Barley lodging problems

19 Sep, 2016 09:40 AM
There are significant amounts of lodged barley in the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria.
There are significant amounts of lodged barley in the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria.

LAST WEEK’S heavy rain across south-eastern Australia has wreaked havoc with the barley crop, with officials concerned about widespread lodging issues.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) southern panel was touring through the Mallee and Wimmera regions of Victoria last week, with members saying crops had noticeably been smashed over.

The effected crops seem mainly to be of the taller varieties, with Compass in particular nominated as a problem.

The lodging impacts are much earlier in the season than usual.

“We often see it a little later in the season when there is more weight in the head, but the rain has been heavy enough to do it now,” said panel member John Bennett.

The impacted areas of the crop are now tangled and flattened.

The good news is that in general stems have not been snapped so is some hope they may straighten a little prior to harvest, however farmers are preparing for a difficult time on the header.

“Farmers will try and use crop lifters to get it to sit up a little but some crops are very flat,” Mr Bennett said.

Fellow southern panel member Jon Midwood said his experience in both Victoria’s Western District, where he is based, and from the United Kingdom, where he was originally from, show there will be yield penalties.

Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

is the national grains writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media


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