Monday, April 22, 2019

Look beyond headline yields, says crop variety expert

February 6, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

A more flexible system to trial new crop varieties is required by farmers and agronomists who must looks beyond headline yields, says the expert who oversees the Recommended Lists.

It follows a Look Ahead project examining how people use the cereals and oilseed rape lists to identify how variety trials can be improved. The project considered more than 600 survey responses – and feedback from stakeholders at events throughout 2018. 

“One thing is clear: the industry is passionate about our world-class, independent variety trialling system and people want to see it go from strength to strength,” said Jenna Watts, who oversees the production of the lists at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

“There are many looming issues, including changes to weather extremes, disease management and government support, meaning this is the right time to look at how the RL is produced.”

Vital information

As anticipated, mainly growers (52%) and agronomists (19%) responded to the survey. The survey found that the RL booklet is used by 87% of growers. The vast majority (90%) of growers and agronomists rated the lists as an important source of information.

Although treated yields and gross output were considered to be very important by growers and agronomists, many other features were considered slightly more crucial, with disease resistance topping the list, said Ms Watts.

“As chemistry is lost and efficacy is eroded by resistance, farmers put a greater value on varietal resistance to disease. In fact, the whole variety package, including regional performance and potential market premiums, is being looked at more closely.

“Headline treated yield remains important, just not as much as it used to be – today, optimum and cost-effective yields, not maximum yields, are king.”

Working groups

Four working groups have now been established to provide advice on the direction of the Recommended Lists. They will look at how the lists strike a balance between quality, yield, agronomics, disease and economic performance.

With 60% of survey respondents expressing a strong interest in regional performance data, a separate group will look at how trials are distributed and analysed to provide the most robust local information.

A wide range of traits were suggested for measurement within the RL. A third working group will look to develop a flexible system able to prioritise and fast-track the traits most likely to bring the biggest rewards.

A final group will examinine the potential to use digital tools, such as Harvest Results Interactive, and enhanced regional event activity will be explored by this final group. Each working group will develop a costed action plan for consideration by this summer.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

 
barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online