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New crop guide helps growers pick winners in South Australia

The pulses National Variety Trail at Yeelana, South Australia. Four new lentil varieties, four new pea varieties and one new lupin were included in the 2023 South Australian Crop Sowing Guide.
Photo: NVT

GRDC has released the 2023 South Australian Crop Sowing Guide to help South Australian grain growers determine the best crop variety for their situation.

Every year GRDC collaborates with the South Australian Grain Industry Trust and the South Australian Research and Development Institute of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (SARDI-PIRSA) to develop the sowing guide that details information on current varieties of the major winter cereal and pulse crops.

South Australian agronomy consultant Craig Davis says the independent results in the sowing guide helps growers decide what varieties to plant and how to manage them to maximise their potential.

"The sowing guides are a critical decision-making tool to differentiate between varieties in terms of their yield performance, disease rating and grain quality," he says.

"Growers would not have the same level of confidence to switch varieties if it wasn't for the information available in the guides – it really helps generate better outcomes for growers."

GRDC Manager National Variety Trials (South) Trevor Garnett explains the guide draws on results from the National Variety Trials (NVT) program which is updated annually drawing on the previous year’s data.

“We release the sowing guide in spring to ensure growers can access the past year’s results in time to make variety decisions for next season and in time to source the seed they want,” says Mr Garnett.

“The sowing guide really is the definitive source of all the information growers need to choose the most suitable variety for any given location and situation.”

The NVT program is the largest independent co-ordinated trial network in the world. Across Australia each year, GRDC manages more than 650 trials, sown at over 300 locations for 10 crop species.

As a member of the NVT Mid-North and Yorke Peninsula advisory board, Mr Davis provides agronomic assistance to ensure trial management closely reflects current grower practices.

“The sowing guides support adoption of new and improved varieties and play a key role in the development of the grains industry – growth in grains production would be stifled without them," Mr Davis says.

The sowing guides include NVT yield, disease and pest resistance results for the past five years as well as information on crop quality attributes and other agronomic considerations.

The 2023 edition covers wheat, barley, oat, canola, field pea, lentil, faba bean, lupin, chickpea and vetch varieties.

SARDI-PIRSA Research Officer Melissa McCallum contributed to and edited the guide, on which the SARDI-PIRSA pathology and agronomy research teams collaborated.

“SARDI-PIRSA values the opportunity to provide a comprehensive overview of the new varieties across all crop types relevant to growers in SA,” she says.

“It is wonderful that SARDI-PIRSA continues to contribute to the guide and provide growers with an independent view on how the new and current varieties are suited to SA.”

Download the 2023 South Australian Crop Sowing Guide or order a hard copy via 1800 110 044 or (postage and handling charges apply).

SARDI-PIRSA is also inviting users of the 2023 South Australian Crop Sowing Guide to provide feedback on it via a survey to maximise the usefulness of future versions.

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