Case Studies

What to sow - vital advice for growers

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) delivers relevant, timely and independent advice on all major broadacre crops grown in South Australia, and also provides growers with disease and pest solutions.

The challenge

South Australia’s $4.5 billion cropping industry continues to lift productivity in the face of:

  • climate variability
  • pest and disease risks
  • rising costs
  • soil constraints
  • other challenges.

Selecting the best crop varieties, based on robust research and reliable agronomic advice and field trials, is vital for success against these odds.

Getting the right advice plays a large role in maximising yield and tackling disease or pest damage both before and during harvest.

The solution

SARDI conducts crop evaluation under the national New Variety Trials program funded by industry and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Our scientists work with seed companies and breeding programs to assess the performance of old and new varieties under a range of conditions across South Australia.

Online access to the latest new variety trials results, including long-term performance trends, is part of the accessible and rapid transfer of this information to thousands of grain producers across the southern cropping regions of Australia.

The SARDI New Variety Agronomy team conducts more than 180 field trials at up to 90 sites across South Australia, the Victorian Mallee and southwest NSW.  Outcomes from the cereal, canola and pulse trials from more than 13,000 individual plots can be viewed online at the NVT website.

Our researchers conduct trials on private properties of more than 70 farmers as well as at the network of PIRSA regional research centres across South Australia.

The outcome

SARDI’s Sowing Guide (PDF 3.9 MB) is sent directly to growers and is an easy-to-understand summary of the most important criteria for selecting varieties for that year’s crop, including herbicide tolerance and Plant Breeder’s Rights, for on-farm decision making.

From wheat, barley and oats, to canola, chickpeas, vetch and lentils, the harvest report and sowing guide and online harvest data have been a trusted source of information for growers for decades.

As well as this advice, SARDI experts also give trusted advice on cereal, pulse and oilseed disease and pest management, often delivered in person at field days, farm walks and even over the farm fence.

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