The week that was: Sunday, November 24 - Saturday, November 30

The week that was: Sunday, November 24 - Saturday, November 30

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Josh Goad harvesting a canola crop at his Kojaneerup, WA, property. PHOTO Evan Collis

Josh Goad harvesting a canola crop at his Kojaneerup, WA, property. PHOTO Evan Collis

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Here's what you were reading 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, November 24 to Saturday, November 30.

Deep-ripping trials point to short-term gains on sandy soils

Results from deep-ripped trials in deep white sand in Western Australia's south coastal region have revealed short-term crop yield increases only, suggesting growers with this soil type shouldn't anticipate long-term profits from deep-ripping.

However, growers could still consider investing in deep-ripping, as long as their return on investment calculations are based on projected results from just one or two years.

The GRDC-invested paddock trials, overseen by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), have been running since 2014 on the Kojaneerup property of Josh and Shannon Goad.

The Goad property is typical of the south coastal region, with deep white sand over gravel and clay, and has the twin soil constraints of water repellency and a compaction layer at depth. Read the full story here.

Novel tool to measure water-use speeds search for drought-tolerant chickpeas

Drought-tolerant chickpeas that are highly efficient at extracting water from the soil are on the drawing board, with researchers employing novel technology to speed their search of available genetic material.

 University of Sydney PhD students Omar Murad and Muhammad Naveed pushing the BrEM38 buggy through chickpea plots to collect soil water data. Mr Murad developed the soil moisture calibrations and models, while Mr Naveed will identify useful qualitative trait loci (QTL) and molecular markers for breeders. PHOTO Dr Helen Bramley

University of Sydney PhD students Omar Murad and Muhammad Naveed pushing the BrEM38 buggy through chickpea plots to collect soil water data. Mr Murad developed the soil moisture calibrations and models, while Mr Naveed will identify useful qualitative trait loci (QTL) and molecular markers for breeders. PHOTO Dr Helen Bramley

Dr Helen Bramley, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, and her research team have developed a new way to quickly screen chickpea genotypes for water-use efficiency - with the aim of reducing the time taken to release drought-tolerant chickpea varieties to growers.

"The traditional approach involves inserting aluminium access tubes into the soil to measure soil water content using a neutron probe," Dr Bramley says.

"But installing the tubes and taking the measurements at different depths is time-consuming and labour-intensive."

Read the full story here.

New $20m facility set to deliver value-adding alternative to traditional pulse markets

A novel Australian business venture is expected to provide a new market option for pulse growers, delegates heard at the 2019 Australian Pulse Conference in Horsham, Victoria.

Phil McFarlane said the new APP plant-based protein manufacturing facility at Horsham, Victoria, (pictured) is set to receive 10,000 tonnes of faba beans a year from 2020. PHOTO Clarisa Collis

Phil McFarlane said the new APP plant-based protein manufacturing facility at Horsham, Victoria, (pictured) is set to receive 10,000 tonnes of faba beans a year from 2020. PHOTO Clarisa Collis

The source of this alternative market option is a start-up, established in an industrial pocket of Horsham, just a few blocks from the conference venue, near the Wimmera River.

There, two large, industrial sheds contain Australia's first commercial plant-based protein manufacturing facility developed by Australian Plant Proteins (APP).

In a keynote presentation, APP principal Phil McFarlane said the business concept has its origins in Wimmera Development Association research six years ago. Read the full story here.

Soil water repellence and weeds pose big problems in southern areas

Wagin grower Wade Brockway says early crop establishment is critical to get a jump on ryegrass and brome grass. PHOTO Evan Collis

Wagin grower Wade Brockway says early crop establishment is critical to get a jump on ryegrass and brome grass. PHOTO Evan Collis

The combination of weeds and water repellent soils is fast becoming one of the biggest crop yield constraints in Western Australia's central and upper great southern region.

For Wagin growers Wade and Holly Brockway, water repellence is a major inhibitor to crop establishment, particularly on their sandy duplex soils.

And without good early crop establishment, Wade says, there is limited crop competition against weeds, particularly after a late break to the season.

"We need to overcome the water repellence challenge to get on top of weeds early in the growing season," Wade says.

Read the full story here.

Taking stock of 2019: share your most compelling on-farm photos

Farm dog Clancy out for an early morning walk through the barley crop in late winter central wheatbelt Western Australia. Photo Jo Fulwood

Farm dog Clancy out for an early morning walk through the barley crop in late winter central wheatbelt Western Australia. Photo Jo Fulwood

As the year draws to a close, we're taking a look back on the year that was.

With harvest under way in some parts of the country, and a record dry across many parts of the east, 2019 has been a mixed bag for the grains industry.

Taking stock of the year, we're asking readers to share their on-farm photos with us.

Email your 2019 on-farm photo with a brief caption to socialmedia@grdc.com.au and we'll add it to our online gallery to share across our social media channels.See the full gallery here.

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