Research & Extension
Partnering with a range of leading research and extension organisations.
This project is led by Riverine Plains Inc with support from both FAR Australia and the Precision Agriculture Laboratory, University of Sydney
This project formed part of an overarching national initiative focusing on maintaining the profitability of stubble-retained systems. It was designed to investigate, demonstrate and extend cultural practices to assist growers adopt no-till stubble retention (NTSR) in medium and high rainfall zones.
The project established four focus farms with large, commercial scale trials at Coreen, Henty, Yarrawonga and Dookie. The trials compared crop growth, frost and disease risk and yield under different stubble management techniques, including burning, mulching or incorporation of stubble as compared to leaving stubble standing. Supporting small scale trials focussed on specific issues such as row spacing and cultivar selection, N timing and disease management. The project built on findings from the previous GRDC funded Riverine Plains Inc project “Improving water use efficiency (WUE) in no-till cropping in spatially and temporally variable conditions in the Riverine Plains”.
This project aimed to increase the adoption of NTSR systems across the Riverine Plains region by increasing profitability and sustainability of NTSR cropping systems. The project also developed guidelines specific to the region, enabling growers and advisors to use rotational cultural control measures to enhance the sustainability of their NTSR farming systems.
This project was extended to include additional temperature and frost research, through links to the GRDC National Frost Initiative.
As an addition to the “Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in the Riverine Plains” project, the frost research component aimed to understand the impact of stubble retention on in-canopy temperatures and associated risk of frost in cropping environments with high yields and stubble loads. This aim was derived from increased interest from growers and the need for more local knowledge.
The frost research stubble management trials were run at Coreen, Yarrawonga and Dookie. At these sites there were tall stubble, low stubble, incorporated stubble and burnt stubble treatments (with the exception at Corowa where there was no low stubble treatment). The temperature data was gathered by Tinytag sensors at 50mm above the surface and 300mm above the surface (rising to 600mm during the season). At the Dookie site they were also buried at 50mm below the soil surface.
Results from this project have been reported in several editions of Riverine Plains Inc’s research compendium, Research for the Riverine Plains as well as having been presented at conferences or seminars. These reports can be downloaded via the links below:
2018 edition (2017 trials)
2017 edition (2016 trials)
2016 edition (2015 trials)