GRDC WithTheGrain - Southern Extension Newsletter. Can't see the email click here to view it online.


High Rainfall Zone

Welcome from Craig Ruchs,
Senior Regional Manager - South

It seems to come around all too quickly but here we are at the end of June with sowing completed or nearing completion for those growers fortunate enough to have had sufficient opening rains. It has been a varied start across the southern region with good rains in some areas, whilst others continue to look to the skies. The only common thread is unfortunately coming in the form of a four-legged rodent - the mouse.

Photo of Craig Ruchs
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you all to attend the first round of GRDC Local Forums to be held across the high, medium and low-rainfall zones of the southern region. These meetings will provide growers, advisers and other stakeholders with a snapshot of GRDC investments addressing major local issues and provide yet another direct opportunity to shape the future of your grains R,D&E asset. Our first two forums have been very well attended and you can find more details regarding future events in the RCSN update below.

This edition of WithTheGrain™ covers a number of relevant topics that growers may be pondering as the 2017 cropping season gets underway. We take a look at the importance of responsible chemical stewardship and why it’s everyone’s responsibility and provide some tips on how you can optimise input costs this season.

We also take a look at the nutrition requirements for canola to reach yield targets, controlling broadleaf weeds in pulses and profile some exciting new GRDC investments.

A reminder that applications are now open for positions on the GRDC’s Southern Panel. This is your opportunity to play an integral role in ensuring the future profitability of Australian grain growers, so if you are passionate about the grains industry then I encourage you to apply. For more information visit the GRDC website at or feel free to give me a call.

Craig Ruchs, 0477 710 813

RCSN update

GRDC Local Forums: Grains R&D for the HRZ

The GRDC’s Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) will be hitting the road in June and July to hold a series of GRDC Local Forums with grain growers and industry stakeholders.

Two events will be held in the high-rainfall zone (HRZ); at Beaufort in Western Victoria on July 4 and another at Lucindale in South Australia’s Lower South East region on July 6.

Read the full article
  Photo of Jen Lillecrapp

Feature article

Industry reminded of stewardship responsibilities

Photo of Dr Rohan Rainbow
  Growers and advisers are reminded to continue to undertake responsible chemical stewardship this season and adhere to label rates to ensure Australia remains competitive in global grain markets.

That is one of the key messages from Crop Protection Australia managing director Dr Rohan Rainbow, who was a keynote speaker at the GRDC Updates held in the southern region in February.

Read the full article

Farm business

Variable cost management key to swinging profit equation in your favour

There are four elements in the equation for long-term, enduring profit - yield, price, cost and risk.

However, some growers are consistently hitting 80 per cent of water limited yield potential - a sustainable yield target to best manage risk - and grain prices received in Australia are heavily influenced by global trends.

This leaves careful cost management as one of the primary tools in a grower’s toolkit to influence the profit equation in their favour.

Read the full article
  Photo of Simon Vogt

Regional agronomy

New investment helps crops achieve their yield potential on sub-par subsoils

Photo of clay soil
  Improving the production capacity of hostile subsoils in the high and medium-rainfall zones of the southern region is the focus of a new GRDC investment. 

The aim of the new five-year project, Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the southern region, is to increase the production and profitability of crops grown on poorly structured clay subsoils across the southern region.

Read the full article

Crop topping key in controlling broadleaf weeds in beans

Crop topping and crop rotations are the keys to managing difficult to control broadleaf weeds such as prickly lettuce and sowthistle in pulse crops, according to University of Adelaide associate professor, weed management Dr Chris Preston. 

In 2016, many faba bean paddocks were dotted with infestations of sowthistle (also known as milk thistle) and prickly lettuce which Dr Preston says was largely due to the wet season.

Read the full article 

  Photo of a bean crop

Consider canola N and S to hit target yields

Photo of nitrogen
  Nitrogen is a principal driver of canola yields and growers must be prepared to adequately feed the crop in order to reach target yields. 

That is one of the key messages to come out of research conducted last year as part of the GRDC investment, Optimised canola profitability (OCP). 

Read the full article

Study looks into feeding habits of slaters, millipedes

Research conducted as part of a GRDC investment has identified which crops are most susceptible to damage from slaters and millipedes. 

These organisms have become more prevalent across the southern region over the past decade with increasing reports of damage to crops as a result of feeding on emerging crops. 

Read the full article

  Photo of University of Melbourne PhD student Josh Douglas

GRDC resources and events 

Southern region agronomy update
Have you read the latest GRDC products including Paddock Practices in-depth articles, PestFacts and AHRI insight?

Upcoming events
Don't miss out on these GRDC events in upcoming months!

Useful Resources
The GRDC is a one-stop shop for growers looking to optimise and improve their graingrowing business. Here's a few useful resources to help you!
  • GrowNotes™ - have you read the new GrowNotes for Wheat, Barley and Canola in the Southern region? Find them here
  • GroundCover™ - the latest edition of GroundCover is available on the GRDC Website now
  • GRDC YouTube channel - the latest videos from the GRDC: watch now

© Copyright GRDC 2017


Any recommendations, suggestions or opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Grains Research and Development Corporation. No person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific, independent, professional advice. The Corporation and contributors to this publication may identify products by proprietary or trade names to help readers identify particular types of products. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturer referred to. Other products may perform as well as or better than those specifically referred to. The GRDC will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information in this publication. CAUTION: RESEARCH ON UNREGISTERED PESTICIDE USE. Any research with unregistered pesticides or of unregistered products reported in this document does not constitute a recommendation for that particular use by the authors or the authors organisations. All pesticide applications must accord with the currently registered label for that particular pesticide, crop, pest and region.


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Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)
PO Box 5367 KINGSTON ACT 2604 Australia
Level 4, East Building, 4 National Circuit, BARTON ACT 2600 Australia
Telephone: (02) 6166 4500 Fax: (02) 6166 4599
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