The week that was: Sunday, July 7 - Saturday, July 13

The week that was: Sunday, July 7 - Saturday, July 13

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DPIRD research officer Andrea Hills checks WA loose smut trials in in barley. PHOTO WA DPIRD

DPIRD research officer Andrea Hills checks WA loose smut trials in in barley. PHOTO WA DPIRD

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Here are your five most-read stories from GroundCover this past week.

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There was plenty happening across the Australian grains industry over this past week.

Here, we take a look back at the top stories you read from Sunday, July 7 to Saturday, July 13.

New advice for dealing with fungal disease in WA crops in season 2019: Loose smut (Ustilago spp.) in barley is an infectious, unsightly fungus common in higher-rainfall zones.

While the disease can often be visually alarming in affected crops, Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) research officer Andrea Hills says growers can overestimate the extent of the problem because the loose smut usually looks worse than it is.

We have had growers estimate levels of 20 per cent loose smut when further assessment has shown it has actually only been around 2 to 2.5 per cent, Ms Hills says. Read the full story here.

Spray application expert Bill Gordon has been speaking at a series of GRDC-supported workshops aiming to help growers in adoption of drift-reduction techniques. PHOTO GRDC

Spray application expert Bill Gordon has been speaking at a series of GRDC-supported workshops aiming to help growers in adoption of drift-reduction techniques. PHOTO GRDC

Growers urged to focus on minimising risks of spray drift this season: GRDC is focused on reducing the off-site drift of agricultural chemicals.

Mitigating the risk of spray drift is an important issue for the cropping industry, threatening the availability of valuable pesticide options and the industrys social licence to operate.

The GRDC continues to invest in both spray drift reduction techniques, along with research to ensure growers are supported to maintain spray efficacy. Read the full story here.

Wheat is being bred in South Australia to mimic GM traits found to increase yields by 50 per cent in glasshouse studies. PHOTO The University of Adelaide

Wheat is being bred in South Australia to mimic GM traits found to increase yields by 50 per cent in glasshouse studies. PHOTO The University of Adelaide

'Over expression' of three wheat genes linked to yield gains: The potential to significantly increase wheat yields has been demonstrated in South Australian trials - of experimental genetically modified (GM) wheat lines.

These lines 'overexpress' three wild-type plant genes, either individually or in combination, and were developed to test whether targeting individual wheat genes could lead to improvements in yield.

In greenhouse studies, yield gains from the best performing lines were in the range of 32 to 50 per cent, compared to the same germplasm lacking the GM trait. Read the full story here.

Canola at the leaf production stage, left (before the eight-leaf growth stage), and after the stem elongation growth stage has commenced, on right. SOURCE GRDC

Canola at the leaf production stage, left (before the eight-leaf growth stage), and after the stem elongation growth stage has commenced, on right. SOURCE GRDC

Grain protection expert urges compliance with label directions for haloxyfop herbicides: National Working Party on Grain Protection (NWPGP) chair Gerard McMullen is urging canola growers to adhere to label application directions on herbicides containing haloxyfop as part of an industry-wide effort to avoid unacceptable chemical residues.

For herbicides containing haloxyfop as the active ingredient, label directions stipulate they must not be applied to canola and other specified oilseed crops:

  • After the eight-leaf growth stage
  • After the stem elongation growth stage has commenced (this may occur before the eight-leaf growth stage, so determine the crop growth stage before application)
  • Under or between windrows (this is not a registered label use and could result in chemical residues).
GRDC Grower Relations Manager Susan McDonnell said the Dealing with the Dry forums being organised across NSW aim to deliver practical advice to growers on difficult subjects, such as how to talk to your bank manager about debt. Photo GRDC.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager Susan McDonnell said the Dealing with the Dry forums being organised across NSW aim to deliver practical advice to growers on difficult subjects, such as how to talk to your bank manager about debt. Photo GRDC.

Dealing with the Dry: Farm management options during and after drought forums roll out across northern NSW

Firsthand experience of drought and an understanding of the toll it can take on farming businesses, bank balances and emotional well-being was the catalyst for a series of Dealing with the Dry: Farm management options during and after drought forums being run across northern New South Wales next month.

Click on the pins in the map below to see forum locations, dates and times.

Initiated by Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grower Relations Manager Susan McDonnell the forums aim to deliver practical advice ranging from how to talk about debt with your bank manager, to accessing government services and identifying and supporting mental health issues.

A grain grower herself, Mrs McDonnell said the GRDC Dealing with the Dry forums would be run in small communities across NSW and were focused on delivering genuinely helpful information directly to those in need.

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