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‘Seeing is believing’: growers invited to push crop yield boundaries

HYC project leader Nick Poole (left) and extension co-ordinator Jon Midwood discuss the HYC initiative in a new GRDC podcast.
Photo: Dean Allen-Craig

Growers have a unique opportunity to participate in a new national initiative striving to push crop yield boundaries in high yield potential grain growing environments.

GRDC’s new Hyper Yielding Crops initiative is now under way and growers are encouraged to become involved for their own benefit and that of their peers.

The four-year investment spans five states – Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia – and aims to push the economically attainable yield boundaries of wheat, barley and canola.

The Hyper Yielding Crops (HYC) initiative involves five research centres of excellence and attached to each of these are focus farm paddock trials and an innovative grower network charged with taking research and development learnings from small plot to paddock scale.

Growers are invited to join the networks and host paddock-scale trials on their properties to enable a ‘seeing is believing’ participatory approach to the research.

High yield potential cultivars suited to local environments will be identified and the most appropriate agronomic management tactics – including paddock selection and preparation, canopy management, disease, weed and pest control, and crop nutrition strategies – will be explored to assist grower and adviser decision making.

Project leader Nick Poole, from FAR Australia, says HYC builds on the success of the GRDC’s four-year Hyper Yielding Cereals Project in Tasmania, which demonstrated it is possible to more than double yields in some situations through sowing the right cultivars and effective implementation of appropriately tailored management strategies. The Hyper Yielding Cereals Project generated significant attention from mainland growers.

Nick and HYC extension co-ordinator Jon Midwood, of TechCrop Services, discuss the initiative in a new GRDC podcast – Hyper Yielding Crops Initiative.

“This initiative is about trying to improve our productivity, increase our yields and close what we believe is a significant yield gap in some high yield potential grain growing environments,” Nick said.

“We want to not only lift productivity, but also stabilise productivity. It's no good having varieties that are boom and bust, performing well one year and then not the next. So, our focus is on improving yields and also stabilising them.”

Jon says HYC aims to up-scale research to paddock-based trials, providing growers with answers to questions related to their individual farming systems and environments.

“It is really important for people to believe in these yield potentials that we talk about, and then to see that translated into reality in a trial situation at the research centres and, most importantly, on-farm in growers’ paddocks,” Jon said.

The HYC research centres of excellence are being led and managed by FAR Australia in collaboration with:

  • Brill Ag
  • the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in WA
  • the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI*)
  • Southern Farming Systems (SFS).

The five centres are sited in:

  • Tasmania (Hagley)
  • Victoria (Gnarwarre)
  • SA (Millicent)
  • NSW (Wallendbeen)
  • WA (Green Range).

Jon said in the podcast that the research centres will provide the focus for detailed examination of cultivars, disease management and nitrogen management.

More information: Nick Poole, 0499 888 066,

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