Yields were generally low across the Wimmera and Mallee for 2018, but each season has a new story to tell and variety trial results indicate some interesting traits of newer varieties in tough conditions.
Varieties will be a key discussion topic at the BCG Trials Review Day at the Birchip Community Leisure Centre on February 15.
BCG research and extension officer, Genevieve Clarke, who will present on the day, said growers need to consider the historical or long-term performance of a variety rather than basing decisions on a single season.
“Given the exceptional seasons of 2016 and 2017, the performance of some varieties may look remarkably different when compared to a tougher season like 2018,” Ms Clarke said.
The growing season last year was characterised by difficult establishment as early rainfall was variable and generally low. These conditions appear to have favoured the shorter season varieties in 2018.
GRDC National Variety Trials (NVT) grown across the Wimmera and Mallee, reflected the challenges growers were experiencing in the paddock.
The barley variety RGT Planet – which had positive results in 2016 and 2017 – yielded reasonably well, being in the top half of varieties trialled at six of the nine sites.
“More than just yields need to be considered when making variety choices and therefore growers are advised to consider the resistance ratings and their fit in their system before changing varieties,” Ms Clarke said.
Ms Clarke will present results from the ‘Managing early sown wheat’ project, which aims to determine the suitability of long season wheats for the Wimmera and Mallee environment.
GRDC NVT Southern Region manager, Rob Wheeler, will discuss the “star” cereal performers, while Agriculture Victoria and Southern Pulse Agronomy’s, Jason Brand, will discuss pulse variety results.
The BCG Trials Review Day is a members-only event. Non-members can purchase memberships prior to, or on the day. For more information visit www.bcg.org.au or phone (03) 5492 2787.