Final Reports

The subject matter of the reports presented here may have been revisited or may have been wholly or partially superseded in subsequent work funded by GRDC or others. Please check the date of publication and refer to our Policy section before making any decisions based on the content of these reports. Before being able to view any of the Final Reports, you will be asked to accept the Report Disclaimer.

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463 results found (Displaying 1 - 20)
  • Plant growth regulators (PGR's) and their agronomic and economic benefits to high yield potential cereal, pulse and oilseed crops

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: William Long (Director)

    This project has identified yield increases in wheat and barley in the absence of crop lodging with plant growth regulators (PGRs). A combination of trinexapac-ethyl# and chlormequat# applied at GS31 consistently resulted in a yield increase of around 11% (0.4t/ha) in wheat with an average reduction in crop height of around 9% (8 cm) over a three year period in the absence of lodging. Similar results were achieved with barley with yield responses to PGRs in two out of three years and a reduction in crop height recorded

    The effects of PGRs on oaten hay yields were erratic but trinexapac-ethyl# + chlormequat mixtures resulted in a reduction in height of the crop (with no recorded reduction in biomass) in two out of three seasons.

  • Ascochyta and botrytis management in lentils with pre and post emergent fungicides

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: William Long (Director)

    This project has played a significant role in changing fungicide use in lentils. Growers have reduced fungicide applications from five to six applications in good seasons to two strategically timed applications. In addition, the importance of canopy development and density and influence of seasonal conditions on the development of botrytis is more clearly understood. This results in fewer or no applications in dry seasons. The project has also identified more effective fungicides for control of botrytis and ascochyta than the previously accepted mancozeb# treatments. Procymidone# and carbendazim# are now the standard products used for botrytis control while mancozeb and chlorothalonil# are standard for ascochyta.

  • Extending the outcome of ACR4

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: William (Bill) Roy (Managing Director/Research Scientist)

    Project ACR2/4 generated a substantial quantity of extension information regarding integrated weed management (IWM) as a means of combating developing herbicide resistance with particular reference to annual ryegrass.

    Many opportunities were afforded to take the 'message' to the industry. The current project provided an extra period of time to continue this process and extend the outcome to a wider audience through participation in workshops, field days and farmer updates. This activity increased the total audience reached in person by the writer to over 4000.

    In addition useful material was provided for an IWM training program which in turn will lead to further extension through agronomists.

  • IWM as a tool to prevent herbicide resistance becoming an impediment to sustainable farming systems

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: William (Bill) Roy (Managing Director/Research Scientist)

    The increasing use of herbicide inputs over the past 20 years in Western Australia has seen a significant proportion of the wheatbelt cropping program become heavily dependant on these materials. This has led to intense selection pressure and the development of herbicide resistance in weeds, most notably in annual ryegrass. In many cases the resistance which now occurs is to a range of herbicide options thus limiting the opportunity to "overcome" the problem by simply rotating herbicides. Integrated weed management (IWM) programs provide the opportunity to counter this development but at the same time these must be economically viable to fit within sustainable farming systems.

    Project Aims

    To examine the value of integrated weed management programs as a means of combating herbicide resistant ryegrass and to extend the results to the farming industry.

  • Paddock validation of tests for herbicide resistant ryegrass

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: William (Bill) Roy (Managing Director/Research Scientist)

    The increasing use of herbicides over many years has resulted in the development of herbicide resistant weeds. It is therefore important for advisers and farmers to know the status of a particular population when assessing the best strategy to adopt for successful weed control in a sustainable cropping program. Laboratory testing of ryegrass seeds is a means of predicting the resistance status of a particular ryegrass population. Is it accurate enough to allow reliable decisions to be made?

    This issue is of importance in:

    • Determining viable herbicide programs.
    • Identifying the need to have proper integrated weed management (IWM) strategies in place.

    Project Aims

    To provide extension guidelines about the use of tests for identifying herbicide resistance in ryegrass by validating in the paddock the results of laboratory tests.

  • IWM as a tool to prevent herbicide resistance becoming an impediment to sustainable farming

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: William (Bill) Roy (Managing Director/Research Scientist)

    With herbicide resistant ryegrass threatening to engulf the Western Australian (WA) wheat industry, a project was started in 1997 to demonstrate the feasibility of using options other than selective herbicides to combat this problem and provide for profitable cropping.

    The project demonstrated that provided resistant ryegrass numbers are reduced to low levels, sustained periods of profitable cropping (to wheat) can be maintained without the use of the selective herbicides. The profits generated by the successful programs were derived after including the cost of the remedial treatments required for ryegrass control.

  • CIMMYT Suite of Projects: Germplasm Evaluation Project

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Harpreet Gill (Senior Project Biologist)

    The Germplasm Enhancement Trials (GET) project, as an integral part of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) suite of projects, was initiated to streamline the following processes:

    1. Timely importation of CIMMYT nurseries and distribution to breeders - The GET project, in conjunction with the Quarantine project, was successful in advancing the importation and sowing time of nurseries from early September (2006) to early July (2008), thereby producing enough seed for GET trials and distribution to breeders.
    2. Germplasm characterisation of CIMMYT nurseries - Data was generated on the two seed build-up nurseries and five GET trials. The information was provided to the International Crop Information System (ICIS) maintenance and support project for posting on the CIMMYT-Australian Germplasm Evaluation (CAGE) web site.

  • Registration for minor use chemicals for the grains industry

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Kevin Bodnaruk (Director)

    Minor and specialty grains industries can suffer from a lack of suitable pest management options needed to ensure sustainable production. The chemical industry tends not to pursue uses of agricultural chemicals for these smaller markets. The minor use project has sought to secure grain grower access to suitable pest management options not currently covered by existing approvals. The project has successfully achieved regulatory approvals through ongoing liaison with the regulators, researchers and relevant grains industry stakeholders. This has been achieved through consultation, timely submissions and communication of results.

  • Registration for minor use chemicals for the grains industry

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Kevin Bodnaruk (Director)

    Minor grain industries often struggle to access needed pest management options. This has occurred due to a lack of interest or capacity from chemical companies to either develop new pesticides or revise existing product uses in line with industry developments. This may result in growers using unapproved pesticides, potentially impacting on best management practice (BMP) development, the occurrence of unwanted residues thereby affecting quality assurance (QA) and export market compliance. This project sought to secure access to suitable pest management solutions not currently available to growers. The outcomes included increased access to approved pesticides and communication of results.

  • Pathways to registration - Improved pesticide research coordination in the grains industry

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Kevin Bodnaruk (Director)

    Researchers identified by GRDC and who have undertaken GRDC-funded, pesticide-related research from 2007 to 2009 were contacted seeking summary information on their projects. Contacts were via participation in researcher forums and seminars, telephone calls and face-to-face meetings. The information provided by the researchers has been collected and collated and entered into an online, password-protected database. This database can be found at the following website:

    Summary data on current projects is being updated with the help of researchers. This is being facilitated through an online tutorial.

  • Canola Quality Objectives Group (CQOG)

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Rosemary Richards

    The Canola Quality Objectives Group (CQOG) aimed to improve market signals from customers to breeders and researchers by formalising links and documenting market information so that they can be used by researchers and investors in their planning and investment decisions. The Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) 2010 plan identified an additional $800 million of value that could be captured by the industry as a result of shifts in consumer preferences. Critical to achieving this is addressing local production challenges and shifting the focus of the industry to align itself with consumer preferences. It was particularly relevant to products such as High Oleic, Low Linolenic (HOLL) canola where price and quality parameters may not be visible.

  • Canola Quality Objectives Group (CQOG)

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Nicholas Goddard (Executive Director)

    This project builds on the pilot Canola Quality Objectives Group (CQOG) project undertaken in 2006/07. It is about using market intelligence, definition of quality traits and improved value chain interaction to grow the value of the canola industry through lifting base crop quality and increasing uptake of specialty varieties. The project will improve transparency of information in the value chain and enable greater clarity of the market's requirements, improve understanding of the quality profile of canola varieties, and identify variety characteristics and their consistency.

    This project will benefit growers by ensuring variety developments and improvement are market focussed and meet end-user priorities.

  • Pilot Brewing Evaluation for Malting Barley Lines Destined for Export (BA00002 continuation)

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Ralph Nischwitz (Manager, R&D Services)

    Over the course of this three year project, Pilot Brewing Australia (PBA) made detailed assessments of 25 different malts plus control varieties for benchmarking quality. Five malts sourced from overseas markets were included to provide competitor benchmarking. This led to the accreditation of FairviewPlant Breeders Rights, BassPlant Breeders Rights and NavigatorPlant Breeders Rights as malting barley as part of the Barley Australia (BA) protocol and to the classification of HindmarshPlant Breeders Rights as a food barley variety.

    While progress on improving the statistical robustness of PBA data has been slow, PBA members have taken a range of initiatives to improve malt analysis data and put forward recommendations to the National Statistics Program (NSP).

  • Review of industry requirements post BBA - Review

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Andrew Gee (Executive Chairman)

    Australian barley breeding programs will become increasingly competitive and commercially focused as they come to rely on income from End Point Royalties. This will place pressure on variety accreditation, segregation, marketing and industry communication channels.

    Barley Australia (BA) undertook a survey of its key stakeholders to determine their expectations and need for the development and communication of a viable and vibrant barley industry in Australia. The review also considered future potential roles and functions for Barley Australia. 

    A new model for Barley Australia was proposed in the report.

  • Releasing agricultural weed seed dormancy through application of a novel smoke derived chemical

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Dr Kingsley Dixon

    Weed herbicide resistance is prevalent throughout large areas of Australia's crop growing regions. Inefficient use of herbicides has developed due to a poor understanding of weed seedbank dynamics and seed biology, particularly seed dormancy. This project focussed on stimulating weed seed germination through the use of a recently identified novel compound (a karrikinolide), which may provide the key to unlocking dormancy cycling in weed seedbanks in agricultural regions. This will have a profound effect on herbicide practices and weed control. Karrikinolide is the master molecule residing in bushfire smoke that stimulates germination. It had a broad target range (seven species) and appeared to be field stable at low application rates (of 2 - 20 g/ha), making it applicable for broad acre usage.

  • Development of optimal noodle specifications for a major Asian noodle manufacturer

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Ken Quail (Director of Grain Products)

    A collaboration was completed between BRI Australia Ltd (formerly the Bread Research Institute) and the Uni-President Enterprises Corporation (UPEC) in Taiwan to assess wheat and flour specifications for instant and dried noodle production. The study compared UPEC's existing wheat supply from the US to wheat and flour supplied from Australia. Instant and white salted noodles made from Australian wheat were superior to those manufactured using US wheat. Australian wheat was shown to have advantages for noodle texture and colour. This research can be used to market Australian wheat more effectively in Taiwan and other Asian countries. In addition this new knowledge will assist wheat breeders to improve Australian wheat for noodle markets.

  • Improved techniques for managing resistant ryegrass

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Harm van Rees (BCG Technical Consultant)

    The 'Improved techniques for managing resistant ryegrass' project was in four parts:

    1. Conducting trial work with the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) based at Birchip in Victoria, and the Hart Field Day group, based in South Australia’s Mid-North, concentrated on (i) optimising knockdown herbicide use; (ii) pre-emergent herbicides for ryegrass control; and (iii) improving 'dim' group herbicide efficacy.
    2. Studying ryegrass population dynamics in relation to crop rotation and herbicide choice.
    3. Undertaking four case studies of farmers who have successfully managed herbicide resistance.
    4. Training and in paddock assessment.

    The trial work in the project was successfully completed and reported in the BCG and Hart manuals produced for members and the general community. A Herbicide Resistance Manual has been completed and distributed to interested farmers and industry.

  • Genetically Modified Canola Agronomy

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: David Chamberlin (CEO)

    This project increased the knowledge and skills of growers and advisers in the southern grains region in the key area of Genetically Modified Canola Agronomy (GMCA). The southern grains region, including the Victorian Wimmera and Mallee regions, was the key target area of delivery, linking in with other established networks. This project contributed to growers adopting best practice specifically related to GM canola technology use.

  • On farm evaluation of frost minimisation techniques and risk management strategies

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Garren Knell (Agricultural consultant)

    Farm scale research in participation with local grower groups in WA's southern grain production region was undertaken to evaluate a range of frost minimisation techniques. The trials were replicated and sown with farmer machinery.

    ConsultAg, in conjunction with SARDI, published a manual titled "Managing Frost Risk - A Guide for Southern Australian Grains".

    This is a comprehensive decision aid for growers to assist with all aspects of frost management including:

    • Frost minimisation options and economics, backed up by trial data
    • Identifying frost damage in cereal crops
    • Management options for frost damaged crops and economics
    • Recovering from frost - impacts on business and people

  • Understanding community attitudes and behaviours towards cereals and dietary carbohydrates

    Category: FinalReport


    Supervisor: Phil Mohr (Research Scientist)

    Data indicating that most consumers do not meet dietary targets for cereal foods and that a significant number of consumers are avoiding wheat based products point to the need for greater understanding of consumer attitudes to grain based foods. CSIRO conducted a nationwide Food and Health Survey to obtain this information. The data showed the place of grain foods in the diet, attitudes to attributes potentially associated with grain foods, and the incidence of and primarily physiological reasons for the avoidance by some consumers of products containing wheat. The survey findings have been summarised in a report that also outlines benefits of the research to the Australian grains industry.