Things to think about this spring: Winter crop
Every year, winter grain growers are presented with several scenarios for the spring season.
It is paramount that every scenario, and the impact that it carries, is carefully considered. We spoke to Elders Agronomist Adam Hancock about the steps that growers should be taking to ensure a productive upcoming season, and the products and services at their disposal to help them protect and grow their business heading into the spring and summer months.
Understanding disease susceptibility
As temperatures and humidity increase, crop canopy diseases become more prevalent. According to Adam, having an intimate knowledge of your crop’s disease susceptibility is essential.
“When it comes to identifying the risk-profile of your crop, it is important to understand the environmental ‘trigger points’ of these diseases. This will pay dividends when it comes to fungicide investment on product choice, rate and timing,” says Adam.
“There has also been a host of industry research on which fungicide actives are most effective against crop diseases. With access to this research and range of historical data, Elders agronomists can provide expert advice to tailor a growing plan specifically to the needs of your crop.”
Elders also stocks leading agricultural chemical products for controlling weeds, pests and plant disease, as well as products to enhance yields and improve quality. Check out our Spring Catalogue for the latest deals this season.
It is rare not to have issues in pulse crops, especially during the later growth stages, but Adam says farmers can mitigate losses by prioritising transparency. Having the proper systems and processes in place can be the difference between identifying and rectifying issues early, and failing to identify issues at all and suffering widespread loss.
“In the coming weeks, we will commence monitoring for moth flights. Our SARDI entomologists help with timing pod protection insecticide so that you catch grubs before any damage is done, but apply late enough so that its less likely to have to be sprayed twice. This allows you to achieve a more profitable crop and prolongs insecticide resistance,” Adam says.
During this quieter period, and before the busy spring agenda, it is a good time to take observations of your crops to see what has been most effective and least effective this season. This might involve checking for weed control, product crop effect, soil disease patches and nutritional deficiency. For rye grass and milk thistle, if you have the opportunity to resistance test before harvest, do so – it is more accurate and timely.
“It is also important to note that crop topping windows open and close very quickly, so making the decision to top early will be beneficial. An Elders agronomist can assist you with this kind of decision making, providing expert advice on which chemicals to apply for best results, based on the latest crop trial results.”
Elders also works closely with market-leading suppliers who invest in cutting-edge Research & Development (R&D) to provide the latest technology to the market. Our agronomists are ready to offer technical, research-based advice to ensure growers utilise the latest technology, products and services to improve yield quality and quantity.
Locking in labour
With COVID-19 travel restrictions having an impact right across the supply chain, one of the most critical aspects of farm operation is the availability of labour coming up to harvest. Plan early to identify any potential risks with resourcing gaps and work to adapt rostering and workloads accordingly.
The Elders business has been built around primary producers and their needs throughout the production cycle. We have built a team of dedicated agribusiness experts to help you explore your options, protect your assets and grow your operations to maximise your farm’s potential.