Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Fri May 26 12:28:19 EST 2006

GRDC Media Release - 26.05.06




Despite seeding gear sitting idle across much of the state while most
graingrowers wait for the season to 'fully' break, WA's 6000 growers could
still produce a bumper crop.


Hyden's Dale Baker urged optimism on three fronts: "Wheat prices are looking
up, summer rainfall has boosted subsoil moisture reserves and there's plenty
of time left in the growing season."


"However, good subsoil moisture isn't widespread throughout the wheatbelt.


"The season could still be profitable for growers in the northern regions
although they lack subsoil moisture. This is because warmer growing
conditions in the north enables crops to quickly catch up after a late
start," Mr Baker said.


"Growers these days also have the advantage that when seeding begins they
get their crop in quicker, using bigger and more efficient farm machinery,
allowing them to make up lost time.


"Technological advances in farm machinery and equipment and better
purpose-bred varieties allow growers the flexibility to adjust farming
practices to suit the season."


Speaking in his capacity as Grains Research and Development Corporation
(GRDC) Western Panel Chairman, Mr Baker said late breaking seasons, like
this one, could benefit from GRDC-supported research which has helped
develop varieties with particular traits and companion agronomic packages to
get the best out of them.


Wyalkatchem, for example, is one of the most commonly grown wheat varieties
in WA, accounting for 20 per cent of the state's total 2004/05 wheat crop.


"While best suited to later sowing, Wyalkatchem was also one of the most
frost affected varieties last season.


"On an optimistic note, the later start to this season should reduce the
risk of frost, which last spring cut about 700,000 tonnes from WA's 2005/06
harvest," Mr Baker said.


He added that the late break had extended the spraying window for many
growers battling to control weeds that had flourished following summer



Authorised by GRDC and issued on its behalf by Brendon Cant & Associates,
Tel 08 9384 1122

MEDIA CONTACT: Dale Baker, Mob 0427 913 980


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




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