New lodging treatment adds yield to cereal crops
For farmer Winston Broun, the 2015 cropping season was one of his best ever.
His property, east of Carnamah and near Coorow in Western Australia, enjoyed good summer rains that held moisture throughout the year, and as a result had a bumper year for wheat, canola and barley.
Mr Broun said he likes Scope barley in the rotation as it provides versatility with its malt characteristics, meaning it can either make malt or feed, and it is also IMI tolerant.
“However, it can still get a bit weak under the head, which sometimes becomes a problem, and we were worried about this last year,” Mr Broun said.
As a control measure, he carried out a plant growth regulator trial on two barley crops of 2.3 hectares each, two kilometers apart.
The paddocks had been in a barley rotation for three years and the application of Moddus Evo (a plant growth regulator) plus Prosaro was made between GS31-GS33.
The results showed that the trial barley crop was shortened by around six inches, with an increased yield of over half a tonne.
“Our agronomist, Andy Regan, had seen it in Europe, so when he said it had become available here, we put our hand up to give it a try.
“Yield-wise, it made a clear difference. Our barley yield really improved.
“It definitely strengthened the straw. The areas where we didn’t use it were quite tangled and lodged so with the yield result we got out of it, it paid for itself,” said Mr Broun.
When applied to growing, healthy crops, Moddus Evo shortens the crop height and increases stem thickness, making it less prone to lodging. It also improves head retention with the result being less lost grain, higher yields and an easier harvest.
Following this year’s good summer rains, Mr Broun said he was going to treat his barley again with Moddus Evo following the success of the trial.
“As long as the early wetness continues and crops are not stressed, we will treat the entire barley crop, plus around a quarter of the wheat.
“Being harvested after canola, barley is often the problem crop. You can lose so much before you get to it, so it is our focus.
Landmark Coorow Agronomist, Andy Regan, said with good early rains this year, he’ll be encouraging farmers to apply Moddus Evo to strengthen the straw.
“A lot of farmers north of Perth like Scope because of its IMI resistance. It’s good at controlling brome and barley grasses, but head retention can be an issue,” he said.
"A lot of barley has gone in already, earlier than usual, so it’s going to get a bit of height about it. To shore that up for the rest of the season, I’ll definitely be encouraging Scope growers to give it a go.”