Trial highlights importance of variety selection
Preliminary trial data has shed light on the most suitable wheat varieties to choose when chasing subsoil moisture when sowing.
The findings will be presented to the 2014 Agribusiness Crop Updates, held in Perth February 24 to 25.
The results, from the Wheat agronomy-building system profitability in the Western Region project, funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, confirm that varieties with a long coleoptiles length performed most strongly.
Department of Agriculture and Food senior research officer Bob French said while the trial conditions were not perfect, they did provide a good insight into potential crop establishment performance.
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The trials were undertaken on a variety of soil types at Merredin, Mullewa and the Liebe Group's main trial site near Dalwallinu.
"Varieties sown at a depth of 70mm, compared with the typical 50mm, saw crop establishment reduced by between 17 and 61 per cent, depending on soil condition," Dr French said.
"The best performing varieties were Cobra, Magenta, Emu Rock and Estoc - all of which have medium to long coleoptiles - while Mace and Corack were the most affected.
"Establishment was reduced when sown into more dry soil, especially clay loams, due to a cloddy seedbed, but whether this is true on sandier soils is unknown."
However, the results showed that sowing at 70mm had little effect on final grain yield.
"Sowing even deeper at around 100mm reduced establishment by 20 to 45 per cent and this time yield was reduced by up to 12 per cent," Dr French said.
Further research is required to qualify the results.
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