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Wheat, Barley 2011 Variety Guides Available

13 May 2011

AUSTRALIA - Wheat and barley 2011 variety guides for Queensland's winter cereal growers can now be accessed online or are available in print from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) business support centres.

DEEDI Agri-Science senior research scientist at Toowoomba, John Sheppard, said the varietal guides were a long established one-stop information source produced annually by DEEDI and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Sheppard said the varietal guides provided growers with the most up-to-date data on the maturity, disease reaction, yield and quality assessments for wheat and barley varieties relevant to the southern Queensland, northern NSW and Central Queensland cropping regions.

"There is an absolute need for all growers to get their retained seed stock for the 2011 winter cereal planting season tested to ensure it has good germination and vigour," Sheppard said.

"Extremely wet 2010 winter crop harvesting conditions may have resulted in seed weather damage which is not visibly obvious and, irrespective of the varietal selection, there is a real risk of poor crop establishment.

"There are good subsoil moisture levels in the lead up to planting, and growers need to ensure their soil nutrient levels are adequate to allow the selected wheat and barley varieties to achieve potential yields."

Sheppard said that if wheat growers were unsure of a paddock's crown rot disease history or the root-lesion nematode status, tests should be progressed as soon as possible.

Growers should also familiarise themselves with the potential herbicide reactions that can have a negative impact on overall crop yield prospects that are listed in the guide.

DEEDI Warwick-based principal plant pathologist Greg Platz reported that several barley varieties tested had shown reasonable resilience to rust infection during the 2010 season.

"This will give barley growers a degree of confidence in selecting rust resistant varieties," Mr Platz said.

"Growers should avoid sowing barley on barley as the high levels of stubble from the 2010 season are likely to carry high levels of inoculum into this year's crop.

"If sowing a variety that is very susceptible to leaf rust, growers should budget for two foliar fungicide sprays which work best as protectants," he said.

"The malting barley, Commander, did quite well last season despite enormous stress. This variety will lodge so it is not suited to high nutritional situations and it is not recommended for Central Queensland."

Mr Platz said Shepherd, Mackay and Oxford feed barley varieties were resistant to leaf rust.

For further information on the wheat and barley 2011 variety guides, search for 'wheat variety' or 'barley variety' on the DEEDI website http://www.deedi.qld.gov.au/.

TheCropSite News Desk



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