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Canopy Management in Wheat

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Video Transcript

And in this particular trial we’ve got a a longer season winter wheat a longer season main spring wheat and two medium season a class is a late varieties. Over those varieties we then impose different seeding treatments so we’re looking at fifty, one hundred, two hundred, and three hundred seeds per metre squared as treatments and then to follow that on.

Nitrogen Application at Sowing

We’ve also got four different nitrogen regimes that go over those. So we’re looking at zero nitrogen applied fifty of nitrogen applied at seeding, a hundred of nitrogen applied at seeding, this is elemental nitrogen, and a hundred kilos of nitrogen applied at growth stage thirty-one the purpose of this is to look at how varieties react over those different times of sowing and how we can actually manipulate those plant varieties to achieve optimum yields at those particular times of sowing. A lot of the trends I’ve found fairly consistent with time particularly with the varieties that grow a lot of biomass early.

We’ve found consistently that those particular varieties respond heavily to the later of nitrogen applications and we feel that it’s primarily due to the plant growing all that non-productive biomass early in the season and not having enough water to fill the grain later on. Another key finding too is that we have found that sowing early doesn’t always mean that you get clobbered with frost. Two years that I can think of.

The first time of sowing is actually finished and filled grown before the frost event, and so the second of sowing has been the one that’s been belted by frost, the final yield of high-yielding cereals at the early time assigned probably far outweighs the risk of frost. Another one of the interesting findings we found out of this projects is that seeding density particularly in the early sown plots really doesn’t matter what you sow it at it, even down to fifty seeds per metre squared.

Later Sowing Effects on Wheat

From our work, we’ve actually found about 50 seeds per meter squared or around about 20 kilos to the hectare of wheat is more than adequate to make 100% of its yield potential, what we’ve found consistently with the later times of sowing is, well, firstly, the management strategies that you can employ on these on the different varieties as you get later in the season.

They really don’t have as marked an effect as what they do sowing earlier in the season The other one is that they heavily favor upfront nitrogen treatments and also the lowest setting density, so you’re talking fifty and one hundred seeds per metre squared. Its really start to drop off in terms of yield primarily because the plants just aren’t able to compensate in terms of tiller number and head number of certain varieties performed better at certain times of sowing.

An example of that is the winter wheat. Sown an early fantastic performer but not commonly utilized in paddocks but really does yield exceptionally well at those early times of seeding. entirely different story, really struggles to make the most of the season earlier varieties, once again they may perform really well on the later time of seeding because all of their development compressed into a shorter period of time.

You take those varieties out to  the early and they really don’t make the most of the longer, extended season that we tend to have one variety probably doesn’t suit a whole farm. You need to have two or three varieties really to make the most of the season that you get chucked at you each year

Jeff Braun from AgriLink Agricultural Consultants discuses trial work with canopy management in wheat.

The trial work is examining a number of wheat varieties with a range of maturities with the aim of optimizing grain yield through manipulating them with a spread of sowing dates, plant densities and nitrogen inputs. The Mid North High Rainfall Zone group is conducting this trial work as part of a Caring for Our Country funded project.

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