn 2025 in Future Farm and by spring 2024 for the soil constraints project.

We’re in the middle of a large procurement called Grain Automate aimed at paving the way for autonomy, and a big part of that will be training, extension, and upskilling in how to make the most out of on-farm data layers for precision agriculture and autonomy. Those contracts will deliver nationally are expected to be in place by March 2024.

Barriers to adoption of Precision Ag tools has been the focus of GRDC’s recent investments into SPA2001-001SAX Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training for Growers (HOPAT) (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SPA2001-001SAX ) and SPA2201-001SAX Precision fertilise decisions in a tight economic climate (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SPA2201-001SAX ) . These investments involved a series of workshops and peer learning activities and the development of technical information to assist growers with adoption of PA technology and to address barriers to adoption.

Fact sheets on Proximal soil sensing, improving N decisions with crop sensing and satellite based remote sensing for PA can be found in GRDC's search field.

Workshop materials and webinar recordings from the GRDC HOPAT investment can be found on the SPAA website (https://www.spaa.com.au/ ) . These investments are due to conclude in June 2023 with reinvestment in this space currently in development.

GRDC Publications and Update Papers:
- Profit from precision agriculture – designed to guide decision making around investment in PA technology
- Embracing precision agriculture - a compilation of ideas and case studies of innovative approaches, and practical strategies for enhancing PA.
- Using production zones to develop a soil testing strategy – factsheet on zoning providing insights into understanding variation and identifying production zones within paddocks to develop an effective soil testing strategy
- Fertiliser fact sheet – provides insights into to establishing fertiliser test strips
- Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically ground truth (2022)
- Better targeted, more precise fertiliser decisions as a counter to rising fertiliser prices – focusing on 3 of the 6 Rs (2022)

A PODCAST around the Profit from Precision Agriculture project and publication is also available. https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/precision-fertiliser-decisions-in-a-tight-economic-climate
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Eudunda NGN forum
198
Management of issue and emerging weeds
NGN0341Attendees note that a number of different weeds are increasing in prevalence across the region – escaping from roadsides, smallholders and horticulture and into paddocks. These weeds include ryegrass, spiny emex, catsear, gazania, feather top Rhodes grass, fleabane, star of Bethlehem and African love grass. They note that costs are therefore increasing to manage weeds and there are impacts around contamination at harvest and moisture retained over summer for the following crop.

As part of weed management attendees are noting increasing resistance amongst weed species noting ryegrass is running out of chemical control options. African love grass and feather top Rhodes is also tolerant to a lot of potential control options including glufosinate, glyphosate, haloxyfop and clethodim.

One of the main concerns raised was around monitoring of emerging broadacre cropping weeds. Many of the weeds raised have emerged in cropping areas after escaping from horticultural production areas, so attendees wonder what monitoring is occurring to understand what weed is next. There used to be monitoring as part of local government, but this has fallen off the radar and there is not replacement for ongoing management and prevention of weeds moving in crop.
GRDC has a number of investments in the weed space, including:
An investment looking at emerging weeds, UOA1505-001RTX - Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds), looked at a number of weeds, their ecology and management. There are a number of update papers, resources, podcasts and other information available on some of the key weeds mentioned at Langhorne Creek (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA1505-001RTX )

RDC2004-004OPX - Rural R&D for Profit - Underpinning agricultural productivity and biosecurity by weed biological control is an investment being delivered by AgriFutures to assess and understand biocontrol options for potential release. The grain weeds of focus in this research are fleabane, sow thistle, saffron thistle and silverleaf nightshade. Findings from this investment can be found at https://agrifutures.com.au/news/biological-weed-control-providing-cost-effective-sustainable-solutions/ .

There is an investment looking at summer weed control and the economics of different approaches in CSP2201-005RTX - NGN Better summer weed management decisions in southern and western Australia.

Further research in the weed management space includes:
- UOA1904-004SAX - Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems.
- UOA2301-004RTX - Effective control of three corner jack (spiny emex) species in lentils in the mid and upper north of SA
- BWD2112-001RTX - NGN Management of Rosinweed and Star of Bethlehem in Victoria's Mallee and Wimmera
- UCS2008-001RTX - Determining the incidence of herbicide resistance in Australian grain cropping is a national survey looking at in paddock and roadside weed populations in random sampling of various weed species followed by herbicide resistance testing.

GRDC Reports:
- The Ecology of major emerging weeds report is a great place to start to understand the biology of weeds before implementing weed control tactics.
- Integrated Weed Management Manual describes a variety of tactics for weed management
SouthFleurieu Peninsula, Coorong and Upper South East SA14/09/23Langhorne Creek NGN forum
199
Economics of ameliorating soils
NGN0342Attendees note that soil amelioration is an area of interest in the Langhorne Creek region, but a lot of work is currently haphazard and lacks an understanding on return on investment.

They note that currently there is a lot of information on amelioration, but not clear guidelines of what tool is right for the job or where the low hanging fruit for amelioration is or what will have the best return for the grower. Sands are a small area in the region, so questions are raised on what can be done to improve production on other areas.

It was also noted that there is a lot of variability within the paddock with soil types moving from sands to loamy calcareous soils. Attendees note that this variability adds to the challenges of selecting the best amelioration practice for the job and where to start and stop the amelioration.

Sodicity is also an issue growers are trying to address with Bednar ploughs to bring up clay and a speed tiller to make the country flat again. Attendees are wondering how to improve the country with less time consuming and costly amelioration, or how long these processes are lasting for.
Numerous investments by GRDC have contributed to the development of a soil constraint ranking tool, ROSA (Ranking Options for Soil Amelioration). GRDC podcast (https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/rosa ), GroundCover Article (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/rosa-supports-soil-constraint-management-decisions ) or gain access to the tool, an excel file, by contacting the team at DPIRD - contact details are in the GroundCover article.

GRDC has a number of other investments in this space which may also be of interest:
UOA2206-009RTX – NGN Updating acidification rates, lime recommendations and extension aids to overcome soil acidity constraints to crop production in the southern region with the University of Adelaide. Trials in Victoria and South Australia are looking at long term profits and revising liming recommendations.

For growers keen to make informed decisions on liming rates, the GRDC Acid Soils Southern project provides a range of calculators which can assist making decisions:
https://acidsoilssa.com.au/index.php/home/resources

DAV1606-001RMX – Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoils application of amendments in the Southern Region (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAV1606-001RMX ) which you and learn more about through the GRDC Update Paper (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAV1606-001RMX ).

MSF2201-001SAX – NGN Optimising soil amelioration costs in typical Mallee soils, which aims to quantify the power requirements and fuel use for various soil amelioration techniques in typical Mallee soils along with monitoring effects on soil characteristics and crop performance post-amelioration.

CSP1606-008RMX – Increasing production on sandy soils in low and medium rainfall areas of the South. This investment looks to unpack the yield gap in paddock due to constraints in sandy soils and develop cost-effective management strategies for these constraints. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP1606-008RMX

DJP2209-002RTX - Managing multiple and variable soil constraints to optimise soil amelioration in southern Australia, which aims to identify multiple variable soil constraints across a paddock and determine the most cost-effective soil amelioration options within each zone.

GRDC Soil amelioration Factsheets which may be useful include:
- Soil mixing by Spading
- Tackling amelioration on variable soil types booklet which covers how to identify, prioritise and amend soil constraints on farm.
- A Case Study on clay spreading out of WA
- Assessing the profitability of soil amelioration
- Clay spreading when combined with tillage is an effective repellent soil ameliorant

Update Papers:
- Soil amelioration in medium and high rainfall regions – where will it pay (2023) - features a decision tree which may be of interest when unsure of the payback to amelioration decision
- Tailoring subsoil amelioration to paddock zones in southern Australia – a two-year update (2023)
- The potential to increase the crop productivity by treating hostile subsoils (2021)
SouthFleurieu Peninsula, Coorong and Upper South East SA14/09/23Langhorne Creek NGN forum
200
Powdery mildew control in wheat
NGN0343Attendees report wheat powdery mildew (WPM) as an emerging disease that is getting worse within the region. WPM was being managed with just one spray in crop to control it but have seen this usage increase to 3 sprays for control (costing >$80/ha). This has also been to manage other diseases, but the WPM seems to be getting through control strategies more easily than other diseases.

Participants are seeing Brumby, which reportedly has a R rating for WPM (has been reviewed down for the 2023 sowing guide for some regions), show higher signs of WPM infection than some supposedly more susceptible varieties. This is making varietal selection difficult, and attendees are unsure why this is happening.

Attendees note that integrated management is the preferred approach but are finding themselves backed into a more expensive management program and question the sustainability in the long term.
GRDC have invested in a portion of work devoted to wheat powdery mildew (WPM) including TRE2204-001RTX - NGN - Validation and extension of management strategies for wheat powdery mildew, where there are a number of update papers and a podcast discussing WPM controls and management. (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=TRE2204-001RTX ) Update papers and podcasts are there too.
Further details and reports on the Online Farm Trials website Report 37530 (https://www.farmtrials.com.au/trial/37530 ) and Report 33641 (https://www.farmtrials.com.au/trial/33641 )

GRDC invests in crop safety and residue studies to support registrations and Minor Use permits. An example is the current Minor use Permits PER93197, PER93198, PER93216 for WPM control. In addition, EAS2307-001SAX - Wheat Powdery Mildew - Residue studies is in support of the above permits and potential registration.

The Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network (AFREN) - https://afren.com.au - is a collaborative network of Australian grains industry stakeholders working to deliver regionally specific fungicide resistance extension messages to grain growers and agronomists across Australia. The Fungicide Resistance Management Guide is a key publication, found on that page. AFREN is also running workshops and regional webinars to ensure up to date information for growers and agronomists.

These GRDC Groundcover Podcasts and videos offer some more insights:
- ‘Fungicide Resistance Five’ (FR-5) Podcast Series (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/fr-5-podcast-series-a-roadmap-for-fungicide-resistance-management )
- Fungicide resistance video series (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/diseases/fungicide-resistance-management-techniques-explained-in-videos )
SouthFleurieu Peninsula, Coorong and Upper South East SA14/09/23Langhorne Creek NGN forum
201
Snail management at harvest
NGN0344Attendees questioned if there are novel molluscicides available for registration given the challenges they are facing with baits. Other control mechanisms are also being trialled, but attendees report limited success with control and instead continue to see spread of snails into new regions and non-traditional areas.

Participants of the forums note that there has been a substantial increase in the number of conical snails within the region, with numbers increasing rapidly in the past couple of years. These types of snails are anecdotally more difficult to control and don’t take baits leaving limited control options on the table.

Harvestability of crops is a big concern with snails reported to be a major contaminant and causing pricing downgrades, particularly when it comes to canola. Blocking up of sieves and rotors with snails is also a major issue with harvesting time wasted with cleaning out of the header. This also needs to be done in a timely way otherwise the smashed snails will set like cement in the header.

Attendees are also interested in the work being conducted on the Yorke Peninsula with the parasitic wasp and wonder if this could fit into the current cropping system at Langhorne Creek and provide another tool in the toolkit for snail control.
GRDC continues to regularly discuss with the chemical registrants the need for new/effective molluscicides. To date no new compounds have been identified that are suitable for broadacre farming systems.

GRDC have invested in a new national program geared at More effective control of pest snails in Australian grain crops. This project (UOA2205-005RTX) will develop an integrated package of new biological knowledge, surveillance, and control methods, which will become tools to assist farmers to better manage molluscs on farm. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA2205-005RTX Read more about this new $4.6 million national research project here: Multifaceted approach to combat snails in grain crops - GroundCover article https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/multifaceted-approach-to-combat-snails-in-grain-crops?_gl=1*50w8y8*_ga*MTM1OTA1NTUyMy4xNjc5OTYwMTgw*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjQ5OTk5NS4zNC4xLjE2ODI1MDIyNDcuNDYuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjQ5OTA0Ni4yOS4xLjE2ODI1MDIyNDcuNDcuMC4w

Another new GRDC investment (SAG2205-002OPX) is investigating Revegetation for enhanced biocontrol of pest conical snails. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SAG2205-002OPX The project will quantitatively evaluate and demonstrate how targeted revegetation can be used to suppress conical snails by promoting biocontrol. 
GRDC has created a landing page that collates slugs and snails resources. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/slugs-and-snails?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Slugs%20and%20Snails


This link takes you to the SARDI research page which provides insights into a range of GRDC funded snail management projects. Here you will find insights into snail and slug baiting guidelines. https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/research/publications/pestfacts/past_issues/2021/pestfacts_march_2022/timing_is_everything_when_to_bait_snails

- Timing is everything: when to bait snails - PIRSA
- Movement, breeding, baiting and biocontrol of Mediterranean snails (2021)
- Managing small conical snails’ factsheet (2021)
- Snail control improves harvest efficiency and quality (2020)
- Snail Management – learnings from recent studies (2020)
- Baiting snails – success is all about the timing (2020)
- Snail research – optimising control (2019)

In 2012 the APVMA (Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority) undertook a review of the active constituent Carbendazim and labels relating to its use. Whilst with minor adjustments to labels around risks were required, use of the active was supported under current use patterns. However, expansions to other use patterns were not supported due to issues around toxicology and both human and environmental risks. Consequently, expanding use of carbendazim for snail management and or to other crop uses will not be pursued. Read Carbendazim - Review Findings Report https://apvma.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication/14541-carbendazim-review-findings-report.pdf
SouthFleurieu Peninsula, Coorong and Upper South East SA14/09/23Langhorne Creek NGN forum
202
Weather station networks for spray drift management
NGN0345Participants in the forum note a lack of weather station networks is a challenge for spray drift and fire danger management. They note that the landscape changes quickly and weather behaving differently due to the Mount Lofty Ranges, Lake Alexandrina and other topography, there can be a lot of difference over the landscape in Delta T and FDI readings.

Regarding spray drift, the access to the Mesonet network of weather stations had been good before it went behind a paywall. Monitoring the potential for spray drift is important for the region given the proximity to horticulture and vineyards which adds a level of complexity to weed control, over summer and winter.
The Mesonet product/system has been developed by a commercial group without financial support from GRDC. As such GRDC has no influence over their business model. It is up to the individual to determine if the information being provided represents value for money.

The South Australian Landscapes Boards have a website with free to access weather stations that may be of relevance for the region: Landscape Weather Network https://www.awsnetwork.com.au

The Spray Drift landing page on the GRDC website has a range of information including nozzle guides and links to state specific resources. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/spray-drift?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Spray%20Drift

Another investment which is designed to support growers to achieve spray efficacy includes:
MRE2111-001SAX - Weather essentials for Pesticide Application technical content review and update, which has a number of updated resources on weather impacts on spraying including a Hazardous inversion factsheet, a Meteorological Principles influencing Pesticide Application manual and a Weather essentials for pesticide application manual - all accessible through the link above. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=MRE2111-001SAX

Podcast https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/the-most-expensive-herbicide-is-the-one-that-doesnt-work

The following GRDC Update papers, videos and fact sheets may also be useful in managing spray set up and best practice:
- Choosing and justifying the right sprayer (2018) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2018/02/choosing-and-justifying-the-right-sprayer
- Spray boom technology - improving coverage and managing drift (2017)
Factsheet
- Pulse width modulation sprayers: what we have learnt, correct operation and looking ahead factsheet

Technical guide
- Mixing and Batching For Agricultural Chemical Application - Grower case studies


There is also a library of resources around herbicide behaviour on the GRDC website. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour
SouthFleurieu Peninsula, Coorong and Upper South East SA14/09/23Langhorne Creek NGN forum
203
Frost management
NGN0346Attendees noted that frost was an ongoing issue for the area. The Upper North region tends to have some form of frost damage every season and see this as one of the key limitations to production in the region.

Attendees note that it is important to keep up with what new work is coming out around frost management tools and strategies as well as any progress in breeding. There is demonstration happening, but this is not currently reaching the growers that require it for proactive management or implementation.

Attendees also don’t want to burn stubbles. They know this would help with frost management, but the long-term impacts from stubble burning is not something they want to pursue. Instead, there’s questions around the ice nucleating bacteria, products like Firestik and zone management.

Participants see a role for awnless wheats for assisting in frost management but require high-quality dual-purpose varieties to see these adopted broadly. This would allow growers to cut for high value hay or take through to gram if there is no frost event.

Ideally, a ‘silver bullet’ exists for frost, but the attendees understand that a more holistic approach is required to minimise losses to frost or damage to the plant.
GRDC currently has a Frost management webpage to group the latest resources to help growers navigate frost management and access the latest research. The page is broken down into sections for pre-season, in-season and post frost management strategies which can be employed. Of particular interest on this page is information related to:
- Identifying paddocks or areas that are frost prone on your farm
- Stubble management considerations
- Crop and variety choice
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/frost-management
In addition to the above resources and information GRDC has a long history of investing in frost research- current investments can be found by copying the codes into the search function:
- FAR2204-001RTX - Enhancing frost tolerance and/or avoidance in wheat, barley and canola crops through in-season agronomic manipulation. This project will look at how frost avoidance could be achieved through the manipulation of crop phenology using novel agronomic practices. The project is also assessing methods of controlling ice nucleation active bacteria and the use of cryoprotectants in mitigating frost damage.
- MSF2007-001SAX - Applying current knowledge to inform grower decision making to mitigate the impact of frost, now and in the future - southern region. This project is looking at extending and applying the outcomes of previous R&D investments relating to frost and will assist grower with management decisions relating to pre-season planning, in-season management and post-frost event responses.
- CSP2204-009RTX - Frost and Heat Management Analytics. This project is working with agtech companies such as Agworld and Data Farming and agronomy companies such as Elders and Delta Agribusiness. It’s focussed on building and deploying tools to map frost and heat damage at the sub-paddock scale and the damage from those events. The analytics will be able to do that in season and using historic data based on position in the landscape, soil type, and related factors.
- CSP1903-004RTX - Alternative phenotyping for reproductive stage frost tolerance using metabolite markers and identification of frost tolerance QTL in wheat. This investment aims to develop phenotyping tools for development and future development of chilling and frost-tolerant wheat.
Genetics work is also being looked at with two investments with CSIRO:
- CSP2307-003RTX - Determining the effect of wheat morphological and anatomical traits on frost susceptibility of wheat
- CSP2310-007RTX - Developing new genetic approaches to decreasing the reproductive frost sensitivity of wheat

GRDC UPDATE PAPERS
- Stubble and senesced leaves are the main sources of ice nucleation activity in wheat (2021)
- Bacterial ice nucleation activity in rainfall and on crop residues may explain why pre-frost rainfall and stubble retention increase frost damage in WA cropping systems (2021)
- Mounting evidence that soil amelioration can contribute to reduced frost severity on water repellent soils (2019)
PODCASTS (GRDC News & Media - use the search function)
- Pre-seeding checklist for mitigating frost risk,
- Managing Frost Risk,
- Identifying Frost Damage,
- Frost Mapping and
- Frost Damaged Crop Salvage Options and Seed Retention
GRDC FACT SHEET
Managing frost risk
SouthUpper North SA13/09/23Jamestown NGN forum
204
Acid soils and lack of new lime sources
NGN0347Soil acidity in the Upper North was identified as a key issue by attendees. Most know what they need to be doing to manage the increasing acidity of their soils and the best source of lime but have identified availability of lime sources as a barrier to applying more.

Existing sources of lime are increasing in value as demand increases and the volume available is also increasing. Anecdotally, the allocation has been reduced to ¼ of previous supply due to a supplier not able to crush as much lime. Access to other sources is also a problem as freight costs limit how far the lime is economically viable to come from.

Dolomite sources have problems too as most Upper North soils have high magnesium content and dolomite would likely exacerbate the problem.

Attendees wonder if there are untapped lime sources that could be utilised to assist in fixing the soil acidity issues growers are facing. The current limitation to liming strategies is implementation through lime availability, not necessarily that growers don’t know how.
GRDC has a number of other investments in this space which may also be of interest:
UOA2206-009RTX – NGN Updating acidification rates, lime recommendations and extension aids to overcome soil acidity constraints to crop production in the southern region with the University of Adelaide. Trials in Victoria and South Australia are looking at long term profits and revising liming recommendations.

For growers keen to make informed decisions on liming rates, the GRDC Acid Soils Southern project provides a range of calculators which can assist making decisions:
Resources | Acid Soils Southern Region (https://acidsoilssa.com.au/index.php/home/resources)

While you're there, a report has been released as part of this work looking at new potential lime sources, which might be of interest: "Current and potential lime sources in South Australia"

In regard to acid soils and pulse production, check out the following GRDC Factsheets:
- New Group E Rhizobia Inoculant for Field Pea, Lentil and Vetch (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2023/new-group-e-rhizobia-inoculant-for-field-pea,-lentil-and-vetch)
- New Group F Rhizobia Inoculant for Faba and Broad Bean (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2023/new-group-f-rhizobia-inoculant-for-faba-and-broad-bean)
SouthUpper North SA13/09/23Jamestown NGN forum
205
Weather station networks for spray drift management
NGN0348Access to timely weather station data for spray drift and fire danger index information is a concern for attendees at Jamestown. This information used to be freely available and helped with practice change of growers preventing spray drift but since going to user-pays model, subscriptions and use have fallen away.

Participants in the NGN note that growers had better understanding of inversion conditions and the fire danger index whilst access was availability. Given use of the network has fallen away, it now leaves a gap in knowledge and there are concerns this could increase the amount of spraying or harvesting in unsuitable conditions.
Attendees also note that there are gaps in the coverage of weather stations which increases the limitations of growers utilising it as the weather can differ across the landscape.
The Mesonet product/system has been developed by a commercial group without financial support from GRDC. As such GRDC has no influence over their business model. It is up to the individual to determine if the information being provided represents value for money. https://unfs.com.au/unfs-soil-moisture-weather-monitoring-station

Upper North Farming Systems has a soil moisture and weather monitoring network that may be of interest: UNFS Weather Stations

The Spray Drift landing page on the GRDC website has a range of information including nozzle guides and links to state specific resources.

Another investment which is designed to support growers to achieve spray efficacy includes:
MRE2111-001SAX - Weather essentials for Pesticide Application technical content review and update, which has a number of updated resources on weather impacts on spraying including a Hazardous inversion factsheet, a Meteorological Principles influencing Pesticide Application manual and a Weather essentials for pesticide application manual - all accessible through https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=MRE2111-001SAX

There is also a library of resources around herbicide behaviour on the GRDC website. This includes factsheets and manuals on rotations, adjuvants, soil behaviour and fallow management. (Resources & Publications- Herbicide Behavour)
SouthUpper North SA13/09/23Jamestown NGN forum
206
Innovative tech for weed management
NGN0349Attendees note that increasing range of emerging weeds and resistance issues in some weed species are increasing the need for innovative weed control methods.

Currently attendees are seeing issues with a number of weeds including rye grass, onion weed, statice, barley grass and fleabane. Gazanias too are increasing in number throughout the region and are hard to kill. Rye grass is increasing in resistance and other chemical groups may not be as effective due to the frost and cold levels limiting chemical uptake due to the stressed rye grass plants.

Attendees question what innovative weed management methods are on the horizon to assist in decreasing reliance on chemistry, but also help control hard to kill weeds. They question if laser or microwave weeding technology will have a place in farming systems to help manage weeds.
GRDC has recently invested approximately $20m in next-gen technologies for weed management with a range of companies, including start-ups, SMEs, large corporates, and Universities. These include projects focused on accelerating different platforms for green-on-green technologies in Australian cropping systems, autonomous non-chemical weed control technology, geospatial analytics for variable rate herbicide application, and modified herbicide application technology. More details on these projects will appear in a media release and in Groundcover in the coming months.

Microwave technology was the focus of an Australian company called GroWave, but it was hard to scale (https://www.futurefarming.com/tech-in-focus/growave-kills-weeds-using-microwave-technology ). Another company (Azaneo) has just raised funds to focus on developing a different electric weeding technology which looks promising (https://azaneo.au) . GRDC has supported both companies and is also supporting a project led by DPIRD to trial an overseas electric weeding technology developed by Zasso in Australian conditions in partnership with AgXtend, a branch of Case New Holland Industrial.

GRDC have invested in a range of projects which consider non-chemical weed control tactics. UOA1711-005RTX - Cultural management for weed control and maintenance of crop yield is looking at integration of non-chemical weed control tactics for rye grass and barley grass in the southern region in a variety of crop types. Search the Investment code then scroll down for the GroundCover article "Trials explore efficacy of control tactics..."

RDC2004-004OPX - Rural R&D for Profit - Underpinning agricultural productivity and biosecurity by weed biological control is an investment being delivered by AgriFutures to assess and understand biocontrol options for potential release. The weeds of focus in this research are fleabane, sow thistle, saffron thistle and silverleaf nightshade.

UOS1703-002RTX - Innovative crop weed control for northern region cropping systems, is looking at unique weed control strategies. The investment will explore herbicide resistance and integrated weed management options including herbicide innovation, crop competition, strategic weed control and engineering weed control solutions. More in Ground cover article "Lasers and electricity show weed zapping potential."

UOA1904-004SAX - Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems has more in a Podcast, Publication and GroundCover article.

Novel AI (machine learning) approaches are being employed in UOS2002-003RTX - Identifying a machine learning approach to weed recognition in Australian grain production systems to enable commercial technology development through creating an open-source weed image library to make weed recognition data freely available to developers.

GRDC is also investing in the development of novel activities through the Herbicide Innovation Partnership with Bayer and in industry based extension through WeedSmart (https://www.weedsmart.org.au ).This website provides solutions to control weeds using the ‘Big 6’ Principles – utilising herbicide, mechanical and cultural tactics. There are a variety of resources, including Webinars, Podcasts, Case Studies, Courses and Articles all discussing integrated weed management strategies.

Other resources which may be of interest include the "Integrated Weed Management Manual" and GRDC Update Papers.
SouthUpper North SA13/09/23Jamestown NGN forum
207
Increasing machinery costs
NGN0350Attendees of the forum note that increasing costs of machinery are a challenge for growers going forward as this limits their ability to adopt new technology that could increase productivity or profitability of farm businesses.

Even if new technology is adopted, there is perceived to be a time cost to working through teething issues. Specifically, concerns were raised around the challenges of updates or upgrades as the technology rolls out, affecting performance and causing software to crash.

Attendees also note that compatibility of new machinery and technology is a challenge with one attendee reporting that after purchasing a new boom spray, the technology and tractor would not work together resulting in lost productivity and a large call out fee to fix it.

Attendees also question the level of support being received when maintaining machinery. Supply of parts or replacements is a concern amongst growers as ‘just in time’ supply can potentially mean a significant amount of downtime before something gets fixed.
GRDC has invested in understanding machinery replacement costs through KIS1911-001SAX - Machinery Investment Options in the Australian Cropping Regions (Search for the Investment code). This investment developed a number of resources that can help with decision making:
- Machinery investment and replacement for Australian grain growers case studies and benchmarks
- Machinery investment podcast
- Machinery investment video

GRDC Update papers ( in Resources & Publications):
- Efficiency versus over investment in plant and equipment – guidelines to help with machinery investment decisions (2018)
- Choosing and justifying the right sprayer (2018)
- Financing: debt structuring and asset life cycles (2018)
- Using digital technology and applying it to your business (2018)

In addition, GRDC is investing to improve issues like interoperability and adoption readiness of machinery and digital platforms, through the Grain Automate program of investments. Request for tender has recently closed with new investment likely to commence in 2023/24.
SouthUpper North SA13/09/23Jamestown NGN forum
208
Phosphorus availability in highly calcareous soils
NGN0351Management of phosphorus (P) in soils was raised by attendees as a key issue, and they want to understand how P availability changes in high pH, highly calcareous soils. Attendees felt there was a knowledge gap in P dynamics and what this means in relation to application of P fertiliser.

Attendees noted that high prices for P fertiliser in recent years has caused growers to reassess application rates but is this ‘mining’ current P reserves and likely to cause issues in the future. Use of liquid or alternative forms of P were also raised as considerations.
A GRDC investment is HPS2006-001OPX - More profitable crops on highly calcareous soils by improving early vigour and overcoming soil constraints. This recently concluded investment looked at constraints of calcareous soil types and what can be done to overcome them. https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=HPS2006-001OPX then scroll down for more articles on constraints on calcareous soils.

Other investments of interest include:
- DPI2001-033RTX - Maximising the uptake of phosphorus by crops to optimise profit in central and southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia aims to look at the interaction of P placement with different crop types in different soil types.
- CSP2009-003RTX – CSIRO - Understanding constraints to crop profits on highly calcareous soil is looking at calcareous soils in SA and what management can improve crop profitability, including N and P availability.

SAGIT (South Australia Grain Industry Trust) have investments in this space as well with Optimising P nutrition in pulses to maximise N fixation and yield (AS219) https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=HPS2006-001OPX and Improved Phosphorus prescription maps – beyond replacement P (TC219) https://sagit.com.au/project/improved-phosphorus-prescription-maps-beyond-replacement-p-tc219 .

GRDC Update Papers:
- Nutrition on calcareous soils and deep P placement (2023)
- An informed approach to phosphorus management in 2022
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Balaklava NGN forum
209
Summer weed control – Improving efficacy and economics of residuals and multi-pass spray strategies.
NGN0352Participants noted summer weed control and management of residues is an ongoing issue. Given the amount of summer spray passes (3-4 in some seasons) this is becoming a costly exercise, not only in dollar terms but also in time. Growers are interested in investigating the role of residual chemicals to lessen the number of passes and increase efficacy of weed control.

Attendees discussed a need for tools that will help understand these residual chemicals in relation to factors that affect plant backs i.e., rainfall, temperatures, soil type.

Participants were also interested to learn more about best practices for spray applications in summer with import consideration listed below:
- Using the Mesonet to inform optimum spray conditions and ensure inversions are avoided. Noting that Mesonet is now a paid subscription, so value for money will need to be achieved.
- Correct nozzle selection for the right droplet sizing and coverage.
- Understanding drift and volatility of chemicals.
GRDC has several investments:
- Summer weed control and the economics of different approaches in CSP2201-005RTX - NGN Better summer weed management decisions in southern and western Australia (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP2201-005RTX
- HFS2306-002SAX - NGN - Spray workshops to optimise application and reduce drift in the Mid-North of SA is delivering workshops mid-2024 to help efficient spray applications
- GOA2302-001SAX - NGN - Demonstration of summer fallow weed management strategies to reduce input costs in soils of the Narromine region is looking at residual chemistry and their efficacy on problem weeds
- UOA2007-007RTX - Developing strategies to mitigate and manage resistance to key herbicides is looking at strategies to mitigate resistance to pre-emergent herbicides, the efficacy of mixtures vs single herbicides and how this changes with rotations in the system (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA2007-007RTX

GRDC resources on "Herbicide Behaviour" and "Spray drift" can be found at https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources . The current nozzle charts and nozzle selection guide can be found at https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2022/grdc-nozzle-selection-guide and GRDC Factsheet: Pulse width modulation nozzle guide. (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2023/pulse-width-modulation-sprayers)

GRDC Update Papers:
- Predicting profitability of summer weed control timing and impact on crop yield potential (2023)
- Optimising glyphosate in summer spraying webinar (2022)
- Soil behaviour of pre-emergent herbicides in Australian farming systems publication is also a great resource relation to soil types, how they work and plant backs.

Note: The Mesonet product/system has been developed by a commercial group without financial support from GRDC. As such GRDC has no influence over their business model. It is up to the individual to determine if the information being provided represents value for money.
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Balaklava NGN forum
210
Management of mice
NGN0353Attendees discussed the importance of mouse control, as they are seeing mice increase in number. The group wondered if mouse population dynamics were changing with the increase of no-till farming and stubble retention as their experience is that mice are surviving in paddocks longer.

Participants thought that increased surveillance and newsletters that highlight changes in populations are important for better management decisions.

Attendees are needing effective mice control strategies and would like to see the data behind the new double strength baits. The group were also interested to find out if bio controls or novel treatments are available to lessen the dependence on baiting.
Yes, research has confirmed that mouse population dynamics have changed because of no-till farming and stubble retention and mice are surviving in the paddocks longer. These findings and the implications on management have been communicated in various forms.

The suite of investments in mouse management continue to include surveillance and regular communications are made based on the abundance of mice across grain growing regions. Please refer to Mouse Updates that are released at various intervals throughout the year and endorsed by the National Mouse Group and available via the GRDC Mouse Landing Page. (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/mouse-management)
The data behind the new double strength baits and the impact of background food on bait uptake by mice has been published in peer reviewed journals as is available here:
- Background food https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34786822
- LD50 paper https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.09.472031v2
- Parkes Field Trial https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/10.31220/agriRxiv.2022.00124

GRDC investments:
- CSP1806-017RTX - Improved surveillance and management options for mice in crops aims to communicate mice populations with agronomists and growers
- CSP2204-008RTX - Mouse pathogen profiling – the role of disease in regulating population dynamics an investment which aims to understand population dynamics
- CSP1806-015RTX - Understanding mouse biology and ecology in zero- and no-till cropping systems to inform best practice crop production and mouse management practices is looking at no-till farming and mice control in these systems
- BVW2302-001SAX - NGN: Guidance for spreading mouse bait to improve efficacy and maintain bait integrity is providing information on optimised baiting regimes. (Add the code to the search function)
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Balaklava NGN forum
211
Understanding soil and nutrient interactions to inform fertiliser decisions
NGN0354Attendees noted that better understanding of soil and nutrient interactions is needed. With the costs of fertilisers adding considerable pressure to budgets during the last three seasons, the group wanted to better understand what nutrients are needed and what will have the best return on investment.

There were several questions raised by attendees on fertiliser decisions:
- Lead time for soil and tissue testing. Attendees felt they were losing decision windows for fertiliser applications while waiting for results to be interpreted.
- Wanting better insights into paddock specific nutrient packages as anecdotally there is more of a yield response to P than N.
- Keen to better understand what fertiliser package to apply to get best ‘bang for buck’ and what’s included, i.e., do we need trace elements?
- Better understand the mobility of trace elements through the soil.
- Growers are motivated to gain efficiencies due to the cost of fertilisers.
GRDC investments:
- CSP1801-004RTX - Improved sampling methods to better predict nutrient availability and supply for soils in the Western region aimed to establish new soil testing guidelines to better understand nutrient availability in the soil.
- ASO1805-001RTX - Using soil and plant testing data to better inform nutrient management and optimise fertiliser investments for grain growers in the southern region was looking at the economics of soil and plant tissue tests for better fertiliser decisions.
- SPA2201-001SAX - NGN Precision fertiliser decisions in a tight economic climate is aiming to help growers adopt precision ag tools for more efficient and economic fertiliser applications.

GRDC Updates:
- Using common precision ag data layers to accurately and economically ground truth (2022)
- Soil sampling and variability – what does this mean for your nutrient decision? (2020)
- Soil testing fact sheet
- Using test strips to fine-tune fertiliser recommendations fact sheet
- Soil and plant testing for profitable fertiliser use guide book
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Balaklava NGN forum
212
Improvement of lentil performance in local environment
NGN0355Pulses are an important part of the rotation for various reasons, of which lentils are noted of particular importance given they’re considered profitable and relatively easy to market in the Mid North of SA. There are some challenges to production with patchy performance due to acid soils and frost.

It was noted they can lime to manage acidity, but wondered if a more tolerant species or variety would also be of use while addressing the key issue. Attendees noted that lupins could be a good choice for acid soils but did not stack up against other options when it came to profitability. They were also interested to find out when the new acid tolerant rhizobia will become available and how this performs in the mid north region.

Attendees also note that anecdotally there are also varietal differences within lentils on frost tolerance but haven’t seen the data to validate or make variety decisions.
UOA2105-013RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia is designed to assess the systems fit of pulse species and how to reduce the yield gap. This investment has included grain legume performance on ameliorated soil types and different herbicide packages for weed control in pulse crops. Search the code for more information.

CSP2107-003RTX - Matching adapted pulse genotypes with soil and climate to maximise yield and profit, with manageable risk in Australian cropping systems is another investment looking at better matching crop types to cropping systems. The aim is to reduce the yield gap of pulses and ensure management suits the region.

GRDC currently invests in DJP2104-003OPX - National Lentil Breeding Program which targets traits such as heat, frost, and disease resistances. Feedback from this forum will be shared with breeders to inform breeding objectives into the future. GRDC Groundcover Article is: https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/research-aims-to-expand-lentils-geographic-range .

In regard to acid soils and lentil production:
- DJP2109-002RTX - Improving yield potential of lentils on acid soils in Australia is an investment looking at finding acid tolerant germplasm for breeding programs
- New Group E Rhizobia Inoculant for Field Pea, Lentil and Vetch ay https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2023/new-group-e-rhizobia-inoculant-for-field-pea,-lentil-and-vetch
SouthLower and Mid North SA12/09/23Balaklava NGN forum
213
Head loss in barley and wheat
NGN0356Attendees raised head loss in barley as a key constraint to growing the crop. Wind events are seeing substantial amounts of head loss and brackling in some varieties, increasing harvesting difficulty and leaving grain in the paddock. This then causes issues around volunteers over summer and feed for pests, such as mice.

Anecdotally, attendees note that some barley varieties including Commodus CL and Compass are worse for losing heads than some of the older barleys, like Hindmarsh. Spartacus CL too is seemingly snapping in half, dropping heads on the ground or bending over so much that it decreases harvestability and the heads are missed from entering the header front.

Attendees also note that some trial work is taking place but don’t know how this stacks up in marginal country, noting PGRs are being trialled to help retain barley heads for longer. Some attendees had also heard that copper and potassium had been trialled but question if this makes a difference.

Other approaches were also questioned economics of windrowing the crop but note that lighter crops in the low rainfall zone limit the profitability of this approach and how well the windrows come together.
GRDC understands that this is a priority amongst growers and is working on developing future investments on phenotyping tools for better breeding for head loss resistant genetics. This future investment is likely to bring together current work through the Universities of Melbourne and Adelaide.

GRDC Investments: (Add the code to search function)
- FAR2204-002SAX - NGN Barley management options to close the yield gap and reduce pre-harvest losses looking at different management strategies to manage head loss, brackling and lodging in barley
- UOM2305-001RSX - Molecular dissection of barley head loss is a new GRDC sponsored PhD project is looking at genetic traits for head loss and weak peduncles in barley to hopefully give some tools for breeders to identify varieties that will be more prone to head loss.

A SAGIT investment also looked at head loss in barley and tools for management: Revealing the basis for head loss in barley (UA619) https://sagit.com.au/project/revealing-the-basis-for-head-loss-in-barley-ua619

GRDC Update Paper:
- Maximising growth and yield – canopy management is more important in seasons of better potential (2023)

Groundcover article
- Barley management to close yield gaps https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/business-management/barley-management-to-close-yield-gaps

Intergrain article
- Brackling Barley in 2021 https://www.intergrain.com/news/brackling-barley-in-2021
SouthUpper North SA11/09/23Warnertown NGN forum
214
Improvement of lentil performance in local environment
NGN0357Attendees note that lentils are an emerging crop for the region and there is enthusiasm for seeing more area grown to this profitable crop type. However, there are a number of challenges that were identified that impede uptake including weed control in crop and heat tolerance.

Participants note that local challenges can make it difficult when selecting a lentil variety to introduce into their system. Early sowing and early maturity are key factors that are considered in the region. As well as this, growers understand weed control in lentil crops is critical but are unaware of how new varieties coming through with metribuzin and clopyralid tolerant lentils fit within rotations, or how this tool will be used.

Wind at harvest is another issue with attendees noting that pod loss and shatter in lentil varieties suited to the region can limit uptake due to paddock hygiene concerns and yield loss.
UOA2105-013RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia is designed to assess the systems fit of pulse species and how to reduce the yield gap. This investment has included grain legume performance on ameliorated soil types and different herbicide packages for weed control in pulse crops. (Add the code to Search function for more information)

DJP2201-004RTX – Improving the yield stability of lentil under elevated temperatures is GRDC’s investment whose outcome is to ensure that by 2032 Australian lentil growers will have access to lentil cultivars with superior adaptation to elevated temperatures (GEBV-ranked, with yield under high temperature 10% higher than benchmark variety), via the new tools and germplasm provided to Australian lentil breeding entities.

CSP2107-003RTX - Matching adapted pulse genotypes with soil and climate to maximise yield and profit, with manageable risk in Australian cropping systems is another investment looking at better matching crop types to cropping systems. The aim is to reduce the yield gap of pulses and ensure management suits the region.

GRDC currently invests in DJP2104-003OPX - National Lentil Breeding Program which targets traits such as heat, frost, and disease resistances. Feedback from this forum will be shared with breeders to inform breeding objectives into the future. https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/crops/pulses/research-aims-to-expand-lentils-geographic-range

To support weed control in crop, GRDC invests in crop safety and residue studies to support registrations and Minor Use permits. An example is the Minor use Permit PER92810 supporting the use of metribuzin with metribuzin tolerant lentil varieties. Work is ongoing looking at clopyralid use in tolerant lentil lines as well as EAS2306-002SAX which is looking at alternative Group 4 herbicides.

Portfolio team 3 identified lentil head loss as a significant program for growers. A gap analysis is currently ongoing, and the report would guide GRDC investment.
SouthUpper North SA11/09/23Warnertown NGN forum
215
Improving production on saline soils
NGN0358Participants note that the region is unique due to the prevalence of saline soils. Being close to the coast, salinity is a big issue and can get worse with time due to a lack of cover over these areas increasing evaporation and leading to more surface saline deposits.

It's noted that these regions tend to be increasing in size, especially if ground cover cannot be maintained or established. This is a concern as more cropping area could become less productive or come out of production entirely. Attendees want to know what options are potentially economically viable to assist in the management of these areas, noting that Trengove Consulting has done some work in the MRZ and there are questions about how this attacks up where there is lower rainfall.

Attendees note that barley tends to be the preferred crop on these saline soils, but also note that anecdotally there seems to be a relationship between the stressed plants and head loss in the barley, with more head loss observed in the saline soils.
GRDC has a number of investments looking at genetic solutions to salinity tolerance including:
- UOT1909-002RTX - Improving the adaptation and profitability of high value pulses (chickpea and lentil) across Australian agroecological zones is aiming to find genetics for high value pulses tolerant to a variety of conditions, including saline soils.
- DAW1902-001RTX - Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region is looking at management strategies for saline and sodic soil types (Add code to search function)

Some SAGIT (South Australian Grain Industry Trust) work has included saline soils, including Saline evaluation of a wheat population identifying novel salinity tolerance (UA419). https://sagit.com.au/project/saline-evaluation-of-a-wheat-population-identifying-novel-salinity-tolerance-ua419

More information on saline soils can be found on the Mallee Sustainable Farming site, https://msfp.org.au/mallee-seeps

Groundcover article:
- https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/plant-breeding/voyage-of-discovery-destination-salinity-tolerant-chickpeas (2022)
GRDC Update Paper
- https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/02/identification-of-superior-wheat-varieties-for-sodic-magnesic-and-dispersive-soils (2017)
SouthUpper North SA11/09/23Warnertwon NGN forum
216
Hard to kill weeds – fleabane, windmill grass, feather top Rhodes, spiny emex (3 corner jacks, double gee)
NGN0359Attendees note that the regions proximity to a main freight route adds weed challenges to the cropping region i.e. weeds can be carried by trucks and machinery entering the region. There are a number of weeds which are on this hard to control list including, fleabane (Conyza spp.), windmill grass (Chloris truncata), feather top Rhodes grass (Chloris virgata) and spiny emex (Emex australis).

Attendees note that some chemistry mixes are giving limited success for in crop and summer weed control. Even double knocking over summer and grazing strategies are not giving the amount of control wanted in paddock. Moisture conservation is noted as extremely valuable in the region, so attendees want to make sure what they are doing is as efficient and economical as possible.

Resistance is also a concern with fleabane and ryegrass both showing resistance in the region. Attendees are aware there are some biocontrol options available, but question if they have a role in the system and can add an additional level of control for some weeds.
GRDC has a number of investments in the weed space, including:
An investment looking at emerging weeds, UOA1505-001RTX - Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds), looked at a number of weeds, their ecology and management. There are a number of update papers, resources, podcasts and other information available on some of the key weeds mentioned at Warnertown.

RDC2004-004OPX - Rural R&D for Profit - Underpinning agricultural productivity and biosecurity by weed biological control is an investment being delivered by AgriFutures to assess and understand biocontrol options for potential release. The grain weeds of focus in this research are fleabane, sow thistle, saffron thistle and sliverleaf nightshade. (Add the code to Search Function)
GRDC video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0gQg98_Cfs

Follow progress of this investment ‘Progressing fleabane weed biocontrol solutions for the Australian grains industry’ (PROC-9176903).

Search CSP2201-005RTX - NGN Better summer weed management decisions in southern and western Australia.

Further research in the weed management space includes:
- UOA1904-004SAX - Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems.
- UOA2301-004RTX - Effective control of three corner jack (spiny emex) species in lentils in the mid and upper north of SA

New investment in weed management strategies for a number of emerging weeds, including fleabane, Indian hedge mustard, prickly lettuce and wireweed is currently under procurement.

GRDC Reports (in Resources & Publications/All Publications):
- The Ecology of major emerging weeds report is a great place to start to understand the biology of weeds before implementing weed control tactics.
- Integrated Weed Management Manual describes a variety of tactics for weed management

For more information on Market Access and Maximum Residue Levels download the GRDC Factsheet at https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2020/grain-market-access-and-chemical-residues
SouthUpper North SA11/09/23Warnertown NGN forum
217
Understanding return on investment for organic amendment of soils
NGN0360Attendees note a number of questions arising around soil amendments and their return on investment. Anecdotally, soil amendments such as chicken manure and biosolids, are having an impact but questions remain around what is happening to the soil structure and water holding capacity and why soils are seen to be improving.

Participants report spending between $200-$300/ha to amend soils with organic amendments, but they don’t actually know the return on this investment or how long they can expect to see effects for. They also wonder if VR mapping can help identify the areas within a paddock more likely to be responsive from amendment applications.

These questions also apply to gypsum amendments and attendees additionally wonder how this changes what crops can be grown on the challenging soil types in the region.

Attendees also wonder if there are issues from utilising these amendment materials in paddock and if over a longer period of time there may be adverse effects.
GRDC has invested in some work on the role of soil amendments and amelioration including organic sources including:
- DAV1606-001RMX - Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region, on organic soil amendments and how they can affect crop yields.
- CSP1606-008RMX - Increasing production on sandy soils in low and medium rainfall areas of the South with a variety of amendment strategies including manure application.
- UOQ2203-006RTX - NGN Assessment of organic phosphorus sources is looking at costs, benefits and responses of organic P applications through manure.
- RPI2206-003SAX - NGN Validation of organic fertiliser sources for crop nutrition in NE Victoria is investigating faba bean stubble and manure impacts on the following wheat crop. (Add the code to Search function for more information)

GRDC Update Papers:
- On-farm strategy combines soil health-sensitive tactics across three SA family farms (2020)
- Use of manures (2014)

Groundcover articles:
- Paddock Practices: Chicken litter trials revealing sandy soil constraint improvement (2018)
- Risk analysis useful in determining investment in subsoil manuring (2019) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/economic-framework-for-subsoil-manuring-decisions
SouthUpper North SA11/09/23Warnertown NGN forum
218
Waterlogging
NGN0323Attendees have concerns around waterlogging within their region. There are large areas of cropping area that will go underwater most years. This is identified as a big gap as nutrition and disease management seem to be well understood, but yields will fall down due to water logging.

Attendees note it is a different type of waterlogging in the south east, caused by a rising water table, not a lack of subsurface drainage. This adds to the challenge of management as draining the soil profile is not a solution, unlike in WA.

Attendees also note that anecdotally there is a difference in water logging tolerance in some genetics as it can be observed in variety trials, but there are unaware if there is current work to find these genetics and place them into commercial varieties.

Attendees note that current management of water logging is trial and error, and the challenge is how to de-risk cropping through the waterlogging management. They also note there doesn’t seem to be anything available to them as growers to manage this currently.
GRDC has invested in a number of areas to look at how to manage waterlogging in crop and what genetics can help.

UOT1901-001RTX - Adapted barley germplasm with waterlogging tolerance for the Southern and Western regions has looked at what genetics exist for waterlogging tolerance amongst wild barley and other varieties. A key gene has been identified from wild barley that promotes the development of air spaces in the roots (aerenchyma), which enhances internal diffusion of gases from shoots to the [otherwise oxygen deprived] waterlogged roots. This snorkel supply allows roots to maintain their biological activity and maintain crop productivity under waterlogged conditions. This gene has now been introduced into RGT Planet; a high yielding commercial variety that is otherwise sensitive to waterlogging events. The derived RGT Planet-Plus shows significant waterlogging tolerance. An update paper describes how these genetics work in trials. https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/improving-waterlogging-tolerance-of-barley-varieties

SFS2109-001SAX - Strategies for waterlogged crops in the High Rainfall Zone of the Southern Region was an investment that looked at recovery strategies from waterlogging. A number of resources are available discussing this.

A new investment in 2023 is UOT2306-001RTX - Understanding the impacts of waterlogging on barley, canola and faba bean. This investment is looking to fill in knowledge gaps in barley, canola and faba bean physiological responses to waterlogging.

An investment that might be of interest is DAV1606-001RMX - Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region . This investment will review subsoil amelioration techniques and soil constraints that could be reinforcing waterlogging impacts in the high rainfall zone.

A new investment is in the pipeline looking at nitrogen in high rainfall environments which might be of interest. Keep an eye out for it with more details coming soon.
SouthSouth East SA27/06/23Naracoorte NGN forum
219
NGN – Spray application best practice industry training days for the Northern Regin
2Constraint: At NGN events across NSW and QLD, grain growers and advisors continue to identify spray equipment setup, operation efficiency, drift management and pesticide compliance and optimisation as significant challenges when implementing control measures for biotic pests (weeds, insects and disease) to protect grain yield and quality.

The industry currently relies on a small number of experts to educate and guide grain growers in best practise pesticides use and this limits accessibility of knowledge.

Opportunity: Growers and advisors are interested in updating and refreshing knowledge on various considerations of pesticide use and compliance. The opportunity exists to bring together (i) a manual on best management practice of pesticide use and compliance, (ii) delivery of workshop training that covers theory and practical considerations, and (iii) train the trainer to improve accessibility of expertise in pesticide use and compliance.
Spray application of chemicals is a crucial operation in modern grain farming, requiring a sound understanding of various factors for effective outcomes. Recent changes in label regulations, nozzle types and new pesticides highlight the need for growers to be aware and manage these changes. The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has historically organized workshops to educate growers, and now there is a need to extend this to training the trainer.
Despite considerable investment and effort in workshops, a recent workshop found that while 82% of participants intended to change spraying practices, only 60% implemented changes, primarily due to seasonal conditions. Growers express interest in practical, hands-on workshops, local field events, and specialist advice on equipment. There is a demand for staying informed about compliance requirements, engaging different learning styles, and ensuring that those not using best practices receive necessary information and skills.
Spray forums resourced by GRDC in 2021 and 2022 were well-received, featuring experts discussing label changes, the National Spray Residue Survey, herbicide efficacy, spray water quality, and emerging technologies. Strong industry support was demonstrated at these events.
This proposal is aligned with GRDC’s approach to deliver nationally consistent spray workshops with investment delivery that considers the specific needs of farming systems through bespoke local delivery. For example, Northern Region delivery will need to consider cotton production as well as consistent messaging with workshops being delivered in the GRDC Western Region focused on sprayer setup best management practise. . Concerns about a lack of capacity in spray extension capability, inconsistent training content, workshop fatigue, the need for resources, and the importance of community-wide communication has been raised by a number of forums including regional panel meetings.
Issues related to spray application, efficacy, and drift have been consistently raised by Australian grain growers in the GRDC issue capture process. In light of these challenges, there is a need to re-evaluate and possibly redesign the approach to educating and engaging growers in spray application practices.
Inadequate pesticide application can result in various adverse consequences, including (i) ineffective control leading to an accentuated yield gap, (ii) elevated production costs, (iii) an increased likelihood of resistance development, (iv) unintended crop damage with potential legal consequences, and (v) potential regulatory and trade risks.
Adopting best practices in spray application is crucial to enhance profitability, mitigate risks, and maintain the effectiveness of products. Growers, at an industry level, express apprehension about the potential impact of poor spray practices on future regulatory restrictions.
The objective of this investment is to address the above concerns by elevating the standard of pesticide application both locally and throughout the industry.
NorthAlbany Port Zone
All WA Subregions
Central East NSW
Central QLD
Central West NSW
Coastal NSW
Coastal QLD
Esperance Port Zone
Far West SA
Fleurieu Peninsula, Coorong and Upper South East SA
Geraldton Port Zone
Gippsland
Kangaroo Island
Kwinana East Port Zone
Kwinana West Port Zone
Lower Eyre Peninsula
Lower and Mid North SA
North Central Vic
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SA Mallee
South East NSW
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South East SA
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Tasmania
Upper Eyre Peninsula
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Vic Mallee
Wimmera
Yorke Peninsula
30/10/23NGN events in southern and central NSW
220
Herbicide resistance
NGN0313Roundup resistance, mostly for ryegrass.
Roundup ready canola pushing roundup resistance.
Farmers in the area are currently applying 2-3 knockdowns a year. Is resistance testing happening?
GRDC continues to invest in reducing the impact of weeds on farm and providing growers cost effective solutions to weed control and has a suite of investments for non-chemical alternatives and integrated weed management.

To access information for annual ryegrass management, search the GRDC website.

Additionally, WeedSmart represents an industry-driven initiative, supported by GRDC investment, aimed at improving on-farm practices and advocating for the enduring sustainability of herbicides. The website offers a range of information and strategies designed to assist with weed management across short-, medium-, and long-term horizons, all backed by research and development.

For resistance testing services: https://www.weedsmart.org.au/content/testing-for-herbicide-susceptibility-and-resistance

Grower case studies from Kwinana West can also be found here:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/herbicide-resistance-survey-fighting-weeds-in-the-kwinana-west-zone
WestKwinana East Port Zone29/06/23Trayning NGN forum
221
Row spacing and seeder set up for IWM
NGN0314More information required on row spacing and its effect on yield and competition.
If you could fill the inter-row with a disc to reduce light infiltration, that would be helpful to reduce weed burden however there is no disc seeding in this area due to large number of rocks.
All crops, though mostly cereal, are on 12in or 10in spacing.
Ryegrass is an issue in the inter-row so narrow row spacing is preferable.

Different boots -
Dual shooting/split row.
While GRDC hasn’t invested in this space recently in WA, there is information online from previous work.

Video – Crop competition - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loACpykKja0

Updates paper – Stubble retention - https://grdc.com.au/research/trials,-programs-and-initiatives/stubble-initiative/what-row-spacing-will-suit-my-stubble-retained-system

Booklet - Seeding systems set up case studies - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/seeding-systems-case-studies-of-growers-in-wa

Podcast – AHRI - https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/optimising-weed-control-with-crop-row-spacing

Article - WeedSmart – paired rows https://www.weedsmart.org.au/content/paired-rows-give-entry-level-crop-competition/
WestKwinana East Port Zone29/06/23Trayning NGN forum
222
Soil amelioration
NGN0315What are the costs/benefits of amelioration e.g. all techniques.
With ripping and spading, - are we getting the benefit?
Where are we getting the best benefit?
Deep ripping – not happening on heavier soils.
Can we run a masterclass - working on the data?
Can we run a VRT workshop?
GRDC and DPIRD have invested in an economic calculator to assist with soil amelioration decisions. The information on “Ranking Options for Soil Amelioration” (ROSA) can be found here:
https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/managing-soils/ranking-options-soil-amelioration-tool

Information on the Soil Re-engineering investment DAW1902-003RTX can be found here - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=DAW1902-003RTX

GRDC publication - Tackling amelioration on variable soil types is a comprehensive guide to developing soil amelioration plan.
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2021/tackling-amelioration-on-variable-soil-types

GRDC Soils Constraints investment PLT909-001SAX has numerous articles on soil amelioration.
WestKwinana East Port Zone29/06/23Trayning NGN forum
223
Managing soil pH
NGN0316Managing soil pH
on yellow sand – the previous farmer was using liquid, down to 30cm where there is now a pH 8, however the surface is pH 5 – Can you use a lime sand & liquid in combination?
What does low pH soil cost vs cost of carting lime? Where should focus first - on poor areas and will they improve?
Can we use on-farm (morrell) lime.
We are currently soil testing – 0-10, 10-30 and when deep ripping down to 50.
Variable rate lime sand vs Calsap (liquid) vs crushed lime (Hycal)
GRDC has some resources that may assist with understanding this issue:

This podcast discusses the WA lime calculator – iLime:
https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/your-lime-calculator

For assistance finding on farm lime sources, have read of this:
https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2019/locating-and-assessing-on-farm-lime-sources

YouTube video – How to do a fizz test for on-farm lime sources

DAW-00252 Innovative approaches to managing subsoil acidity in the Western Region:
Key messages
* If the pHCa of the surface soil is above 5.0, surface application of lime will help to protect from on-going acidification with potential yield improvement in 7–8 years. If surface soil pHCa is 4.5 or lower, application of lime will improve yield almost immediately.
* Incorporation of lime using strategic deep tillage (deeper than 25 cm) is recommended for compacted soil with subsoil acidity.
* The use of gypsum with lime is likely to provide added benefit but should be limited to rates of 1 t/ha. Re-application of gypsum was not evaluated within the time frame of this project.
* Agricultural lime is recommended as the most efficacious and cost-effective material for correction of pH. Good quality lime, with a large proportion of particles less than 0.5 mm diameter and high neutralising value should be used where possible.
* The performance of on-farm lime in neutralising soil acidity and improving plant growth is related directly to the quality. Sources need to be applied at the appropriate rate related to their neutralizing value with cost effectiveness assessed at such rates.
* Application of less acidifying nitrogen fertiliser may have a role in the management of soil acidification where lime has been applied to remediate the soil profile. However, in acidic soil lime is by far the more beneficial and economic option.
* Results from the project demonstrated the economic benefit of liming in the short-, medium- and long-term. The magnitude of improvements in yield in a single season were found to range from modest to large. When used in economic analysis, these yield improvements translated into a significant cumulative benefit, with economic breakeven occurring from one to seven years.
* Measuring either pHCa or extractable aluminium will suffice as a diagnostic of subsurface soil acidity, so the most economical option, generally pHCa, is recommended.
GRDC continues to invest in this area to assist growers in understanding soils and soil chemistry.
WestKwinana East Port Zone29/06/23Trayning NGN forum
224
Value adding post farm gate and grain marketing options.
NGN0299With cost-price squeeze increasingly impinging on whole farm profitability, attendees saw post farm gate value adding and grain marketing options as mechanisms growers could use to widen the cost-price gap.

Attendees wanted to know what opportunities existed or were being developed for value-adding farm produce and creating market opportunities.

The comment was made that Canola is exported, processed, then imported as food grade oil. Why is the Australian grains industry not developing local processing opportunities for food grade oils or biofuels?

Growers also commented there have previously been attempts to market lupins for human consumption. Is anything happening in this space?

Additionally, growers noted there are several marketing options such as cash and swaps, with pools coming back into fashion. They wanted to know if training or services were available to assist with making grain marketing decisions.
GRDC invests in Grains Australia https://grainsaustralia.com.au to support the grains industry through a range of industry good functions. These include supporting classification methods and systems, trade and market access, provision of market information and education. This website provides information on barley accreditations and market demands for varieties (and by region) which may be of interest to growers.

GRDC is currently in the process of tendering for research into Lupins for human consumption, topics below will be updated with links when investments are contracted:

Program 1 - enhancing the nutritional quality of narrow leafed lupin by reducing anti-nutritional seed alkaloid levels – this investment is seeking to improve palatability for human consumption.

Program 2 - enhancing the agronomic and nutritive value of narrow leafed lupin by reducing seed coat thickness and increasing protein content – this investment is seeking to improve grain quality for human consumption.

Through its GrainInnovate investment fund, GRDC has invested in WA-based foodtech company Whole (https://whole.green/). The company’s technology can help growers maximise paddock-to-plate opportunities for crops including lupins and other pulses and cereals including oats.
GRDC is actively scoping investments in "Add value to the crop to increase margins." as described in the GRDC 2023/28 RD&E plan.

Grain marketing is a specialised field and beyond GRDC’s remit and skillset. There are a numerous private grain marketers and consultants who can assist growers with grain marketing options and education to maximise profit opportunities.
WestKwinana West Port Zone20/06/23Yerecoin NGN Forum
225
Phosphorous strategies in calcareous soils
NGN0393Participants note that the level of cropping in the region has increased substantially in recent years, with a movement from 30% to 60-70% of area cropped in a given year. This had increased the questions around fertiliser requirements, particularly phosphorous, and participants want to understand what the best strategy is for their system.

Participants question what rates should be used given the high amount of P tie up in their calcareous soil types. They also wonder what product is best for delivering P to the crop to ensure that it is used efficiently by the plants and questioned what can be done to unlock the P already in the soil.

Placement of P was also a question asked by forum attendees. Depth of placement, placement relative to the seed, seeding boot set up and source of P at seeding are all considered unclear in the Ceduna soil types.

Longevity of application was also questioned by participants, with attendees wondering how long responses are seen for from larger P applications. This may allow more P to be put on in better seasons with less in tighter financial years.

Participants mentioned that these decisions around P fertilisers are hard to manage and have financial implications to their businesses.
A GRDC investment that might be of interest is HPS2006-001OPX - More profitable crops on highly calcareous soils by improving early vigour and overcoming soil constraints. This recently concluded investment looked at constraints of calcareous soil types and what can be done to overcome them. (Copy the code into the search bar)

Other investments of interest include:
- DPI2001-033RTX - Maximising the uptake of phosphorus by crops to optimise profit in central and southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia aims to look at the interaction of P placement with different crop types in different soil types.
- CSP2009-003RTX – CSIRO - Understanding constraints to crop profits on highly calcareous soil is looking at calcareous soils in SA and what management can improve crop profitability, including N and P availability.

SAGIT have investments in this space as well with Optimising P nutrition in pulses to maximise N fixation and yield (AS219) and Improved Phosphorus prescription maps – beyond replacement P (TC219). https://sagit.com.au/project/optimising-p-nutrition-in-pulses-to-maximise-n-fixation-and-yield-as219

Resources: (copy the title into the search bar)
- Nutrition on calcareous soils and deep P placement (2023)
- An informed approach to phosphorus management in 2022
- Maximising phosphorus use efficiency and profitability in SA video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA7TTnYWviU )
- The Australian Synchrotron: Crop root research taken to the next level video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rt1CgYCAmA)
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula19/03/24Ceduna NGN Forum1d
226
Benefit/cost of lentil production
NGN0394Participants at the Ceduna forum are looking for more information on the costs and benefits of growing lentils in the region. They note a lot of the discussion is around the benefits of growing them, but questions remain about optimal agronomy of lentils on the grey calcareous soils. Trials to date tend to have been on the redder soil types which are generally higher producing.

Attendees are keen for information relating to what it takes to get started in lentil production. Questions around this include:
- How much will it cost me to get into lentils?
- What are the infrastructure/machinery requirements to get started? Do I need flex fronts, rollers, etc.?
- What is the minimum amount of hectares to make it a worthwhile investment?
- What are the risks involved in getting into lentils?
- What does it mean for medic/chemical use/rotations if I plant lentils?

Participants are supportive of the work being conducted in the lentil check groups but see a gap in understanding fungicide requirements for the LRZ.
Lentil production in the low rainfall zone is being looked at through several GRDC investments, including:
- RiskWi$e (https://grdc.com.au/research/partnerships-and-initiatives/strategic-partnerships/riskwise) – where the Eyre Peninsula participatory action research group (PAR) run by AIREP (AIP2303-001BGX), is focusing on economics and assessing upside and downside risks of lentil production (copy title or code into search bar)
- UOA2303-007RTX - NGN-Lentil check discussion groups to maximise profitability of lentil production in the Upper Eyre Peninsula
- Breeding: DJP2201-004RTX – Improving the yield stability of lentil under elevated temperatures and DJP2104-003OPX - National Lentil Breeding Program
- Agronomics: UOA2105-013RTX - Development and extension to close the economic yield gap and maximise farming systems benefits from grain legume production in South Australia and CSP2107-003RTX - Matching adapted pulse genotypes with soil and climate to maximise yield and profit, with manageable risk in Australian cropping systems

Resources:
- The risks and rewards of growing pulse crops in the low rainfall Mallee cropping region (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/the-risks-and-rewards-of-growing-pulse-crops-in-the-low-rainfall-mallee-cropping-region
- Adelaide Grains Research Update recording Considerations for lentils in marginal areas (2024) (Video: https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2024/02/grdc-grains-research-update-adelaide?videoId=6347725587112)
- Break crop selection for Eyre Peninsula low rainfall farming systems (2019) (https://www.farmtrials.com.au/trial/30687)
- Profitable pulses in lower rainfall farming systems (2021) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/profitable-pulses-in-lower-rainfall-farming-systems)
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula19/06/24Ceduna NGN Forum1d
227
Improving production on dryland saline soils
NGN0395Attendees note that dryland saline soils are a problem in the region noting that keeping adequate ground cover is key for not seeing areas increasing in size. With areas developing these problems or getting worse, attendees wonder how to best mange these and what is most effective.

Participants note that there has been work happening in this space, but need to know how these strategies work in their environment with the sands they have access to for use as ground cover.

There are also questions being raised around what can be grown on the areas and how to ensure there is ground cover. Some participants note that they have been turning off the boom spray when summer weed spraying to try and keep cover, but also note the loss in soil moisture in this approach.

It was also noted that livestock camping on the bared out saline patches will create more of a problem and are interested to know if virtual fencing can have a role.

Salinity tolerance in crops is an area where participants are keen to see investment. It was noted that at the moment, they are running the seeder over the area and hoping something grows.
GRDC has a number of investments looking at genetic solutions to salinity tolerance including: (Copy code to search bar)
- UOT1909-002RTX - Improving the adaptation and profitability of high value pulses (chickpea and lentil) across Australian agroecological zones is aiming to find genetics for high value pulses tolerant to a variety of conditions, including saline soils.
- DAW1902-001RTX - Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region is looking at management strategies for saline and sodic soil types
- AIP2205-002OPX - Drought Fund Drought: Resilient Soils and Landscapes Program -Building drought resilience by scaling out farming practices that will enhance the productive capacity of sandy soil landscapes also has an element of saline soils work

SAGIT work has included saline soils, including Saline evaluation of a wheat population identifying novel salinity tolerance (UA419). (https://sagit.com.au/project/saline-evaluation-of-a-wheat-population-identifying-novel-salinity-tolerance-ua419)

More information on dryland saline soils can be found on the MSF Mallee Seeps page (https://msfp.org.au/mallee-seeps)

Groundcover:
- Voyage of discovery: destination salinity-tolerant chickpeas (2022) (https://msfp.org.au/mallee-seeps )
- Identification of superior wheat varieties for sodic, magnesic and dispersive soils in the Albany Port Zone (2017) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/02/identification-of-superior-wheat-varieties-for-sodic-magnesic-and-dispersive-soils)
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula19/06/24Ceduna NGN Forum1d
228
Hard to kill weeds – onion weed, perennial weeds pre-crop
NGN0396Attendees note that there are some weeds that are increasing in prevalence in the lead up to a crop going in. Modern no-til farming systems are noted to increase the prevalence of some of these weeds and there is a high level of reluctance to use full tillage in the control of these weeds.

Mixed farming low rainfall systems tend to have different types of weeds build up. Onion weed in particular is increasing in area and pressure. No-til sowing followed by 3-4 seasons of pasture sees numbers build up due to it’s prolific seed set. Continuous cropping will see it controlled, but this is unlikely as sheep are required from a risk mitigation perspective. Attendees are wondering if there are control options in pasture to manage it before the numbers increase.

Bindii and perennial saltbush are seen to be increasing in numbers, with the cost of control options a barrier to use. Full tillage is noted to control these weeds, but given the low rainfall environment and participants noting the importance of stubble and ground cover, this is considered a last resort.

Part of the issue on these weeds is it is understood by participants that there are control options available, but the cost of the product is often a barrier to adoption. These weeds can also be difficult to kill and may require a multi-tiered approach to have good control before coming into the cropping component of the rotation.
GRDC has a number of investments in the weed space, including: UOA1505-001RTX - Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds), their ecology and management. (Copy code to search bar)

RDC2004-004OPX - Rural R&D for Profit - Underpinning agricultural productivity and biosecurity by weed biological control is an investment being delivered by AgriFutures to assess and understand biocontrol options for potential release. The grain weeds of focus in this research are fleabane, sow thistle, saffron thistle and silverleaf nightshade. Download the PDF: (https://agrifutures.com.au/product/new-biocontrol-solution-for-sustainable-management-of-weed-impacts-to-agricultural-profitability)

There is an investment looking at summer weed control and the economics of different approaches in CSP2201-005RTX - NGN Better summer weed management decisions in southern and western Australia. (grdc.com.au)

Further research in the weed management space includes: - UOA1904-004SAX - Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems.

- UOA2301-004RTX - Effective control of three corner jack (spiny emex) species in lentils in the mid and upper north of SA

Reports- downloadable PDFs from GRDC.com.au:
- “The Ecology of major emerging weeds” report is a great place to start to understand the biology of weeds before implementing weed control tactics.

- “Integrated Weed Management Manual” describes a variety of tactics for weed management.
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula19/06/24Ceduna NGN Forum1d
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Increasing cost of doing business
NGN0397Participants noted the cost of doing business as a key pain point for farming businesses in the region.

Issues regarding recruiting and costing labour are front of mind, given one labour unit now costs $100,000 annually to retain and this comes with many risks to the business.

Other costs such as buying machinery, lack of local skills regarding servicing of new machines and the delays and costs of getting new parts are impacting business profitability and general wellbeing.

Attendees note that overall costs of production, for example input costs, have increased exponentially. It is not easily addressed, but attendees in the room mentioned it was an area of angst in businesses through the LRZ around Ceduna.

Attendees note there are few real solutions in this space, but agree that it’s important to communicate the challenges of having profitable grain businesses in this region, and the opportunity for disruption. Mixed farming enterprises remain the best way to manage risk and profitability.
GRDC has invested in ORM1906-002SAX Farm Business Updates long term as one of its flagship investments, aimed at upskilling farmers in farm business skills including early career. This investment has been renewed for another 5 years. FBU’s include face to face events but also online seminars which are recorded and a library of recorded events is available on the GRDC Website at https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/past-events-filtered?etype=farm-business-update . Keep an eye out for upcoming events, too.

GRDC is passionate about supporting farmers, and has developed a wide range of business resources, such as:
- Farming the Business Manual discussing everything from finances to succession planning (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2015/01/farming-the-business-manual)
- Processes help to guide good farm decision-making (2020) (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/farm-business/business-management/using-a-practical-process-to-test-decision-making)
- Farm Business Update – "Money balling" - knowing your business from the inside out for easier & effective decision making (2023) (https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2023/may/grdc-farm-business-update-online-money-balling)
- Farm Business Update - Making good decisions – Analysing contributions to profit (2023) )https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/2023/october/farm-business-update-livestream-gala-making-good-decisions-analysing-contributions-to-profit) You are welcome to share!
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula20/03/24Ceduna NGN Forum1d
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Phosphorus availability in highly calcareous soils
NGN0398Attendees of the Wirrulla NGN forum note phosphorus is a key nutrient issue for the Upper EP as every year is different with rainfall and thus the response of the crop to P applications change year to year.

More phosphorous fertiliser is going out, so attendees wonder how to get the most out of the P applications with attendees note they are ‘winging’ fertiliser applications without evidence backing it up. Questions are also raised around the form of P going out with both MAP and DAP used, but attendees wonder which form has better responsiveness for plants.

As a result of this, there are questions around granular and liquid fertiliser applications. Attendees want to understand the costs and benefits of each system including the practicalities of the machinery set up.

They are keen to understand the economics of the system and how to implement these systems if there is a benefit, noting that many WA growers have been implementing a liquid system for some time. There are also questions on if a liquid system has benefits for plant uptake and what the benefits are outside of P applications.
A GRDC investment that might be of interest is HPS2006-001OPX - More profitable crops on highly calcareous soils by improving early vigour and overcoming soil constraints. This recently concluded investment looked at constraints of calcareous soil types and what can be done to overcome them. https://sagit.com.au/project/optimising-p-nutrition-in-pulses-to-maximise-n-fixation-and-yield-as219 and also https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=HPS2006-001OPX

Other investments of interest include:
- DPI2001-033RTX - Maximising the uptake of phosphorus by crops to optimise profit in central and southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia aims to look at the interaction of P placement with different crop types in different soil types.
- CSP2009-003RTX – CSIRO - Understanding constraints to crop profits on highly calcareous soil is looking at calcareous soils in SA and what management can improve crop profitability, including N and P availability.

SAGIT have investments in this space as well with Optimising P nutrition in pulses to maximise N fixation and yield (AS219) and Improved Phosphorus prescription maps – beyond replacement P (TC219). https://sagit.com.au/project/improved-phosphorus-prescription-maps-beyond-replacement-p-tc219

GRDC Update Papers:
- Nutrition on calcareous soils and deep P placement (2023)
- An informed approach to phosphorus management in 2022
- Maximising phosphorus use efficiency and profitability in SA video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA7TTnYWviU
- The Australian Synchrotron: Crop root research taken to the next level video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rt1CgYCAmA
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula21/03/24Wirrulla NGN Forum2d
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Making big decisions in farm businesses
NGN0399Participants note that big financial and business decisions can be challenging to make and the inherent uncertainty around profitability in the region makes these decisions stressful.

Attendees are questioning how these decisions can be made confidently, with key areas of interest around:
- Machinery purchase decisions
- Level of cropping intensity
- How to make land purchases
- Grain marketing
- Where to spend/not spend money
- How to grow without going broke

Fluctuating commodity and input prices are only making these decisions more difficult to make and reducing confidence in the outcomes of investment in infrastructure or land.

It’s noted that the continuous involvement in a group setting can assist in understanding goals of expansion and build confidence in taking on these decisions, with attendees wondering what opportunities for this exist.
GRDC invests in ORM1906-002SAX Farm Business Updates over the long term as one of its flagship investments aimed at upskilling farmers in farm business skills through all career stages. FBUs include face to face events but also online seminars which are recorded and a library of past events is available for you to explore on the GRDC Website via https://grdc.com.au/events/past-events/past-events-filtered?etype=farm-business-update (click on name, region etc)

RiskWi$e (https://grdc.com.au/research/partnerships-and-initiatives/strategic-partnerships/riskwise ) is a major investment helping people to understand probabilistic outcomes of risky decisions including machinery purchases and enterprise mix – the Eyre Peninsula participatory action research group (PAR) is run by AIREP (AIP2303-001BGX) and there is an opportunity to join the group sessions. (https://grdc.com.au/search?query=AIP2303-001BGX )

GRDC also supports a number of scholarships to focus on upskilling in leadership of rural businesses with: - Nuffield Australia - Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Growers are strongly encouraged to apply.

GRDC Farm Business Updates: (copy the title into main search bar)
- Practical strategies to manage growth (2023) - Processes help to guide good farm decision-making (2020)
- "Money balling" - knowing your business from the inside out for easier & effective decision making (2023)
- Making good decisions – Analysing contributions to profit (2023)
GRDC Resources and Publications
- Farming the Business Manual discussing everything from finances to succession planning
- Opportunity For Profit - Management Guideline (booklet)
- Characteristics and habits of Top 20% farm business operators (Update Paper)
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula20/03/24Wirrulla NGN forum1d
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Understanding new herbicide chemistries on calcareous soils
NGN0400Attendees of the Wirrulla NGN forum note that chemical residue breakdown is a key concern. The low rainfall environment, calcareous soil types and lack of microbial activity are key barriers noted by attendees on why chemical residues may be hanging around in their soil types for longer.

It is noted that attendees are keen to understand how to manage residues in the soil and avoid resistance building up in weeds. Participants in the forums note that specific herbicides are requiring longer plant back periods for crop safety than what is recommended on the label. This includes:
- Lontrel and lentils, still seeing issues around crop safety after two years
- Callisto damage in wheat
- Reflex
- Older chemistry like Ally and Glean

It is noted that whilst having access to newer herbicides at sowing is great, it can be a challenge in knowing how these fit into the soils and sowing systems as well as what can be used safely, without compromising crop establishment.

A question was noted by attendees wondering if there is an additive to spray mixes that can be added to facilitate the breakdown of chemistries and alleviate the residue issues growers are encountering.
GRDC invests in a number of crop safety and residue field studies which investigate herbicide use patterns and produces data to help support future registrations to the APVMA by chemical registrants. An example of this is Metribuzin in new lentil varieties - EAS2205-010SAX and EAS2205-009SAX (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=EAS2205-010SAX and https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=EAS2205-009SAX )


Soil pH can definitely have an impact on breakdown on some herbicides. The impact on sulfonylurea residues with high pH is discussed in this Update Paper. (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/interaction-of-soil-ph-and-sulfonylurea-herbicide-degradation-on-legume-growth)


GRDC manuals: (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour )
- Soil behaviour of pre-emergent herbicides in Australian farming systems: a reference manual for agronomic advisers
- Understanding post-emergent herbicide weed control in Australian farming systems
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula19/03/24Wirrulla NGN Forum1d
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Connectivity
NGN0401Attendees at the Wirrulla NGN note connectivity is a key concern for the region and a barrier to conducting business. Key to this problem is the turn off of the 3G network this year. This will be a massive risk to the adoption of technology on farm with many weather stations and on farm technology relying on a 3G connection to operate.

It's noted that better connections are required to implement technology on farm and with so much farm business now conducted through an internet connection, the turn off of 3G puts this at risk.

Participants also note that connectivity in the region is already a struggle with 3G still operating and there is a level of trepidation on how services, farm businesses and ag tech will operate post June 30.
Information on regional connectivity and the options available may be available through the Regional Tech Hub website (https://regionaltechhub.org.au ). This provides information and independent advice on technical connectivity and internet issues for regional Australia.

There are opportunities for eligible primary producers to take advantage of the On Farm Connectivity Program which can allow producers to receive a grant for digital technology implementation on farm, including connectivity equipment and training (https://nff.org.au/on-farm-connectivity-information-service ).
GRDC is supporting the development of connectivity solutions through investments made by GrainInnovate.com, one of which is Zetifi. (https://zetifi.com )

GRDC Update Papers:

- Satellites and other useful tools that are ready for immediate benefit for on-farm decision making (2021) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/02/satellites-and-other-useful-tools-that-are-ready-for-immediate-benefit-for-on-farm-decision-making
- Technology - expensive toys or great management aids? (2017) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/07/technology-expensive-toys-or-great-management-aids

Groundcover article:

- Tech to improve productivity and safety in the bush (2023) https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/industry-insights/tech-to-improve-productivity-and-safety-in-the-bush
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Improving production on dry saline soils
NGN0402Dry saline soils raise a number of issues for attendees of the Wirrulla NGN forum. It was noted that most producers through this region have some area that is affected by the ‘magnesia flats’ so it is a widespread issue.

Attendees wonder what the options are for improvement. They note that keeping livestock off the area assists in stopping the wicking effect and virtual fencing would be a big help in this area. They wait to see the outcomes on any legislation in this area to be able to implement it on farm.

There are a range of strategies being tried on farm, but participants question which strategy gives the best return and longevity of control of dry saline soils. Attendees note growers are discussing different control mechanisms and ideas on how to fix the problem. These strategies include:
- Spreading manure and bedding from feedlots on top of saline areas
- Using chaff carts to drop organic matter on the sites
- Growing saltbush on top of the saline areas

Attendees note that they are interested in more details on how to use sand applications on saline areas with questions regarding how to source sands, how to spread sand over it and how long this lasts for.
GRDC has a number of investments looking at genetic solutions to salinity tolerance including (Copy code to search bar):
- UOT1909-002RTX - Improving the adaptation and profitability of high value pulses (chickpea and lentil) across Australian agroecological zones is aiming to find genetics for high value pulses tolerant to a variety of conditions, including saline soils.
- DAW1902-001RTX - Increased grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grain belt of the Western Region is looking at management strategies for saline and sodic soil types
- AIP2205-002OPX - Drought Fund Drought: Resilient Soils and Landscapes Program -Building drought resilience by scaling out farming practices that will enhance the productive capacity of sandy soil landscapes also has an element of saline soils work

Some SAGIT work has included saline soils, including Saline evaluation of a wheat population identifying novel salinity tolerance (UA419). https://sagit.com.au/project/saline-evaluation-of-a-wheat-population-identifying-novel-salinity-tolerance-ua419

More information on saline soils can be found on the MSF Mallee Seeps https://msfp.org.au/mallee-seeps

GRDC Update Paper

- Identification of superior wheat varieties for sodic, magnesic and dispersive soils in the Albany port zone (2017) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2017/02/identification-of-superior-wheat-varieties-for-sodic-magnesic-and-dispersive-soils )


GRDC Groundcover:

- Voyage of discovery: destination salinity-tolerant chickpeas (2022) (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/innovation/plant-breeding/voyage-of-discovery-destination-salinity-tolerant-chickpeas)
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula19/03/24Wirrulla NGN Forum1d
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Snail Management
NGN0403Attendees at the Port Kenny NGN forum note snail management as a key issue that seems to be getting worse over time. It’s been noticed that when the snail population is not being managed, the numbers explode, particularly given the wet spring/summer period of the past few years.

Participants note that the Italian snails are the most common throughout the region although the small conicals are also getting around. They suspect these snails have moved into the region on vehicles and tyres with the issue considered worse at Streaky Bay.

A number of management questions exist from the participants of the forum, with growers keen to know what works in their region. Some of the questions include:
- What is the baiting approach around timing and rate of application?
- Where are the parasitic wasp populations and are they working?
- Are there any new spray on control options?
- What is the most cost effective and efficient method of control?

Forum participants note reports from other regions that rotation has made a difference to snail numbers through use of carbendazim. A wheat, lentil rotation has allowed Yorke Peninsula growers to get on top of snail numbers but participants also understand that carbendazim is unlikely to go on label. Instead, they want more information on how the spray stays in the environment and if it is taken up by the plant to help understand the residual effects and potential MRL issues around its use.
GRDC have invested in a new national program geared at UOA2205-005RTX - more effective control of pest snails in Australian grain crops. (Copy the code in the search bar) This project will develop an integrated package of new biological knowledge, surveillance, and control methods, which will become tools to assist farmers to better manage molluscs on farm. GRDC Groundcover article: Multifaceted approach to combat snails in grain crops (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/weeds-pests-diseases/pests/multifaceted-approach-to-combat-snails-in-grain-crops?_gl=1*50w8y8*_ga*MTM1OTA1NTUyMy4xNjc5OTYwMTgw*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTY4MjQ5OTk5NS4zNC4xLjE2ODI1MDIyNDcuNDYuMC4w*_ga_45XES48CE0*MTY4MjQ5OTA0Ni4yOS4xLjE2ODI1MDIyNDcuNDcuMC4w)

Another, NEW GRDC investment (SAG2205-002OPX) is investigating Revegetation for enhanced biocontrol of pest conical snails (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=SAG2205-002OPX). The project will quantitatively evaluate and demonstrate how targeted revegetation can be used to suppress conical snails by supporting populations of a snail parasitic fly, which can act as a biocontrol.
GRDC has a dedicated slugs and snails resources page: https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/slugs-and-snails?utm_source=website&utm_medium=hero_search_buttons&utm_campaign=resource_landing_page&utm_content=Slugs%20and%20Snails

GRDC Manual

- Nail the Snails (2023) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2023/nail-the-snails)

Paddock Practices
- Tips and tools for reducing snails at harvest (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2018/west/september/tips-and-tools-for-reducing-snails-at-harvest)


GRDC Update paper (Copy the title into the search bar, Enter, then scroll down)
- Movement, breeding, baiting and biocontrol of Mediterranean snails (2021) for Southern and Western regions
- Snail Management – learnings from recent studies (2020)
- Snail research – optimising control (2019)


GRDC Fact Sheet:
- Managing small conical snails factsheet (2021)

News
- Snail control improves harvest efficiency and quality (2020)
- Baiting snails – success is all about the timing (2020) Baiting snails – success is all about the timing - GRDC


The SARDI research page provides insights into a range of GRDC funded snail management projects.
- Timing is everything: when to bait snails - PIRSA (https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/research/publications/pestfacts/past_issues/2021/pestfacts_march_2022/timing_is_everything_when_to_bait_snails )


In 2012 the APVMA (Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority) undertook a review of the active constituent Carbendazim and labels relating to its use. Whilst with minor adjustments to labels around risks were required, use of the active was supported under current use patterns. However, expansions to other use patterns were not supported due to issues around toxicology and both human and environmental risks. Consequently, expanding use of carbendazim for snail management and or to other crop uses will not be pursued. Read the report https://www.apvma.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication/14541-carbendazim-review-findings-report.pdf . GRDC Paddock Practices on carbendazim can be found here (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/paddock-practices/2024/national/march/paddock-practices-carbendazim-fungicide-and-its-continued-use-in-australia).

GRDC continues to regularly discuss with the chemical registrants the need for new/effective molluscicides. To date no new compounds have been identified that are suitable for broadacre farming systems.
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula20/03/24Port Kenny NGN Forum1d
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Hard to kill weeds – stemless thistle, sow thistle, fleabane, capeweed, barley grass, rye grass, caltrop
NGN0404Attendees identified the challenge of weed control in pastures as a high priority. They note that mixed livestock and cropping systems add complexity to weed management. As a result of this, they are asking questions regarding many hard to kill weeds. These weeds are considered hard to kill as the control measures that can be taken can result in poor medic stands or pastures in following years.

Some of these control options are offering good control, but can be considered risky given limitations on withholding periods or grazing. It was noted that it can be very easy to get this wrong and accidentally put livestock into the paddock too quickly. This is particularly the case when feed stands are reduced due to a dry spring.

Participants in the forum note some of the herbicides that may be available for control of these weeds may not be suitable due to the difficult soil types in the region. This limits the potential chemistry for control.

Some resistance is also building up amongst certain weeds, such as barley grass and rye grass, however, attendees note they’re still ab le to get away with relatively low rates. They do recognise that this won’t be the case forever though and are searching for alternative controls as a result.
GRDC has a number of weed control investments, including:
UOA1505-001RTX - Emerging weeds (Seed-bank biology of emerging weeds), looked at a number of weeds, their ecology and management. (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UOA1505-001RTX) There are a number of update papers, resources, podcasts and other information available on some of the key weeds mentioned at Port Kenny.

RDC2004-004OPX - Rural R&D for Profit - Underpinning agricultural productivity and biosecurity by weed biological control is an investment being delivered by AgriFutures to assess and understand biocontrol options for potential release. The grain weeds of focus in this research are fleabane, sow thistle, saffron thistle and silverleaf nightshade. (Copy the code to the search bar).


GRDC video:
GCTV4: Flaxleaf Fleabane (youtube.com)

There is an investment looking at summer weed control and the economics of different approaches in CSP2201-005RTX - NGN Better summer weed management decisions in southern and western Australia.


Further “difficult weed” research includes: - UOA1904-004SAX - Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming systems.


GRDC Manuals (download for free):

- The “Ecology of major emerging weeds” report is a great place to start to understand the biology of weeds before implementing weed control tactics.
- “Integrated Weed Management Manual” describes a variety of tactics for weed management
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula20/03/24Port Kenny NGN forum1d
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Understanding new herbicide chemistries on calcareous soils
NGN0405Participants at Port Kenny note that new herbicide chemistries seem to act differently on their grey calcareous soils than how it’s meant to act on-label or in other areas. It has been noticed that there are high residue issues impacting crop safety the following year.

A key example is Lontrel and the plant back period being much longer than what is on label for lentils. It is also noted that growers are seeing the same effects on other pesticides, including fungicides.

Attendees note that it can be difficult to keep up with new chemistries and they can sometimes be used with not a lot of information on how they will react in the soil types with a lot that can go wrong from a profitability perspective if it behaves differently to label. Consultants and agronomists are relied on heavily for this information but there can still be gaps around active longevity on calcareous soils.

With more confidence in dry sowing, this can change the behaviour of herbicides and the attendees consider it important to know what will and won’t work for their system.
GRDC invests in a number of crop safety and residue field studies which investigate herbicide use patterns and produces data to help support future registrations to the APVMA by chemical registrants. An example of this is Metribuzin in new lentil varieties - EAS2205-010SAX and EAS2205-009SAX (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=EAS2205-010SAX and https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=EAS2205-009SAX)

Soil pH can definitely have an impact on breakdown on some herbicides. The impact on sulfonylurea residues with high pH is discussed in this Update Paper. (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2020/02/interaction-of-soil-ph-and-sulfonylurea-herbicide-degradation-on-legume-growth)


GRDC manuals: (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/herbicide-behaviour)

- Soil behaviour of pre-emergent herbicides in Australian farming systems: a reference manual for agronomic advisers

- Understanding post-emergent herbicide weed control in Australian farming system
- Understanding interactions between pre-emergent herbicides and inversion tillage (2018)
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula21/03/24Port Kenny NGN Forum2d
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Long term and short-term weather forecasts
NGN0406Attendees at the Port Kenny forum note there is a lack of confidence in short and long term weather forecasts for the western upper EP. Given a lot of farm decisions are impacted by the weather and forecast rainfall, it can be expensive if forecasts are inaccurate.

When forecasting temperature, Minnipa and Ceduna are the weather stations used. This creates issues at harvest time where the temperature at these sites dictates a potential harvest ban. It may be not great harvest weather at Minnipa, but closer to Port Kenny with a cool sea breeze, it could be fine for harvesting.

For tracking weather fronts, attendees note that there tends to be a black spot over the EP with a lack of radar capability on the peninsula. This creates issues around seeing weather move across the landscape to make management decisions.
GRDC in partnership with the Australian Government, other rural Research Development Corporations, commercial companies, state departments and universities invested in the Rural R&D for Profit program to develop “Forewarned is Forearmed” (FWFA) http://www.bom.gov.au/research/projects/FWFA. A five-year project with the BOM, FWFA has developed new climate forecasting tools to assist growers and advisers to better understand their climate outlook potential. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/rainfall/total/50/weekly/0

GRDC also continues to invest in the Fast Break newsletters for South Australia and Very Fast Break videos to provide specific climate condition updates. (https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/support-and-resources/newsletters/the-break and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClDCIII7gRZhUs03opGqH1g)

The Bureau of Meteorology also produces agriculture focused forecasts each month which can assist in understanding what’s to come and review what’s happened regarding weather. You can find this month’s outlook here: Late March/April Grains Climate Outlook - SA, Vic & Tas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeUHNehaDFE)

GRDC Update: m
- Bureau of Meteorology developments in long-term forecasting accuracy – the implications for autumn sowing (2024) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2024/02/bureau-of-meteorology-developments-in-long-term-forecasting-accuracy-the-implications-for-autumn-sowing
- The 2023 seasonal outlook – were the models right or wrong? (2024) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2024/02/the-2023-seasonal-outlook-were-the-models-right-or-wrong
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Phosphorus availability in highly calcareous soils
NGN0407Participants at Port Kenny have indicated that there are concerns around phosphorous availability on highly calcareous grey soils found throughout the region.

Cost of inputs around P application is part of the reason this is considered a high priority, with costs for MAP and DAP over $1,000/t. This increase in cost makes decisions difficult in dry years. The comment was made that there is a large outlay for fertilisers, so attendees wish to see return on investment when applying it.

Attendees note the work being conducted around phos acid and carbon coated mineral (CCM) is seeing some promise but note it is a long way off of being commercially available in the region.

Attendees also wonder if there is an interaction between the plant unable to access P within the grey soils and therefore getting issues with rhizoctonia. They wonder if the P is more accessible, will there potentially be less rhizo.

They are also keen to understand what the ‘sweet spot’ for rate and application is for P in their soil types. This is as even paddocks with a good history of P application are still seeing responses to higher rates and attendees want to understand if the P replacement strategy is enough.
A GRDC investment that might be of interest is HPS2006-001OPX - More profitable crops on highly calcareous soils by improving early vigour and overcoming soil constraints. This recently concluded investment looked at constraints of calcareous soil types and what can be done to overcome them. https://sagit.com.au/project/optimising-p-nutrition-in-pulses-to-maximise-n-fixation-and-yield-as219 and also https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=HPS2006-001OPX

Other investments of interest include:
- DPI2001-033RTX - Maximising the uptake of phosphorus by crops to optimise profit in central and southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia aims to look at the interaction of P placement with different crop types in different soil types.
- CSP2009-003RTX – CSIRO - Understanding constraints to crop profits on highly calcareous soil is looking at calcareous soils in SA and what management can improve crop profitability, including N and P availability.

SAGIT have investments in this space as well with Optimising P nutrition in pulses to maximise N fixation and yield (AS219) and Improved Phosphorus prescription maps – beyond replacement P (TC219). https://sagit.com.au/project/improved-phosphorus-prescription-maps-beyond-replacement-p-tc219

GRDC Update Papers:
- Nutrition on calcareous soils and deep P placement (2023)
- An informed approach to phosphorus management in 2022
- Maximising phosphorus use efficiency and profitability in SA video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA7TTnYWviU
- The Australian Synchrotron: Crop root research taken to the next level video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rt1CgYCAmA
SouthUpper Eyre Peninsula21/03/24Port Kenny NGN forum2d
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Insect management in canola
NGN0409Concerns around slaters, millipedes, slugs and snails, particularly within canola crops, was raised by attendees at Wangary. These insects are hard to kill and do a lot of damage, particularly in canola which is the main crop in rotation.

It is noted that no-til farming systems have led to a build-up of these pest species on the lower EP through higher levels of stubble retained and a desire not to burn stubbles. The high levels of canola production on the lower EP also make this challenge front of mind regarding management of canola pests.

The potential loss of chlorpyrifos as an insecticide in crop to protect against insect infestation for canola is also a concern noted by attendees. Currently they feel there are very few legitimate control options for pest management in canola. This is concerning given the pending outcome of a review by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) in July 2024 that may result in registrations and permits for products containing chlorpyrifos being immediately suspended or phased out.

Attendees are keen to know what other approaches around pest management are out there for canola and what’s on the horizon for control mechanisms given farming without chlorpyrifos will make production much more difficult.
There are a few new investments looking at management of canola pests using beneficials:
- CES2307-001RTX - Assessing the ecological and economic benefits of controlling aphid pests of canola with parasitoid wasps will provide evidence-based guidelines for using beneficials for aphid control (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CES2307-001RTX#msdynttrid=lAF1wRX5XONAA1pF9REbrEf3jdvAdxuNzPI2irSFCQE)
- CSP2309-004RTX - Minimising damage of invertebrate pests in canola through a better understanding of the impact of beneficial insects will look at beneficials and how to improve their impact in pest control (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP2309-004RTX#msdynttrid=oXhHLK229TJ8BAAiJuHfAgXtdqf1sY6tMlJt6AJ8e2k)

GRDC resources and publications:
- New knowledge on pests and beneficials in grains (2020) https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/publications/2020/new-knowledge-on-pests-and-beneficials-in-grains

GRDC Updates and Factsheets
- Recent research on millipedes and slaters (2017) (Copy the titles to the search bar)
- Millipedes and slaters in no-till systems (2013)
- Earwigs - an appetite for destruction or are they beneficial? (2020)
- Insect pests of establishing canola (2019) Free PDF:

Other resources
- Challenges with earwigs, millipedes and slaters in broadacre crops (2020) (https://cesaraustralia.com/pestfacts/challenges-with-earwigs-millipedes-and-slaters-in-broadacre-crops)

APVMA review of Chlorpyrifos: https://www.apvma.gov.au/chemicals-and-products/chemical-review/listing/chlorpyrifos
SouthLower Eyre Peninsula22/03/24Wangary NGN Forum2d
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Post-delving management of soils
NGN0410Participants at Wangary are keen to understand how to best manage soils post-delving. A lot of work has been done in regards to the LRZ and MRZ, but attendees want to know how it translates to the lower EP.

There are many questions associated with delving that participants are looking to answer, including:
- How long does delving last and how often will we need to come back and re-delve?
- What do we need to do to further improve microbial activity in our soils?
- What do we have to change about nutrition management on delved soils?
- How do herbicides change their behaviour in our soils after delving?

Attendees also understand the importance in microbe activity for nitrogen cycling, herbicide breakdown and general soil health and want to understand how delving changes this relationship. They also question if there’s anything that can be done from a management perspective to assist in building up and maintaining beneficial microbes within the soil.
The new Sandy Soils investment, CSP2403-017RTX - Sandy Soils II, is building on previous investments to look at post amelioration management and identification of where to ameliorate. (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP2403-017RTX)

You can find all the resources from the previous Sandy Soils project here. There are a number of factsheets and other information on soil constraints and how to treat them. (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CSP1606-008RMX)

GRDC video
- Sandy soil amelioration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foExvBXRFjo

GRDC Updates and Factsheets
- Improving crop productivity on sands - what is the latest? (2021) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2021/07/improving-crop-productivity-on-sands-what-is-the-latest)
- Clay Spreading and Delving (2015) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2015/01/clay-spreading-and-delving)

Other resources:
- LEADA report on soil modification on Lower EP (2015) (https://cdn.environment.sa.gov.au/landscape/docs/ep/leada-soil-moisture-improving-gen.pdf)
SouthLower Eyre Peninsula22/03/24Wangary NGN Forum2d
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Blackleg resistance management
NGN0411Attendees at Wangary raised blackleg resistance management as a major concern. It was mentioned that the impacts of the breakdown of blackleg resistance in 2003 and the experience of this is high incentive to avoid breakdown of the minor and major gene resistance to blackleg.

The participants as a result are keen to understand the change in blackleg genetics, how they’re shifting across the region and improve the decisions around varietal selections to avoid another 2003. As a result of this, there is a question around if there is a way to work out what the blackleg inoculum load is in the paddock to help shape variety decisions earlier.

It was noted by attendees that blackleg can act/impact genetics differently on the Lower EP and as a result there a questions around surveillance and ensuring that EP stubble and inoculum is included in surveillance programs. This is considered especially important to avoid the 2003 scenario and 90% yield losses.

It was also noted by participants that whilst there’s more varieties coming through breeding programs, many still share similar genetic resistance. They are also questioning the role of minor gene resistance, their interaction together and how this impacts variety selection. Attendees note they probably get four years out of a variety until they have to change to a different group.
There are a few new investments focussed on blackleg management and genetics:
- UWA2307-002RTX - Improving major gene and quantitative (minor) resistance to blackleg disease of canola which aims to identify major gene resistance, characterise minor gene resistance and development resistance management strategies (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=UWA2307-002RTX)
- CSP2307-006RTX - Effective Control of Blackleg of Canola: Contract 4 Phenotyping which will develop phenotyping for quicker identification of blackleg resistance genes (Copy code into search bar)

It is worth noting that the management and genetics components will not solve all the blackleg issues currently observed in canola. Good rotations that limit the pressure on existing resistance mechanisms are one of the few strategies to aid in control of the disease due to potential build up of fungicide resistance.

GRDC Updates and Factsheets:
- Blackleg Management Guide (2023) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/all-publications/factsheets/2024/04/blackleg-management-guide)
- Emerging blackleg challenges this season (2023) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/08/emerging-blackleg-challenges-this-season)
GRDC PODCAST
- Reducing the impact of blackleg in canola (2022) https://grdc.com.au/news-and-media/audio/podcast/reducing-the-impact-of-blackleg-in-canola


Other resources
– DPIRD WA - BlacklegCM Management App for assistance making management decisions relating to blackleg
-AFREN - Blackleg in Canola (2022) AFREN-Blackleg-Fact-Sheet_Jun22_FA_online.pdf
- Fungicide resistance in canola (2021) https://afren.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Fungicide-resistance-in-Canola-Fact-Sheet.pdf
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SouthLower Eyre Peninsula22/03/24Wangary NGN Forum2d
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Nitrogen priming to improve canola yields
NGN0412Participants discussed nitrogen priming of soil prior to canola as an area of interest at the Wangary forum. The lack of profitable pulse options due to soil constraints such as waterlogging and variable pH, has resulted in canola being considered the rotational crop of choice. The downside to canola is the amount of fertiliser required to see profitable yields and the fact it does not fix its own nitrogen.

Attendees discussed some trial work that has been happening as part of the Southern farming systems investment on the Lower EP looking at nitrogen priming of soil prior to canola, and they wonder if this has a role in the management of nutrition.

There was also a question raised about how this impacts N supply into the following cereal crop, with thinking in the room that N could be left behind from the canola crop for the following year. Questions were then asked regarding how the N priming strategy could work as a quasi-replacement for lentils which suffer due to waterlogging and low pH.
The details of the initial work conducted by Andrew Ware through a SAGIT investment can be found here (https://airep.com.au/research/taking-canola-profitability-to-the-next-level). There are yield benefits for canola where there is adequate N in the soil prior to sowing.

This podcast also details the project discussing pushing canola yields economically. (https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/sagraintrust/episodes/SAGIT-Podcast-7---Canola-profitability---Andrew-Ware-e20h2e6/a-a9ghr2h)

GRDC Updates and Factsheets
- Farming systems profit and risk over time: exploring the N legacy impacts on profit in different farming systems. (2024) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2024/02/farming-systems-profit-and-risk-over-time-exploring-the-n-legacy-impacts-on-profit-in-different-farming-systems )
- Hyper yielding crops lifts canola yield above 6 t/ha (2022) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/02/hyper-yielding-crops-lifts-canola-yield-above-6-tha)
- Hyper yielding cereal agronomy – key levers and their interactions; varieties, N and lessons learnt (2023) (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2023/02/hyper-yielding-cereal-agronomy-key-levers-and-their-interactions-varieties-n-and-lessons-learnt)
SouthLower Eyre Peninsula22/03/24Wangary NGN Forum2d
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Soil Amelioration on Complex Soil Types
NGN0423Soil amelioration has been a widely researched and adopted practice across WA, however growers at the Dunsborough NGN forum identified a gap in existing research and extension regarding ameliorating complex and variable soil types.

Complex and variable soil types present specific challenges compared with more uniform soils on which amelioration has largely been adopted. In addressing these complex soils, growers wanted to understand the following:
- Where & how to start
- What are the risks and rewards
- How to test soils to determine the best treatment plan
- How to ameliorate non-wetting & high phosphorous soils.
- Managing high PBI gravels.
GRDC Publication – Tackling amelioration on variable soil types is a comprehensive resource addressing this issue.

GRDC Soils Constraints investment PLT909-001SAX contains articles on ameliorating various soil types.

GRDC currently has two non-wetting amelioration investments in WA: SEP2303-001SAX in the Esperance port zone & WMG2404-001SAX in the Geraldton & Kwinana West port zones.

GRDC investments:
UMU2111-001RTX investigates overcoming constraints in ironstone gravels. Specific Western region articles include: Unlocking the hidden potential of ironstone gravel soils & Grower insights on managing ironstone gravel soil

Next Generation Machine Learning Models for 3D Soil Mapping Applications (UOS2206-009RTX) partly examines variable soil type amelioration.
WestAll WA Subregions23/01/24Dunsborough NGN Forum2d
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Increased Machinery Setup Workshops
NGN0424The recent series of GRDC Harvester Setup Workshops were very well attended and received by growers.

Growers who attended the forum identified the need to expand the GRDC machinery set-up workshops to examining various types of equipment used across the growing season.

Specifically, growers would like to see machinery setup workshops expanded to examine best practice regarding seeder and liquid system setup.
GRDC recently contracted a 3 year NGN investment Demonstrating new machinery technologies to growers (WAN2310-001SAX) with WANTFA. This issue will be addressed at one of the demonstration days. (Copy the codes to search bar)

Continuing from previous sprayer workshops, GRDC NGN investment Sprayer calibration and application efficacy workshops (BCC2402-001SAX) will be run by Bill Campbell until 2026.

The popular harvester set-up workshops have also been extended to continue until harvest 2025.

To be alerted when a workshop will be run near you, please subscribe to our events via the GRDC Subscriber Centre at https://grdc.com.au/grdc-subscriptions and select you region and preferred options.
WestAll WA Subregions23/01/24Dunsborough NGN Forum1d
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Digitising Historical Research into New Learning Systems
NGN0425Growers at the forum commented there is a significant amount of historical research in the grain farming sector, however it can be difficult to access as not all research or research publications are digitised.

While this research was completed several years ago, the data remains quite valid and applicable in the current farming environment.

Attendees asked what is being done to collate and digitise this information onto modern search platforms to increase accessibility.
There is currently no work underway to digitise historical farm research data to make it more accessible, beyond that which is already available. GRDC will encourage wide consultation before expending funds.

There are two investments/platforms which will help moving forward:

GRDC funded project Online Farm Trials is a repository for current research data. ( https://www.farmtrials.com.au)

GRDC Groundcover Article

- Additionally, GRDC recently announced the national new DataHarvest investment in GroundCover in February. (https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grdc/announcements/dataharvest-to-unlock-australian-grains-rd-and-e-data-potential)

This investment seeks to expertly collect, manage and appropriately share grains RD&E data in a standardised way to increase knowledge sharing and innovation in the grain industry.
– CUR2401-001BGX (https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=CUR2401-001BGX&_gl=1*h2tja6*_ga*NDIwOTczMDg3LjE2ODYwOTg4NTk.*_ga_ZTGWWXHVRC*MTcxNTU2NTY2MS4xODAuMS4xNzE1NTY2MzE0LjU5LjAuMA..)
WestAll WA Subregions23/01/24Dunsborough NGN Forum1d
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Understanding Soil Carbon Testing
NGN0426Carbon is increasingly becoming front of mind for growers in Australia however growers feel there is limited and, in some cases, conflicting information available to them regarding the following:

- Building soil organic carbon in lighter sandier soils to improve WHC and nutrition.
- Skills/knowledge base for Soil Carbon Testing
- How to capture carbon value through Carbon Credit systems.

Growers who attended also commented that soil and carbon testing needs to reflect the Australian environment as current metrics are largely derived from international standards based on US and European farming environments and systems.
GRDC invests in Soils West projects and has several soil carbon projects here: (https://soilswest.org.au/project/managing-soil-organic-matter) Additionally, the Soil Quality eBook series available on Apple devices in the “Books” app, discusses Soil Organic Matter in eBook 3.

Pages 86-95 of Managing south coast sandplain soils to yield potential drills down into soil organic carbon. ((https://soilswest.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Hall_sandplain_soil_manual.pdf)

GRDC Publication:
- Managing soil organic matter – a practical guide (2013) (https://grdc.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/107696/grdc-guide-managingsoilorganicmatter-pdf.pdf.pdf)

GRDC Update papers:
- Carbon farming and the grain industry (https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2022/03/carbon-farming-and-the-grains-industry)

GRDC video
- Carbon neutral farming by 2050 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9-qxEK_E8w)


GRDC recently commissioned CSIRO to baseline greenhouse gas emission in the Australian grain industry – the report with loads of graphics and further information is here: https://grdc.com.au/about/our-industry/greenhouse-gas-emissions
WestAll WA Subregions23/01/24Dunsborough NGN Forum2d
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Fertilizer Use Efficiency
NGN0427• Use of new products like 'Urea sustain' - benefits over existing nitrogen fertiliser options.
• Where in the profile to place urea sustain at seeding and in season
• Placement of all fertilisers in soil for optimum uptake of all nutrients.
• Root architecture of various crops and its impact on fertiliser (nutrient) uptake.
GRDC has recently invested in UOM2404-007RTX Enhanced efficiency nitrogen fertilisers in the grains industry: an opportunity to reduce GHG emissions and increase Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE). The outcome of this project is by March 2028, Australian grain growers make informed N fertiliser decisions that will result in cost effective environmental and agronomic outcomes.

GRDC has a current investment looking at plant roots and nutrient uptake using the synchrotron: USA1910-001RTX
Synchrotron Postdoctoral Fellow no. 2: Soil - nutrient availability mapping under field conditions using intact soil cores
GRDC Groundcover - https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/agronomy/soil-and-nutrition/cutting-edge-technology-to-investigate-root-behaviour

GRDC Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rt1CgYCAmA

CSBP Fertilisers has a large number of nutrient placement trials including Urea Sustain:

- CSBP Results and locations can be found at https://csbpresults.com.au/trials
WestAll WA Subregions09/01/24Busselton NGN Forum2d
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Crop rotation economics
NGN0428• Use of fallow and economics in a low rainfall environment
• Broadening a closed crop rotation where the current most-profitable rotation is canola-wheat-canola-wheat.
GRDC have a current investment looking into different fallow systems and the economics of fallow in low rainfall areas of WA - LAK2204-002SAX-NGN Fallow Management and the economic costs (Copy the code into the search bar)

GRDC Investments - https://grdc.com.au/grdc-investments/investments/investment?code=LAK2204-002SAX

GRDC Publications - https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update-papers/tab-content/grdc-update-papers/2024/02/agronomic-and-economic-benefits-of-fallow-in-the-low-rainfall-zone-of-western-australia

GRDC explored the market with the intention of looking at broadening crop rotations past the Canola/Cereal rotation commonly utilised along the Southcoast. The tender is closed, but keep an eye out for the outcomes. You may like to subscribe, select your region, and choose the information you'd like to receive by visiting https://grdc.com.au/grdc-subscriptions

And, you can subscribe to GRDC Tenders, so you never miss an opportunity!
WestAll WA Subregions09/01/24Busselton NGN Forum2d