Early start on varieties

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GRDC NVT manager – West Peter Bird.
Camera IconGRDC NVT manager – West Peter Bird. Credit: Natalie Lee

WA’s National Variety Trials program is off to an early start, with all wheat crops seeded as part of “early break” trials emerging in April.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation NVT trials hope to provide wheat growers with information about which varieties perform best for yield, grain quality and disease ratings when planted very early in the season.

GRDC manager NVT – West Peter Bird said the early break trials were added to the main suite of WA NVT trials in 2017 in response to growers requiring information about which wheat varieties to grow in order to capitalise on early seeding opportunities.

“These early break trials complement the main series of NVT trials that are seeded around the ideal seeding window in May, reflecting when most of the WA wheat crop is seeded by grain growers,” he said.

“The new series of trials were introduced because growers, often in lower rainfall areas, sometimes have early sowing opportunities in April but might not receive further rainfall until late May or June.

“Wheat varieties that perform well from April sowings are often different to those that produce good results when seeded in May.

“The trials also provide wheat breeding companies with an opportunity to fine-tune the breeding of varieties that suit April seeding dates.”

Ten early break trials, assessing more than 20 near release and released long-season wheat varieties, are being conducted at sites across the WA grainbelt, and not just in lower rainfall areas.

Mr Bird said some of the early break wheat trial sites would, if necessary, be watered by mid-April so that crop emergence was achieved on all sites by Anzac Day.

“Wheat crops had already emerged by mid-April at the Kojonup, South Stirling and Moorine Rock sites, where early rainfall had allowed these trials to be seeded in early April,” he said.

“Following harvesting and analysis at the end of the season, results from the 2019 early break trials will be available on the GRDC NVT website at nvtonline.com.au by searching the Find Trial Results box.”

The WA NVT program in 2019 comprises more than 170 trials at more than 60 locations and evaluates wheat, barley, oats, canola, lupin, chickpea, field pea and sorghum.

Many locations are at grower group trial sites to enable growers to view the trials.

The biggest co-ordinated field trial network of its kind in the world, NVT is a 100 per cent GRDC investment fully administered by the GRDC on behalf of Australian grain growers and the Australian Government.

GRDC podcasts about NVT are available at http://bit.ly/2G0wSWf and http://bit.ly/2Godty4.

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