Grains Science in Action
Video highlights from Grains Science in Action
Video 1: National wheat Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) array
Dr Glenn Fitzgerald, Senior Research Scientist
Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to continue rising, affecting crop growth and production. The Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facility is helping researchers better understand the impacts of rising CO2 on crop production and inform industry to help develop adaptation options.
The technology creates environments where wheat and pulse response can be measured under elevated levels of atmospheric CO2.
The project covers agronomy, crop modelling, plant and crop physiology, soil science, crop pests and disease and crop trait evaluation.
Results to date have shown increases in wheat biomass and yields, lower grain protein contents, different responses to pests and diseases and different varietal responses.
The work will provide knowledge about changes to crop production in future, due to elevated CO2 under a range of soil water and temperature conditions.
It will also highlight to growers the agronomy, physiology, pests and diseases and soils effects of elevated CO2 under a range of conditions allowing adaptation to changing cropping conditions.
For more information, email Glenn at email@example.com.
Video 2: High Rainfall Zone Cropping
Dr Penny Riffkin, Senior Research Agronomist
The High Rainfall Zone is a new and expanding environment for cropping, but studies indicate that crops in this zone are performing well below potential based on available sunlight, water and temperature.
Historical information from Australia and overseas, together with some of the newest breeding material from the UK and Europe is being used to find answers to improve profitability and adaptation of high rainfall croppers.
The Crop Design Tool is using historical climate and established physiological principles from high and lower rainfall cropping zones in Australia and overseas to identify crop characteristics suited specifically to the High Rainfall Zone of southern Australia and fast track breeding programs.
Not only does it have potential to design crops for new environments such as the high rainfall zones but also for changing environments as may occur under climate change.
Impacts of Management on Crop Yields and Profit: This work uses existing simulation models, 120 years of historical climate data and detailed site specific information to look at the probability of achieving an outcome from different management options.
Growers from Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia identified management options including time of sowing, N fertiliser, stubble management, opportunity cropping, irrigation and grazing of crops.
Data was collected for two years from on-farm case-study sites in these states and then applied to a model to produce information for a series of fact sheets which are now available on the Southern Farming Systems website. The same approach is now being applied to high rainfall sites in NSW and a series of factsheets will soon be available for this region.
Canola Breeding: Researchers are sourcing and assessing germplasm from other high rainfall regions from Australia, the UK and Europe for potential use in Victoria in the future. Field experiments show yields from new imported cultivars to be 20% greater than the best performing commercial cultivars at Hamilton. Crop simulation modelling indicates that new cultivars could out yield the best performing commercial cultivars by more than 5% over 26.4 m ha. Based on the area sown to canola in 2006, replacing the commercial cultivar with the new cultivar could have provided an estimated additional $18.4M to the grains industry.
For more information email Penny at firstname.lastname@example.org.