The ever-popular NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide has been released.
It aims to help grain growers and agronomists make strategic cropping decisions. According to the NSW DPI “Profit depends on choosing the most suitable variety for each paddock and sowing time, optimising tactical crop management to achieve the chosen variety’s yield potential, and matching the end product of both variety choice and management to available markets.”
“Complex modern technology, fluctuating markets and the vagaries of seasonal conditions also affect your decision making, contributing to the winter crop producer’s need for careful planning and management to optimise productivity and profitability.”
DPI Technical Specialist – Grain Services, Peter Matthews, said this year’s guide, which celebrates its 25th year, is more comprehensive than ever and has all the information farmers need for a successful winter crop.
“Guides such as this highlight the DPI’s impressive history of delivering quality agricultural research and development to increase productivity and resilience across the state’s agricultural sectors and the environment,” he explained.
“This publication is key in assisting NSW’s cropping industry, which had an output of $8 billion in 2020-2021.”
The guide provides everything from the latest yield performance for crop varieties, grain quality, disease tolerance, new variety characteristics, weed management practices, to rotations and crop nutrition.
This information is based on research and development results from DPI, other research providers and the National Variety Testing program.
“There are three new spring milling wheats, three long-season feed wheats, three barley varieties, 13 canola varieties, one faba bean variety, two field pea varieties and one narrow leaf lupin variety available for growers this season,” Mr Matthews stated.
“Lentils have also been added to this year’s guide in recognition of the growing opportunity for this crop in southern and central NSW; it’s well suited to the farming system in these regions and one of the highest value pulse crops.”
“The National Variety Trial (NVT) data presented in the Winter crop variety sowing guide are long-term multi-environment trial (MET) results. These results are currently the most accurate and reliable means of interpreting variety performance across sites and years The yearly regional mean values presented in the guide have been extracted from the NVT database and values are only shown for a variety when the variety was present at sites in that year,” the NSW DPI website said.
Those armed with the Guide can make can make informed and cost-effective decisions based on the information and research provided.
Rising prices of inputs such as diesel, herbicides, and fertiliser mean crop establishment failures would be costly this season. With the high price of nitrogen-based products such as urea, growers are advised to create nitrogen budgets and target paddocks that will give them the highest return on investment if it becomes a limited resource.
“Targeting the right variety and sowing time can maximise the chance of a high yielding crop, and minimise frost risk or heat stress during grain filling,” Mr Matthews advised.
“For example, growers should consider growing pulse crops to build up soil nitrogen levels for 2023 crops while taking advantage of high pulse grain prices and grow a profitable crop in 2022.
“They should select a pulse crop that suits their soil types, a variety that matches their growing season, and varieties with the best available disease resistances against the main foliar diseases.
“Fortunately, we’ve taken the guesswork out of these decisions by providing all the available information in this Guide.”
The 2022 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide is available to download from the DPI website and hard copies will be available at local agribusiness stores, Local Land Services or DPI offices.