[ASC-media] THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Crop Doctor

Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Nov 1 02:04:34 CET 2006



In WA, wheat is generally seen as something to be harvested and put in a bin
for export. It has not been seen as something that can be grazed and
harvested, at least not until recently.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
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Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) research trials near Esperance
last year showed some dual purpose long season winter wheat varieties could
be grazed and still provide high yielding premium quality grain.


The objective of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
supported trials was to show how dual purpose wheats could improve WA crop
productivity by spreading the risk of frost, drought and water logging.


Included among the eight varieties trialled were EGA Wedgetail and Wylah,
dual purpose winter type wheats with good grain quality and potential to
benefit livestock and crop production.


DAFWA researcher, Dr Mohammad Amjad said results showed opportunities for
cereal growers to improve green feed availability for livestock in late
autumn to early winter and then harvest for yield and premium grain quality.


The sites at Jerramungup and Gibson were heavily waterlogged throughout the
season, with flowering delayed by grazing by one to two weeks compared to
ungrazed at both locations.


Dry matter of 1.4t/ha for the first grazing and 2.2 t/ha for the second
grazing was removed in late June and July, about six to eight weeks after
sowing, by mowing and slashing to simulate grazing. Cut biomass was removed
from plots.


EGA Wedgetail and Wylah yielded around 4 t/ha at Gibson and 2.6 t/ha at
Jerramungup, which showed they not only yielded better than other varieties,
but also provided an additional benefit of grazing, equivalent to 1.2t/ha.


Overall, the results showed dual purpose wheat varieties such as EGA
Wedgetail and Wylah were potentially better suited if there was early
sowing, preferably by late April.


Other potential benefits of dual purpose varieties included premium grade
wheat, potential livestock and crop production benefits, good rust
resistance and reduced frost damage risk due to delayed maturity when sown


GRDC funded the research through the Wheat Agronomy Project, jointly managed
by DAFWA and the South East Premium Wheatgrowers Association.


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

Further Information: Dr Mohammad Amjad, Tel 08 9690 2249

GRDC REF:CDSep062.doc/DAW0012-SouthCoast/Blumenthal

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

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