BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Thu Apr 12 04:49:47 CEST 2007

PA STOPS PADDOCKS PERFORMING POORLY: Grower knowledge and precision
agriculture (PA) tools can locate poor performing paddock patches and help
growers make informed choices about ameliorating soils or living with low
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GRDC supported Department of Agriculture and Food researcher, Dr Bill Bowden
said combining PA tools, including normalized density vegetation index
biomass analysis, gamma radiometrics and electromagnetic surveys, with
grower knowledge, could determine the location and boundary of such patches.


“Many growers believe increasing the inputs on low performing patches will
lift their performance to that of the better parts of the paddock,” he


“Although this is sometimes the case when inputs are the limiting factor,
more often yields are constrained by water logging, shallow soils and poor
water holding soils, all factors not readily or economically changed by


“It is worthwhile adjusting inputs to match the yields of different
performing areas, so applying more fertiliser to high yielding areas and
less to poorer patches makes sense.


  “But the problem must be properly diagnosed and the returns economically
evaluated before big investments   

   are made.


"By understanding why areas have differential crop performance, growers can
better manage yield potential and stop throwing away good money on poor
decisions," Dr Bowden said.

Contact: Dr Bill Bowden, Tel 08 9690 2149


BURN NARROW AND WITH WIND: Narrow windrows burn hotter for longer, compared
to conventional windrows or standing stubble, resulting in improved weed
seed destruction.


GRDC supported WA Herbicide Resistance Initiative research fellow, Dr
Michael Walsh said burning windrows in light winds helped fuel the fire with
oxygen and increased the destruction of weed seeds at the soil surface.


“Preliminary kiln studies determined that temperatures above 400°C for at
least 10 seconds were needed to guarantee ryegrass seed death. However,
500°C for the same duration was required to kill wild radish seed within pod
segments,” he said.


“Many growers are accustomed to burning stubbles in still conditions,
however we recommend burning in moderate wind speeds of five to 10 km/h,
which are practical and improve the reliability of completely burning
windrows at temperatures that will kill weed seeds.”

Contact: Dr Michael Walsh, Tel 08 6488 7872


Authorised by Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)

 and issued on its behalf by

Brendon Cant & Associates, Tel 08 9384 1122

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