IN preparation for its spring field day in September, the Liebe Group has given members an insight into its trials.
Covering a wide variety of topics from nutrition, seed retention, soil compaction and herbicide resistance, a field walk last week attracted more than 30 growers and industry representatives.
Liebe Group research agronomist and co-ordinator Jenni Clausen said it was a good opportunity to see what was going to be showcased at the spring field walk in September.
"The post seeding field walk is designed to give our members and industry an idea of what is coming up at our spring field day," she said.
Innovative farming practices were a highlight with six of the 17 trials at the site focusing on new and emerging farming practices.
A Gilmac Hay trial is determining the relationship between row spacing and seeding rates on yield and quality in oats in low to medium rainfall environments. While current grower practice is to sow at high seeding rates of 100 kilograms per hectare on row spacings of 8-10 inches, the trial is looking at sowing rates of 80kg/ha, 100kg/ha and 120kg/ha in Yallara and Carrolup as well as a new variety to be released later this year.
A Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) deep ripping trial also attracted attention of growers.
The trial, run by DAFWA development officer Wayne Parker, is comparing deep ripping at 50cm and 100cm spacings with and without inclusion plates. DAFWA has designed a double-row ripper with leading tines and deeper following tines to allow for a greater depth of penetration.
The addition of inclusion plates is a new component which incorporate the topsoil and soil ameliorants such as lime to depth.
The effect of knifepoint bars and seeding speeds are also being put to the test, as AFGRI trial John Deere 1870, Equaliser 12000V, Bourgault 3320 and Horsch Sprinter 12NT seeder bars at 7km/h, 8km/h and 9km/h.
Observations on early plant establishment 22 days after sowing are showing that tine depths and press wheels affected establishment, with John Deere 1870 and Horsch Sprinter 12NT showing increased vigour over the two other bars.
Herbicide resistance and pre-emergent weed control continue to play a key role in Liebe Group trials, with Imtrade, 4Farmers, Nufarm and Adama all holding trials at the site.
Adama market development manager Bevan Addison outlined the advantage of spraying fencelines prior to seeding as a way of reducing herbicide resistance and insect and disease movement.
Weeds along fencelines acted as "highways" for insect movement through the property and sanctuaries for insects and diseases, which also promoted resistance build-up in these pests.
"Fencelines are a major source of resistance development - with 30pc of resistance being identified as coming from firebreaks," Mr Addison said.
"However, we need to avoid continual reliance on commonly used herbicides such as glyphosate, atrazine and diuron on fencelines which are also used in paddock."
Adama is running a fenceline trial over two seasons with atrazine, chlorsulfuron, glyphosate, diuron and Uragan (bromacil).
So far, a treatment of 5kg/ha of Uragan and 2.5L/ha of glyphosate plus wetter was providing the best control, however slender iceplant was flourishing due to lack of competition.
Liebe Group will hold its 2016 spring field day on September 8.