The week that was: Sunday, August 4 - Saturday, August 10

The week that was: Sunday, August 4 - Saturday, August 10

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Professor Chengdao Li inspects barley at a field trial of the genetic, environmental and management factors that reduce head loss. PHOTO DPIRD

Professor Chengdao Li inspects barley at a field trial of the genetic, environmental and management factors that reduce head loss. PHOTO DPIRD

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Here are your five most-read stories from 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, August 4 - Saturday, August 10.

Gains made in agronomic and genetic control of barley head loss

Help is on its way on multiple fronts to help reduce head loss in barley crops caused by breakage of the straw in the head's support stem or peduncle.

A research project led by Professor Chengdao Li, director of the Western Barley Genetics Alliance, has looked at the problem from the perspective of genetics, soil nutrition, the environment and management practices.

For growers, there is now new information about the importance of copper and potassium nutrition to reduce the incidence of head loss. Read the full story here.

Variety selection is easy and reliable with the robust NVT Online website

When deciding whether to introduce a new variety into a farming system, growers must consider what advantages it may bring.

These may be improved yield, disease resistance, diversity or risk mitigation, or it may better meet market requirements.

To aid these considerations, growers are encouraged to access NVT Online, where they can find long-term yield results.

Here is the most robust and reliable way of selecting a variety using the NVT data, together with other related information. Read the full story here.

Summer fallow spraying using a tow-behind rig. PHOTO AGRONOMO

Summer fallow spraying using a tow-behind rig. PHOTO AGRONOMO

Spray adjuvant and nozzle type greatly influence spray quality

The GRDC nozzle selection guides were updated in January 2019 to include a wider selection of nozzles that can produce very coarse (VC), extremely coarse (XC) and ultra coarse (UC) spray qualities.

As more manufacturers release new nozzle models, the range of nozzles available to meet the coarser spray qualities will continue to increase, so spray operators need to continually check whether the data they are relying on is the most current.

To maintain reasonable pressures and application volumes, most operators using conventional sprayers will need to consider high-pressure air induction nozzles, which have a minimum operating pressure of about three bar, and ideally should be run at five to six bar pressure. Read the full story here.

Alan McKay says while progress has been made to reduce the impact of rhizoctonia, it is still costing the industry significant dollars in low to medium rainfall areas with lighter textured soils. Photo: AgCommunicators

Alan McKay says while progress has been made to reduce the impact of rhizoctonia, it is still costing the industry significant dollars in low to medium rainfall areas with lighter textured soils. Photo: AgCommunicators

GRDC to host series of workshops in South Australia and Victoria about the costly root disease rhizoctonia

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is hosting a series of workshops in South Australia and Victoria to bring growers and advisers up to date with the latest knowledge on the costly root disease rhizoctonia.

The workshops will be held in-paddock and will provide a summary of new knowledge on rhizoctonia developed over the past 10 years, including the various symptoms, identification, changes to the expression of the disease in modern farming systems, seasonal factors affecting yield loss, sowing strategies, nutrition and management.

Plants will be dug up and their roots will be washed and examined for the different symptoms produced by rhizoctonia. A group discussion will cover regional characteristics, current best practice management and knowledge gaps. Read the full story here.

A selection of GRDC variety guides.

A selection of GRDC variety guides.

Variety guides deliver timely information and decision support straight to growers

Each year across Australia's grainbelts, state-based crop variety sowing guides land in thousands of growers' letterboxes.

The guides' arrival coincides with the harvest of winter crops and therefore provides timely information and decision support on retaining seed for the next season. They have been a go-to resource for variety selection for growers and advisers over many decades.

In 2019, GRDC distributed 7260 copies to Victoria, 6720 to Western Australia, 4375 to Queensland and 6410 to South Australia. The guides are also available electronically from NVT Online and GRDC's website. Read the full story here.

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