INDEPENDENT yield data generated from the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) National Variety Trials (NVT) site has given growers at Lake Cargelligo in south-central New South Wales the ability to make more informed varietal selections on farm.
Lake Cargelligo agricultural consultant Andrew McFadyen said since the site’s inception back in 2018, it had become a trusted source of information to growers and industry professionals who have come to rely on the data to make planting decisions.
“The trial has proven to give accurate insight into how varieties perform in local conditions,” Mr McFadyen said.
“It’s been an effective way to showcase new varieties to growers and what they can do, with the data helping them weigh up their options.”
The NVT program is the largest independent co-ordinated trial network in the world, and aims to assist grain growers in varietal decision-making by comparing commercially available grain varieties.
Data from NVT trial sites provides information on varieties’ yield performance, disease resistance ratings and grain quality, which growers can look at to assess which varieties could work best on their farms.
Mr McFadyen said the local trial has facilitated practice change in the area, with growers gaining confidence to switch from what they would traditionally plant based off NVT data.
“Having the opportunity to see how a line goes in a paddock not far from their own farm is invaluable to growers – they like to be able to understand why it’s performing the way it is and the environmental factors that impact it throughout the season.”
“They then get access to independent data generated from the trial which has given a lot of them more confidence to look at a new variety that’s performing better.”
Mr McFadyen said the NVT site has also been progressive for the Lake Cargelligo grains industry, as it encourages grain breeders and industry representatives to come to the area and talk to growers on the ground.
“We’ve had really productive conversations with grains industry representatives and breeders, giving them feedback on how the crops are going and what could be influencing results.”
“It’s been a great way for growers to give feedback on varieties to the people that produce them and let them know what they’d like to see coming through.”
“We’re 120 kilometres from the nearest agricultural research station but this trial has allowed us to receive regionally relevant data that helps make more profitable decisions.”
GRDC’s NVT manager north Laurie Fitzgerald said receiving positive feedback from growers on local NVT sites was a credit to the program and what it aimed to achieve.
“The GRDC invests in NVT giving growers access to credible, independent information that assists them in making better farming decisions that improve their profitability,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
For the northern region, the GRDC NVT investment encompasses 235 trials annually for cereals including sorghum, as well as pulses and oilseeds.
Mr Fitzgerald said growers can use the NVT’s website to access the latest variety data on yield, grain quality and disease rating for trials in their region.
“There’s 15 years’ worth of data on varieties that growers can look at, compare it to others they’re interested in and make an informed decision on seed purchases.”
The GRDC’s NVT website has a range of resources to assist growers in making informed varietal decisions, including state sowing guides and NVT harvest reports for winter and summer cropping.