Pushing Productivity in the South West High Rainfall Zone event to tackle study for high yields

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithGreat Southern Herald
Barley ready to be harvested.
Camera IconBarley ready to be harvested. Credit: Countryman

Farmers will learn about the latest in high rainfall zone research at the Pushing Productivity in the South West High Rainfall Zone event in Frankland River next month.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation’s field walk and an online video meeting will discuss the GRDC’s HRZ Farming Systems Project and what is being uncovered about achieving higher yields in the zone.

Field Applied Research Australia’s Rachel Hamilton said the organisation had been working with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the CSIRO to combine their expertise for the GRDC project.

They had focused on farming systems, bio-economic modelling, disease management, and systems agronomy to work with growers to develop high production packages for the zone. “Over the past decade there has been a trend towards more cropping in the HRZ but yields are typically 1-3t/ha below water-limited yield potential for wheat and 0.5-1.5t/ha for canola in an average season,” she said.

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“This presents a significant opportunity to lift the profitability of cropping systems in the HRZ, defined in WA as arable areas with annual rainfall above 450mm.

“This GRDC project was created to support growers to overcome major constraints, adopt superior long-season varieties, and develop management packages to express superior yield potentials.”

The project will run over three years with an aim of increasing the value of cropping phase in the HRZ farming system by 10 per cent.

“This project will deliver a better understanding of the yield potential of different combinations of germplasm and farming systems inputs, identify options to reduce the yield gap, and quantify the economic risks associated with potentially higher input farming systems,” Ms Hamilton said.

“By working together, we can refine and transform HRZ farming systems towards increasing the average yield by 2t/ha in cereals and 1t/ha in canola.

“It will also provide an informal setting for open discussion to allow growers to share what is, and what isn’t working on-farm.”

The field walk will take place from 9am-11am on Friday, August 6 at 411 Gunwarrie Road, Frankland River. The Zoom gathering is at 6.30pm on Monday, August 9. To register, email rachel.hamilton@faraustralia.com.au.

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