New cereal and oilseed varieties on show at Henty demo plots

June 25, 2015

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Lisa Castleman, of Riverina Local Land Services, checks the progress of the barley varieties at the field days demonstration site.

Soaking rain of 90mm at the Henty Machinery Field Day site has boosted germination of the 2015 demonstration agronomy site.

The agronomy plots are a partnership between Riverina and Murray Local Land Services to demonstrate current and soon-to-be-released canola, wheat and barley varieties, and showcase perennial pasture mixes and also phosphorus with nitrogen nutrition in canola.

Senior Land Services Officer (Cropping) Lisa Castleman said there was an independent agronomy focus on canola nutrition in 2014, although yields were constrained by dry months between August and October last year.

“Based on last year’s feedback from the Henty Machinery Field Days, we will have a varietal demonstration for wheat, barley and canola this year,’’ Ms Castleman said.

“We will be growing more than 20 of the most current and newest varieties for each crop type, showcasing their attributes for the highest yield, grain quality and disease resistances.

“On display we will have an independent crop agronomy demonstration highlighting the range of commercially used rates of Phosphorus (0-15kg/ha applied) and Nitrogen (0-100kg/ha applied) fertiliser rates used in canola growing.

“This demonstration is aimed at finding the most profitable combination of nutrients supplied through fertiliser to achieve an optimum canola yield.’’

Ms Castleman said a new perennial pasture focus demonstration site involved five seed companies selecting two of their best perennial pasture mixes or blends for the region.

These pasture mixes are made up of a popular perennial grass such as phalaris, cocksfoot, a fescue or a perennial legume like lucerne.

“They are mixed with some complementary newer annual species like the latest sub clovers,’’ Ms Castleman said.

Henty Machinery Field Days chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the demonstration site benefited from the recent rainfall of 90mm.

“The agronomy plots will this year have something of interest for all areas of farming,’’ Mrs Anderson said.

“With new winter crop varieties on show, an independent agronomy demonstration on canola nutrition and a perennial pasture demonstration, the plots will be a must see for all farmers this year.

“This is an exciting new development for this area and Henty Machinery Field Days are proud of the partnership that has been forged with Local Land Services and the Australian Government.’’

The cereal varieties were direct drilled on May 15 into moist soil at a row spacing of 23cm. The paddock was fallow last year while the individual plots measure 14sqm each.

“All varietal demonstration plots were sown with 80kg/ha of fertiliser (with the seed) containing 9kg/ha of Nitrogen, 17kg/ha of Phosphorus, 3kg/ha of Sulphur and 1kg/ha of Zinc, and 50kg/ha of fertiliser (below the seed) containing 19kg/ha of Nitrogen and 15kg/ha of Sulphur,’’ Ms Castleman said.

“Weed control included knockdowns and selective herbicides. Pest management includes insecticides and ongoing monitoring.

“This is not just about demonstrating different agronomic inputs but showcasing the new varieties on offer.

“We have five demonstrations in the ground with five local and regional seed companies involved.

“A time lapse video will also be taken of the site from June onwards to show crop and pasture growth.’’

Local Land Services staff will be present at the demonstration plots every day of the field days.

They will be able to answer questions and provide advice about a wide range of agricultural production issues, and to link farmers with information from Australia’s leading research organisations.