Cropping

Grain growers have access to new data to help plan the 2020 cropping season

By Rodney Woods

Important new data has been released to inform southern region grain growers’ crop variety choices for the 2020 season.

Harvesting of the extensive winter crop variety trials conducted through the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s National Variety Trials program is complete and data from those trials is now available to growers and advisers.

GRDC National Variety Trials southern manager Rob Wheeler said single site results from successful trials in 2019 have been finalised and this data has been fed into multi-year, multi-environment trial variety performance analysis.

“These multi-year, rolling data sets for all crops and growing regions will provide growers with the most valuable information to support their decision making around what to sow this year,” Mr Wheeler said.

“Long-term MET results are the most accurate and reliable means of interpreting variety performance across sites and years, rather than results from a single year.”

Growers and advisers are encouraged to base their variety decisions on not just yield results but also market receival quality data.

“Simply focusing on yield does not provide growers with a reliable indication of which varieties may potentially offer the best returns — the quality of the grain harvested is also an important factor,” Mr Wheeler said.

Season 2019 was a somewhat variable one across the southern cropping region and these conditions were reflected in the NVT program.

“The trials program in 2019 was generally a successful one, with a small percentage of trials compromised by frost and shattering due to strong winds, particularly just ahead of harvest in November,” Mr Wheeler said.

“Data from those compromised trials is presented in a ‘quarantined’ report on NVT online.

“This report provides growers with a transparent account of the fate of unreleased but not abandoned NVT trials, however, the data is of no value for the purposes of head-to-head variety comparison and should not be used for any variety selection decisions.”

Meanwhile, planning for the NVT program for 2020 is well under way, with the number of trials across the nation expected to be around 650.

To support growers and advisers, the GRDC has produced instructional videos on How to interpret NVT data (long-term yield results) using the NVT website and How to navigate NVT’s website. The videos can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3cLoCHq

Results and analysis from the 224 trials harvested in 2019 across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania can be viewed at: www.nvtonline.com.au