An extensive list of the field research being carried out by BCG, SFS and ICC this year is focused on stubble management and the influence of stubble on crop establishment, health, production and growth.
The BCG team has almost finished its 2015 sowing program which includes almost 100 research trials. Some of the trials specific to the stubble project include the following:
- Wheat sprouting tolerance. Sown at BCG’s irrigated site at Wemen, this trial will compare new and existing wheat varieties after two different rainfall events (irrigated) to determine susceptibility to sprouting. The trial will measure head loss, lodging and sprouting and if stubble handling/management has an influence.
- Benefit of stubble following rain. Scout wheat was sown at Wemen for this trial which will assess if stubble helps with the retention of soil moisture, delivering benefits to the newly sown crop.
- N15 – Nitrogen stubble. At BCG’s Horsham site in the Wimmera, plots were sown into wheat residues enriched with N15 last season. The flux (mineralisation/immobilisation) of N under different stubble management regimes will be measured this year with the aim of improving understanding about how stubble influences crop nutrition.
- Sowing direction. Building on work from 2014, which showed that wheat and barley sown in an east/west direction yielded better than its north/south counterparts, the sowing direction trial is being repeated in 2015, this time with the inclusion of Clearfield wheat varieties and beans. This research will look at how stubble influences any benefits that can be derived by selecting a particular sowing direction.
- Wheat varieties x row spacing. Sown at BCG’s 2015 Main Research site at Berriwillock in the Mallee, this trial will investigate how seeding density interacts with row spacing (9, 12 and 15 inch).
- Stubble type x Nutrition. This trial, sown at Kalkee in the Wimmera, is investigating how the type and load of stubble influences the nutrition and productivity of subsequent crops. This year wheat, canola and peas have been sown into varying stubble loads. Wheat will be sown into these plots in 2016 to ascertain how stubble type influences subsequent crop performance.
- Row spacing x rotations. This trial has been established at Kalkee to determine if there is an optimum row spacing for different rotations. Sown into wheat stubble, the trial will examine five different rotations over the next three years, sown at different row spacings (9, 12 and 15 inch).
Data and findings generated by these, and other relevant research trials, will be extended via thestubbleproject.wordpress.com and through events and other communications distributed by GRDC, BCG, SFS, ICC and VNTFA.