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


Low Rainfall Zone

Welcome from Craig Ruchs,
Manager, Grower Services - South
As many of you begin to re-familiarise yourselves once again with some long hours in the header cab, I am sure you will start to reflect upon the season that is and soon was.

Personally, it has been an interesting year to immerse myself once again in the Australian grains industry and one which has only further invigorated my passion and desire for what we all do collectively as an industry.

I am continually amazed at the ability of growers to respond to such dramatic shifts in seasonal conditions and realise the opportunities presented as a result. 

This optimist attitude is something that typically epitomises the Australian grain grower. 

From the time of planting, the challenges that arose just never seemed to stop in 2016. Foliar disease issues in cereals, oilseeds and pulses; nitrogen rates and timings; crop lodging; frost; viruses and of course the Russian wheat aphid are just a few of the many issues growers and advisors have had to contend with this season.

This brings me back to GRDC’s purpose of investing in Research, Development and Extension to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers. To do this in a way that delivers maximum value to growers requires a clear focus upon identifying, prioritising and addressing those constraints or opportunities that have the greatest impact on farm profitability now and in the future. Clearly this means that informed investment decisions have to be made based on sound science and economics and hence I encourage you all to actively engage with GRDC staff, the Southern Panel and the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks (RCSNs) to ensure that the GRDC continues to deliver on this purpose.

In this edition of WithTheGrain™ we cover an exciting new project recently initiated by GRDC in direct response to feedback from the LRZ RCSN. This significant investment aims to address the challenge of farming on sandy soils in the low and medium-rainfall areas of the southern region in order to deliver improved long-term profitability.

GRDC’s efforts in the FITE against Russian wheat aphid continue with a number of new projects underway in order to rapidly fill knowledge gaps and to develop the tools and longer term best management plan to assist growers in the future.

That’s all for now but on behalf of the GRDC, I wish you all a safe and hassle-free harvest.

More information: Craig Ruchs,

RCSN update

RCSN project leads to major investment

A key issue raised by the Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) has led to a significant new five-year GRDC investment into sandy soils.

The new five-year project, increasing production on sandy soils in the low and medium-rainfall areas of the southern region, aims to increase production on sandy soils in the low and medium-rainfall zones of South Australia and Victoria.

Read the full article
  Photo of Dr Rick Llewellyn

Feature article

Stubble management needs careful consideration 

Photo of stubble
  Many growers across the southern region are set for a bumper harvest after favourable conditions for much of the growing season.

However, with big yields also come big stubble loads and growers are reminded to take a proactive approach in thinking about how they manage residues this harvest to avoid problems at seeding in 2017.

Read the full article

The science of grain growing

Soil carbon: A Q&A with Gupta Vadakattu

Soil carbon plays a key role in crop growth, so a good understanding of the role of carbon in cropping systems can help improve crop productivity. CSIRO researcher Dr Gupta Vadakattu explains why carbon is important and how growers can make the most of their soil carbon.

Read the full article
  Poto of Dr Gupta Vadakattu

Farm business

To sell, store, or feed? Develop a plan for marketing grain

Photo of silos
  With a bumper 2016-17 harvest tipped and cereal prices at near-record lows, many growers will be carefully considering their grain marketing options this year.

However, growers are encouraged to do their sums on selling versus storing grain after harvest and to investigate alternatives which might be available.

Read the full article

Regional agronomy

Harvester fire alert

Following a season with above average rainfall and an increase in pulse plantings in many low rainfall areas, growers should be conscious of the elevated risk of harvester fires, according to Kondinin Group research engineer Ben White.

“We know that, on average, about seven per cent of harvesters will start a fire in a given year,” Mr white says.

Read the full article
  Photo of fire burning

Weather drives RWA infestations

Link to YouTube video
  Russian wheat aphid (RWA) populations have been dealt a severe blow as a result of the wild weather in late September and early October.

With the heavy rain and associated flooding across South Australia and Victoria also came a dramatic reduction in RWA populations.

Read the full article

Watch on YouTube

Identifying grain storage insects

With on-farm grain storage becoming a common option for growers, correct identification of grain storage insects is key to appropriate monitoring and control measures.

Grain storage expert Peter Botta says that different insect pests require specific control measures and growers need to be able to distinguish between common grain storage pests.

Read the full article
  Photo of stored grain silos

Test surviving weeds for resistance

Photo of Dr Peter Boutsalils
  Are any weeds surviving in your paddocks?

Weeds remaining in a paddock after spraying can be tested to determine whether they survived due to resistance, University of Adelaide weeds researcher and Plant Science Consulting Director Dr Peter Boutsalis says.  

Read the full article

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!

© Copyright GRDC 2016


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.


Send to a friend   Unsubscribe from GRDC Southern Enewsletter emails only   Unsubscribe all GRDC emails

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