Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - National variety trials
5 national variety trials ground cover www.nvtonline.com.au rEPOrts ReSoURCeS CONtaCt us commercial varieties in nvt Field plans 2008 herBicide tolerance protocols site audit sheet TRial SiTeS trial outcomes useFul linKs ZadoKs groWth scale victoria victorian department of primary industries (dpi) the Victorian DPi conducts NVt trials for 10 crops throughout western Victoria. trials stretch from the high-rainfall zone near Geelong to the low-rainfall Mallee near Mildura. six staff, based at three locations and working in both the research and extension divisions of the DPi, conduct the trials. CONtaCt: angela Clough, 03 5336 6618, firstname.lastname@example.org neW south Wales nsW department of primary industries (dpi) NsW DPi is a contracted NVt service provider that conducts cereal and pulse trials throughout NsW and also some pulse sites in north-east Victoria. Mobile units are located at Narrabri and Gunnedah in northern NsW, Dubbo in central NsW and Young, temora and Finley in southern NsW. in addition to conducting NVt trials, these units also conduct agronomy and breeders trials, which may be co-located with NVt trials, adding value to sites for extension field days. CONtaCt: Frank Mcrae, 02 6391 3198, email@example.com Queensland agrisearch services pty ltd agrisearch is an independent, privately owned company offering a range of contract scientific r&D services in agriculture and applied biology (including the environment and biotechnology). agrisearch operates from 15 locations throughout australia and New Zealand. sixteen field staff are currently involved in NVt trials throughout australia, working out of seven office locations. CONtaCt: David leah, 02 6971 9085, firstname.lastname@example.org On-farm trials Brent Alexander is always amazed at how differently varieties perform, even when grown just 50 kilometres apart. It is for that reason that Brent, who runs 2900 hectares of land, including some leased country, with his wife Simone and father Walter, at ‘Annesley’, east of Lockhart, is happy to host NVT canola trials. Having hosted NSW DPI trials in the 1990s and various commercial seed company trials over the years, Brent agreed to the trials four years ago as his “bit of industry good”. “It doesn’t worry me having them on the farm and, in fact, the benefit I get is research knowledge straight from my place on how the varieties perform here,” he says. Canola makes up about 30 per cent of the Alexander’s cropping program. This year they have planted Marlin A (a triazine-tolerant (TT) variety being grown for commercial seed production), Bravo TT A , a hybrid variety called Clearfield® 45C75 and a small amount of Summit A (another TT variety). Brent aims for an average yield of 1.6 tonnes a hectare, but in 2006 and 2007 all the canola grown on the property was cut for hay or silage due to the drought. In the years leading up to 2006 and 2007, yield decline in canola had been witnessed in the Lockhart area and Brent feels this may have been from a combination of marginal growing conditions and increased disease pressure. These two factors, he says, should be important considerations in the breeding and trialling of new varieties. “Yield is paramount, then oil content. We’ve lifted the bar on oil content to new highs, so it must remain high and then disease tolerance is important, especially for Scelerotinia. Blackleg resistance seems to be improved in these new varieties. “There is no point being bombarded with new varieties, but we do want some sort of diversity of offerings that make major leaps on the qualities of the existing varieties.” The management of the trials poses few interruptions to daily farming life for the Alexanders. “The biggest issue I have with the trials is that because the plots are so narrow they can’t be windrowed, which goes against standard industry practice and doesn’t help with gaining information on shatter resistance in those varieties.” Another challenge is the fact the plots are all harvested at the same time, which may give the later-maturing varieties a yield advantage. “I’m not one of those blokes who walks around with a pen taking notes at NVT field days about the progress of different varieties, but at the same time it is important for our agronomists and advisers to be able to get all this information and interpret it for our use.” – KElliE PENFOlD more information: Brent alexander, 0427 206 215 PHoTo:KeLLIePeNfoLD the commitment of growers such as brent alexander of lockhart, NsW, to the improvement of varieties is crucial to the success of the NVt.
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