De-Risking the Seeding Program

De-Risking the Seeding Program

Adoption of key management practices for the success of dry and early sown crops [4-IMX2CLR]

Ag Excellence Alliance is partnering with fourteen prominent Grower Groups and four Drought Hubs across southern Australia, to deliver a program that accelerates the adoption of strategic dry and early sown crop management approaches.

The project will bring together a wide range of past and current research information into a single extension program delivered by trusted and experienced grower groups to drive the adoption of locally tailored dry sowing and early sowing practices to be meet local producer needs.

The project enlists the experience, skills, local knowledge, and extensive network of fifteen Grower Groups from across the grain production regions in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. The Grower Groups operate across a combined area of greater than 350,000 km2 and have a collective membership of over 4000 cereal and mixed farming enterprises, plus extended reach throughout the large number of farming communities they serve. Each group boasts a broad range of crop management experience and is proficient in the delivery of extension and adoption programs that directly meet their member and local community needs.

Each group will tailor activities to meet the knowledge, experience, and needs of their member bases and local communities by providing a legacy through developed extension networks, resources, information to initiate, practice adoption across 2 million hectares of arable land. Grower Groups will design locally relevant and tailored extension programs that engage producers to adopt a strategic approach to dry and early sowing of cereal crops through a range of proven practices. Additionally, the project is supported by four Drought Hubs, utilising their networks to promote the project and the activities being undertaken, encourage and support additional grower participation, and provide complementary project activities.

Grower Groups will continue to engage their members and extended networks long after the project has reached completion. Their central role in the delivery of this project provides a vehicle through which the knowledge, learnings, information, and resources generated through the project can be continued beyond the project end date and aligned with and incorporated into new initiatives as they are developed and delivered across the breadth of the project area.

The project will deliver improved and more consistent crop germination and establishment in dry years and will create a community of practice that shares resources and information on management approaches for dry and early sown crops. This will increase information exchange and learning on the topic, and in turn, the level of practice adoption.

The activities within this project will help mitigate the impacts of increasingly erratic seasonal rainfall and, consequently, improve drought resilience of cropping systems.

  • Funded by the Australian Governments Future Drought Fund

  • Date: Until June 2025

  • Project Lead: Rachel May

  • Budget: $1,737,000

Grower groups will deliver a range of activities that engage growers and foster the adoption of a strategic approach to dry and early sowing, including:

  • Variety Selection
  • Opportunities for long coleoptile wheats
  • Seed placement / optimising sowing depth
  • Seeding rates
  • Seed priming
  • Fertiliser placement
  • Pre-emergent herbicide selection and timing
  • Optimal soil moisture and nutrient levels
  • The benefits of early groundcover