Dual purpose cereal trials
By Callen Thompson, Senior Land Services Officer – Mixed Farming
Central West Local Land Services have collaborated with NSW Department of Primary Industries to sow two dual purpose cereal trials this season. The data from these trials will help producers select the appropriate variety for their production system. The trials are located at Bogan Gate and Purlewaugh and include 18 varieties of winter cereals including oats, wheat, barley and triticale.
Dual purpose cereals are known to be a good option for mixed farmers in the Central West to reduce risk as well as potentially increase gross margins. Agronomically dual purpose crops can be an advantage as early sowing can help with weed competition and grazing can be an added weed control opportunity.
The Purlewaugh trial was sown on Wednesday, 8 April and the Bogan Gate trial was sown on Thursday, 9 April. As seen in Table 1, there are a number of new varieties included as well as some regionally proven varieties included for comparison. An interesting inclusion is RGT_Planet Barley. Planet was included as we had been hearing that a quite a few producers were planning to sow it for quick feed, particularly because traditional dual purpose varieties of oats, wheat and barley were short. Some producers were hoping to be able to graze it and then lock it up for grain. Due to Planet not being reliant on a vernalisation period to go to head, there is a significant frost risk at the end of the season. We will be testing this in the trial.
Table 1: Cereal varieties in the Dual Purpose trial
Producers will be keen to see the sites for themselves, and the intention is to hold two field walks at each site, one at first grazing and the other just prior to harvest. If this is not possible due to the current social distancing requirements, we will be holding virtual field walks. Producers can keep updated with the trials by following Central West Local Land Services on Facebook.
The dual purpose cereal trial is one of a number of on farm demonstrations as part of The Adapt Project which aims to help producers adapt to changes in market and climate. This project is supported by Central West Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
For more information on the trials, please contact Callen Thompson on 0417348687
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