High Rainfall 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 System website.
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.
For more information email Penny at email@example.com