Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Mar 8 12:07:04 EST 2006



Graingrowers could expect yield increases of up to one third by sowing crops
in an east-west orientation, rather than north-south.<?xml:namespace prefix
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Australia’s $4.1 billion wheat and $1.1 billion barley industries could
enjoy substantial increases by implementing the results of a Grains Research
and Development Corporation supported-project, supervised by WA Department
of Agriculture senior researcher, Dr Abul Hashem and researched by Dr Shahab


Crops planted in an east-west orientation benefited from less weed growth,
higher light interception through the crop canopy and increased soil


Dr Hashem noted that in weed free conditions at GRDC supported-Merredin and
Beverley trial sites, wheat and barley yields were 24 to 30 per cent higher
when sown in an east-west orientation.


This was largely due to the 11 to 18 per cent higher soil moisture, measured
at the centre of the inter-row spacing during the late flowering stage,
which was a result of plants shading the soil to lower soil temperature and
decrease evaporation.


Dr Hashem said wheat and barley grain protein content was also higher in the
east-west orientation, but grain size was not influenced by row


He added that the initial weed densities didn’t differ due to row
orientations, however weed dry biomass was lower in crops sown east-west.


It seemed likely that sowing cereal crops in an east-west orientation,
especially in tramline systems, could be more productive, with or without
weed pressures, under the agro-ecological conditions similar to Merredin and


The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6272 5525

Further Information: Dr Abul Hashem, Tel 08 9690 2000


Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing 
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122

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