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May  2013


Welcome to the latest NGA newsletter and a snapshot of our 2013 winter trial activity. The program features a broad range of nutrition, disease, weed and pest management projects.
We also have a summary of root-lesion nematode results from sorghum trials in 2012/13, together with links to additional canola nutrition activity, a Qld DAFF Rhizobia inoculation survey and two important weed management videos from the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative.
We hope you find the information useful. Once again, if you have feedback (positive or negative) we would be glad to hear from you. 

2013 Winter Trial Snapshots

1. Nitrogen Management in Wheat for Protein 
Five small plot trials are being conducted, comparing nitrogen application timings and methods. These trials will also compare the equivalent level of additional nitrogen applied at planting or split between planting and early stem elongation. Four additional trials will compare the formulation of nitrogen applied.
2. Chickpea Nutrition
Three trials will be planted looking at N, P, K, S & Zn nutrition in chickpeas. The trials are designed as nutrient omission trials with the aim of generating additional information on the impact of omitting one or more nutrients.
3. Canola Nutrition
Three trials evaluating the impact of N, P & S nutrition on yield and oil content in canola. These trials are a continuation of the activity in 2012 but with more emphasis on phosphorous nutrition and less on sulphur. Additional work is also being conducted by NSW DPI.

4. In-crop Herbicide Options for the Management of Feathertop Rhodes Grass and Windmill Grass
Evaluation of in-crop residual herbicides in canola, wheat and chickpeas for the management of spring weed germinations. Five trials are planned in both wheat and chickpeas with three in canola.
5. Root-lesion Nematodes
Four trials are being conducted to screen potential nematicides for Pratylenchus thornei management. Two new sites are also being established to create ‘low’ and ‘high’ population strips of P thornei to enable multi-crop tolerance and resistance evaluation in 2014.
6. Yellow Spot
Three trials are planned to fine-tune fungicide management timing and strategies.  The primary focus is on the cost/benefit of early fungicide application. Additional work under controlled conditions is being planned with Qld DAFF.
7. Annual Ryegrass Control 
Two trials planned in the Gunnedah/ Liverpool Plains region to evaluate herbicide management options in wheat. We are still looking for suitable locations with herbicide applications to commence at planting. If you are interested and believe you have a suitable site please contact Anthony Mitchell on 0429 810350.
8. Aphid Management in Canola
Two large scale trials will commence in spring. We are looking for canola growers who are set up for late season ground-rig applications. Trials will compare the NSW recommended aphid threshold with the lower threshold recommended in WA.  If interested please contact Brendan Burton on 0428 979170.
9. Leaf Rust in Barley
Single trial planned by Greg Platz (Qld DAFF) to fine-tune management strategies. This will involve a combination of varietal resistance and fungicide strategies. NGA will assist with disease monitoring. 
10. ‘Sleeper’ Issues 
We were unable to conduct trials against Botrytis in chickpeas, Botryosphaeria in wheat or leaf rust and chocolate spot in faba beans in 2012 due to low disease levels. Protocols and products are ready to enable a quick response if the season becomes conducive for any of these diseases.

If you have trouble opening these links our website address is

Impact of Sorghum Varieties on Root-lesion Nematode Multiplication

To help improve our understanding of the impact of sorghum on root-lesion nematode management, NGA conducted soil test screening from 27 replicated trials in 2012/13. Our thanks to Pacific Seeds, Pioneer and HSR Seeds for their assistance and collaboration. Eight sites were sampled at harvest to evaluate the impact of sorghum on Pratylenchus thornei multiplication and to examine for differences in levels of hybrid resistance. 

The graph below shows the six hybrids that were included in all eight trials. The red broken line indicates the mean P thornei population at planting with the blue columns showing the mean P thornei numbers remaining at harvest for each variety.

Key points:
  • Sorghum is a good rotation crop to help limit or manage P thornei populations
  • A single year of a resistant crop eg sorghum, is NOT going to solve P thornei issues
  • No clear indication of any difference in P thornei resistance between the hybrids evaluated
Copyright © 2013 Northern Grower Alliance, All rights reserved.

Canola and Sulfur

In March we sent an eNewsletter featuring our 2013 GRDC Update paper on Canola Nutrition - with a focus on nitrogen and sulfur.

There has been a lot of interest in this topic with the actual paper already downloaded more than 200 times from our website. Our protocol built on similar trial work, undertaken over the last three years, by the Grain Orana Alliance (GOA) - based in central NSW.

The link below will take you to their recent review of sulfur strategies in canola based on central western NSW trial responses. 

Rhizobia Inoculation Survey

Nikki Seymour (Senior Soil Microbiologist, Qld DAFF) and her team are conducting a legume inoculation survey. The survey focuses on the current level of industry understanding and the practices being used.

The link below will open the survey which is in a word document format. The details for emailing or faxing the completed survey forms are on the last page.

Rhizobia Inoculation Survey

New NGA Staff Member

We are very pleased to announce a new appointment to our NGA team.

LINDA BAILEY commenced with NGA at the end of April and becomes our first full time Trials Agronomist on the Darling and Western Downs. She has extensive experience in trials agronomy, a background in plant breeding as well as a strong interest in plant pathology.

Linda is relocating from Goondiwindi to Toowoomba to take on this role. We expect her experience and enthusiasm will greatly add to our research capability on the Darling Downs.


Linda’s contact details are -

Mobile:  0437 056 252

When on a
Good Thing -
Don't Stick to It!

The Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) has recently released two videos to help communicate the threat agriculture worldwide is facing from herbicide resistance. The first, Preserving glyphosate through diversity, showcases the issues leading up to the development of herbicide resistance, and demonstrates why glyphosate should be protected. Sustaining herbicides with harvest weed seed management demonstrates the innovative research that is undertaken in Western Australia (WA), along with practical weed seed control options for growers to implement during harvest. 

To view these videos go to the following links: 

Preserving Glyphosate Through Diversity

Sustaining Herbicides with Harvest Weed Seed Management


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