Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 053 December-January 2005 - North
19 DECEMBER 2004 An unusually wet Tasmanian winter thwarted the Nile TOPCROP group's ambitions to trial a range of new and commercial winter wheats ... but not for long. Since winning the GRDC's $4000 Tasmanian grain- grower group award last year, the innovative and enthusiastic 25-member group has embarked on Plan B -- a barley trial. "With the money we received from the GRDC, we wanted to conduct a range of carefully considered trial scenarios on all the commercial and up-coming wheat varieties we could find," Nile group member Peter Lindsay says. "The wet winter meant we couldn't sow winter wheat, and we couldn't find any good spring wheat varieties. So we've opted for barley." Peter says the barley trial may not prove as informative as a wheat trial -- given that wheat is the predominant crop in the region, after poppies -- but it will provide a discussion point and allow the group to improve their trial technique. "We also want to achieve a balance in our cereal-growing that gives the best return, and we might find that some barley varieties return as much as wheat, without locking up the ground for extended periods," he says. If climatic conditions allow, the group will use the knowledge and skills gained from the barley trial to conduct a large-scale wheat trial next winter. "The soil types in this region change within paddocks -- in one part of the paddock you might get shallow topsoil on a clay base, while in others you might find rocky, heavy, black cracking clay," Peter says. "Our 2002 trials were unreplicated, so we didn't compare performance across all soil types in the region. "This time -- using barley initially -- we want to do replicate trials in different parts of the paddock, to determine the effect of changing soil types. "All farmers in the group will be involved in inspecting plots, scoring and harvesting the crop and weighing each plot so that we can work out gross margins. When we find differences, we'll analyse the reason, or bring in an expert to help us determine why the plant grows differently in different areas." Down the track, the group aims to look at a range of variables that could reduce yield, such as fertiliser regimes, disease and insects. They will also look at whether limited grazing of some of the newer wheat varieties improves crop yield, and the effect of different chemical control strategies. "We're also interested in looking at growing conditions for other cash crops, such as pulses and peas," Peter says. He believes this commercial size grower-group controlled style of crop trialling is a natural progression from the intensive trials run by Southern Farming Systems. "It's really beneficial to have the opportunity to see how these varieties perform in our group's local conditions," he says. GRDC RESEARCH CODE DAT 00002, program 6 GROWER GROUPS TWO IN THE COMBINE IS WORTH MORE IN THE BIN If you're looking for ultimate efficiency and high grain quality from your combine, you can't go past the New Holland CR Combine. With the highest centrifugal force of any rotary combine in the market, the CR's patented Twin Rotor® design gently threshes to deliver greater capacity and faster separation that minimises grain damage and loss. Plus, our Twin Rotor® system requires minimal adjustment and configuration changes for varying crops and conditions. So get the CR Combine working for you this season and see results that lead the field. For more information see your New Holland dealer or visit: www.newholland.com Series CR Combine with Twin Rotor® technology NEW HOLLAND IS A BRAND OF CNH. CNH: A WORLD-LEADING MANUFACTURER OF TRACTORS, COMBINES AND BALERS. REN NH4034/GC TASMANIA'S NILE REGION Wet winter sparks Plan B for barley Improving their technique: Nile grower group members Mark Pearton, Charlie Watson, Stuart Hogarth, Jim Taylor, Guy McKibben and Peter Lindsay.
Ground Cover 054 February-March 2005 - North
Ground Cover 052 October-November 2004 - North