People on the move

Bendigo research update focuses on fresh thinking + PICS

Grain Central March 8, 2021

Among the agronomist commentary panels at the GRDC Grains Research Update at Bendigo were Premium Ag Consultancy Group’s Annieka Peridaen, Moriac, and Larcombe Agronomy’s Bruce Larcombe, Dookie. (Photo: GRDC)

VICTORIA’s premier grains research, development and extension forum at Bendigo, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update, showcased the latest outcomes and understandings from grains research through a dynamic new platform.

The Bendigo Update featured a unique hybrid format – a limited live audience of 180 people was present on site and the Update was also livestreamed to around 300 registrants.

In a fresh and novel way of drawing out more information from guest presenters and relating it to first-hand experience, an agronomist commentary panel was involved in all sessions.

GRDC grower relations manager – south, Tom Blake, said the 2021 Update was an important platform for extending critical information to the State’s growers and advisers ahead of sowing this year’s winter crops.

“Grains research and development efforts are continually generating new knowledge, ideas and recommendations – all of which have the potential to accelerate growers in their ability to advance their farming businesses,” Mr Blake said.

“The Bendigo Update has played a pivotal role in underpinning that fresh thinking with a good understanding of the state of the broader industry, so growers and advisers are well informed and well placed to seize on the opportunities as they arise.”

Key messages

Among the top line messages delivered at the Update was the need for growers to eliminate the ‘green bridge’ of weeds and volunteer cereals that summer rainfall events have promoted in some regions.

“By removing the green bridge growers can better manage pests and diseases to reduce the risk to yields,” Mr Blake said.

Other key messages delivered at the Bendigo Update included:

  • Stripe rust in wheat is likely to be an important disease in 2021, especially where summer rain has supported disease carryover. Field experiments have found the new StripeRustWM App to be a useful tool to support in-crop fungicide decisions;
  • Severe blackleg crown canker occurs when canola plants are infected during early seedling growth. Prior to sowing, use the BlacklegCM decision support tool to identify high risk paddocks and explore management strategies to reduce yield loss;
  • Growers and advisers are encouraged to use PestFacts south eastern to remain informed about invertebrate pests and beneficials in broadacre crops and pastures during the winter cropping season in Victoria;
  • More efficient use of glyphosate, combined with effective weed management strategies, is required to combat increasing glyphosate resistance in annual ryegrass;
  • New registrations for Group G herbicides are expanding the ways these herbicides can be used;
  • Responses to subsoil amelioration with organic materials appear to be soil-type specific, requiring an assessment of both subsoil and topsoil soil properties, including dispersion;
  • Stocks of soil organic carbon have declined in many Australian agricultural systems, including in dryland grains production;
  • An assessment of current ‘rules of thumb’ for predicting nitrogen fertiliser requirements in southern region cropping systems has identified the need to update current assumptions;
  • For commonly grown faba bean varieties, sowing in April optimises grain yield in all rainfall zones across varying seasons;
  • Without a disease management plan that incorporates varietal resistance, paddock rotation, good agronomy practices and fungicides, grain yield losses of greater than 90 per cent can be experienced in pulse crops;
  • Vetch has the ability and potential to fit into modern farming rotations in most areas, particularly in mixed farming systems where growers are looking for a versatile break option;
  • A new DNA soil testing service has been developed to measure Group E and F rhizobia numbers in soil to assist growers in identifying the need to inoculate field pea, faba bean, lentil and vetch crops;
  • By 2022, the GRDC’s National Phenology Initiative will deliver a tool for growers and advisers that will be able to predict optimal sowing dates for different cultivars across Australia at the point of release.

GRDC Grains Research Update, Bendigo, Gallery:

GRDC grower relations manager – south, Courtney Ramsey, and Catherine Marriott, chief executive officer at Riverine Plains, Mulwala.

Charlotte Aves, Irrigated Cropping Council, Kerang, and GRDC southern region panel member Jon Midwood, TechCrop Services, Geelong.

Donald father and daughter agronomists John and Kate Stuchbery, S&D Consulting.

Agriculture Victoria research scientist Josh Fanning, Horsham, with GRDC southern region panel member Michelle Watt, University of Melbourne.

Miranda Rose, Elders, Ballarat, and Jasmine Borg, Corinella Farms, Campbells Bridge.

GRDC national grower network members Roger Armstrong, Agriculture Victoria senior scientist, Horsham, and Craig Drum, Dagro Consulting, Tatyoon.

Sonia Marquardt and Alex Prince, both of Gorst Rural, Lake Bolac.

Bethany Smith, Wheelhouse Group, Bridgewater, and Michaela Alexander, IK Caldwell, Ballarat.

Grower Bec Marshall, Normanville, and Simon Severin, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Horsham.


Source: GRDC

More information is contained in papers delivered at this year’s Grains Research Update. These can be found at Recordings from sessions that were live streamed at the Bendigo Update will be available via the GRDC website.


Grain Central: Get our free cropping news straight to your inbox – Click here



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Grain Central's news headlines emailed to you -