Wet year brings new set of challenges for Vic broadacre farmers

Grain Central March 15, 2017

A wetter season in 2016 brought with it a whole new set of challenges and the need to check and check again: “Am I growing the best variety for my situation?”.

The annual collection of National Variety Trials (NVT) data has once again been put together by Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to assist farmers with assessing varieties based on yield, disease ratings and quality characteristics.

The 2017 Victorian Winter Crop Summary contains important changes to disease resistance ratings for all chickpea varieties due to a change in virulence of the Ascochyta blight pathogen in southern Australia.

“All chickpea varieties are now rated susceptible or moderately susceptible and will require proactive fungicide management strategies,” report editor Johanna Couchman said.

Also new this year are root lesion nematode ratings for faba beans.

The state’s major grain growing regions received above average growing season rainfall in 2016. Following drought conditions in 2015 this was a welcome relief and brought high yields but also challenged growers with high disease pressure, waterlogging, a lengthy harvest period and low cereal prices.

For the first time, the Summary presents NVT long-term predicted yield data across a number of years for each region.

“Growers can now compare variety performances across several years and see which varieties have yield stability across different seasonal conditions, rather than just comparing a long term average predicted yield for a variety in a region” Ms Couchman said.

New varieties in this year’s Summary include: Durack a new oat variety from the national oat breeding program, bread wheats Coolah and LRPB Arrow, Bread/Dual purpose wheat LRPB Kittyhawk, Feed wheat TenFour, two new barley varieties Alestar and RGT Planet and a number of new canola varieties.

Hard copies of the Winter Crop Summary are being mailed out to GRDC GroundCover subscribers this week and the publication is available online at

Growers can also access NVT long term yield data via the Long Term Yield Reports App and NVT website

Source: Agriculture Victoria. *denotes that Plant Breeder Rights apply.


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