Special Edition – Winter cropping feature

June 17, 2016
June 18, 2016
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Special Edition – Winter cropping feature




Nitrogen Requirement Checklist

Following the recent rainfall event the question of soil nitrogen levels should be high on the agenda for planning winter crop requirements.  To be thinking of some sort of budget process to plan in advance is not going to only help your crop but hopefully your back pocket.  Some of the questions you should be asking may include.

What crop do you wish to plant?

  • Input costs and finance budgeting
  • Crop rotations
  • Grain prices and contracts
  • Seed availability
  • Potential grazing opportunities

How much moisture and what depth of attainable moisture do I have?

  • Probe the soil for moisture
  • How much top soil?
  • Sodium and Chloride Levels that affect root depth and moisture availability
  • How dry was it before you got 5 inches of rain?

What is a reasonable yield goal?

  • Yearly averages for your farm and your paddocks (not the district)
  • Required grain protein levels.
  • What is your moisture profile
  • What market are you aiming for – feed, APH, malt etc

How much Nitrogen do I currently have in the soil?

  • Residual Nitrogen from previous crops
  • Stubble decomposition
  • Mineralisation
  • Soil testing
  • Tissue Testing
  • Is N going to be the nutrient that most limits the potential yield

How are you going to apply the Nitrogen you require?

  • do you have time enough to pre plant apply
  • what are the options for in crop application
  • Disc, conventional or boom
  • Urea, Gas or liquid
  • Can you travel on the ground
  • Are weeds a problem
  • Seed safety concerns – How much N can I apply in the furrow with the seed.

No doubt there are a million more questions that can be asked I just hope we can help you answer them. For more information call our Agronomist Paul Cleary on 0429 050016.








Open the planting window

Lancer is an early planting, longer season spring wheat with slow and steady maturity and APH grain quality. Lancer allows growers to open the planting window earlier, before the main season wheat plant.

With Lancer fronting the wheat sowing program, other main season wheats can be sown at optimal time, so there is scope to lift whole farm wheat yields.

Key features of Lancer wheat

  • A slow maturing spring wheat to capitalise on earlier planting opportunities
  • Leading yield competitiveness when sown early
  • APH classification in Northern and South Eastern Zones (all NSW and QLD)
  • Solid grain package with good protein delivery, good size grain and low screenings
  • Solid Stripe rust resistance (MR) based in APR, good resistance to Stem (R) and Leaf Rust (R-MR)
  • Performs well under Crown Rot pressure and good tolerance of RLN.

Plant Backs

At this time of the year the questions being asked often relate to plant backs, & pre sowing herbicide issues

It’s easy to get caught up in the testimonial type “ Fred used 3 L of atrazine last year & got away following straight on with barley so I should be right ” . Beware

Most Residual herbicides we use – (applied to a previous crop or fallow) are broken down by Microbial activity. Soil moisture and warmth are needed for microbes to build up and do the job. Long dry spells such as we have experienced over summer, create conditions that lead to low levels of microbial activity so breakdown is slow & residual herbicides remain active in the soil over longer periods.

The fact we have had considerable rain over the last few weeks will help but keep in mind the short time in which conditions have suited the breakdown process. This is just the type of situation where people get caught out. We don’t have a simple test calibrated for Atrazine that gives a definitive answer so if you wish to plant ground that had atrazine applied you will need to rely on indicator weeds and that will only be an indication so there will still be risk.

Plant back intervals required for different crops & herbicides need to be considered. So read the labels and talk to your agronomist. Don’t assume a short plant back for wheat also applies for barley or triticale. For example Ally can have a 10 day plant back to wheat & a six week plant back to barley or triticale. Designated Pioneer brand Clearfield canola varieties have been added to the recropping section of the Ally herbicide label with reduced intervals of 10 days for planting.

Some Plant back periods can be surprisingly short.
Amicide Advance 700 up to 500 ML 500- 980 ML 980ML- 1500ML

Barley 1 day 1 day 3 days

Oats 3 days 3 days 7 days

Wheat 1 day 3 days 7 days
Starane Advanced 450ML

Barley, Oats, Wheat 7 days
We have supplied a huge amount of oats seed and the wheat & barley planting will be quite large as well. This will put pressure on those herbicides commonly used for winter weed control, so planning ahead would be a wise move. For more information contact Agronomist Max Thomas on 0417 603025.
A Change in the Season

Early oats sowing

Recent rainfall events around the Gunnedah and Darling Downs area have triggered early sowing of oats in the district, hence all growers have been lacking feed throughout the Summer & Autumn months. It is important to keep a close eye on these early planted oats as summer weeds are still germinating in our current warm climate.
Majority of these young crops are only two -> three leaf stage when competing with a high density of summer weeds. So it is important to consult with your local agronomist which chemicals to use when dealing with such a young crop. If chemical application is needed during this early stage of the oats life it would pay to use the maximum rate of Glean to help control Rye Grass.
There also has been activity of mites starting to creep into the oats, this is cause by the harvesting of all summer crops (cotton and corn), and hence oats are the only lush crop attracting the mites into the crop. Growers have the option of adding an insecticide like Dimethoate or Alpha-cypermethrin in the herbicide application, at an added cost of $5/Ha.

There has been a lot of interest in sowing canola for the coming winter season. All the IT varieties are running very low, this is due to the late frosts in 2013 which caused a 40% loss in seed production. As for TT varieties, they are in good supply at this point, so it is important to get your seed organized sooner than later.
All growers should look back through there fallow sprays and consult with their agronomist to determine which varieties would be better suited to their environment. The use of sulfonylureas & Atrazine on summer fallows can lock a paddock out of certain varieties, especially since we have had such a dry summer. The breakdown of residual chemicals may be taking longer than stated on the labels due to lack of moisture.

Food For Thought
Throughout the autumn we have seen massive pressure on canola, oats and barley seed. The next to go will be wheat seed. Quantities in both bread wheat & durum seed at this stage are fine, but suppliers are seeing an increase in demand in the last week.
If you have any enquires regarding winter cropping please ring our agronomists in Gunnedah Dean Whitton, 0437 445283 or on the Darling Downs Paul Cleary 0429 050016 & Max Thomas 0417 603025.


Pupae Busting

As cotton picking has commenced (and we have now received good rain on the Downs) now might be a timely reminder of our Pupae Busting commitments.

Requirements for Bollgard II and Refuges:

All Bollgard II crops in NSW and Southern Qld must be cultivated (full soil disturbance across the entire field to a depth of 10cm) after harvest in order to stop regrowth and destroy Helicoverpa spp. pupae in the soil.  All reasonable effort must be made to complete pupae busting within 4 weeks of All pupae busting must be finished by July, 31.

If planting winter crop into ground following Bollgard II, pupae busting must be thorough and be completed and inspected by your TSP prior to planting.

Failed Bollgard II crops (declared to and verified by Monsanto, by February, 28) must be slashed and mulched, and cultivated within 2 weeks.  They do not require pupae busting.

It is preferable to leave unsprayed cotton and pigeon pea crops until spring.  This allows the emergence of moths that have not been selected by the Bt proteins, to mate with any resistant moths surviving the Bollgard II, helping to dilute resistance.

Different Implements vs efficiency (Indication only)
Good Inadequate alone Unacceptable
Chisel, disc or blade plough Centre busting Stalk pulling when wet.
Stalk pulling + go-devils or                   lilistons + alabamas. Stalk pull dry, rake and burn. Phoenix harrows. Drag harrows.
Cultivation with wide sweeps Go-devils Direct drill planters
Planters with cultivating tynes Stubble mulchers. Cultivation along the plant line only.


Why is pupae busting so important?

As we move through autumn,Helicoverpa spp. larvae pupate under cotton crops and enter diapause. They will remain dormant there through the winter months, in burrows up to 10cm into the soil.  These pupae will have been selected with the proteins in the Bollgard II and therefore could carry resistant genes into the next season.

Pupae busting reduces the population by directly killing some pupae and by destroying their exit tunnels.  This therefore reduces the carry-over of resistance.

Combining this with the dilution of resistant Helicoverpa spp. that breed with susceptible moths (from left refuges) makes for the most effective method of preventing resistance.