Walks bust frost myth

October 18, 2017

Myths were busted about stubble retention and frosts at last week's paddock walks.

FAR Australia's Michael Straight, Cassie Schefe from Riverine Plains and farmers Doug Carmichael from Bundalong (east of Yarrawonga) and Peter White from Yarrawonga discuss stubble retention at the Yarrawonga paddock walk.

The Riverine Plains’ most recent paddock walks, which included walks at Yarrawonga and Dookie, busted some myths around stubble retention and its impacts on how often frosts occur.

Riverine Plains research and extension officer Cassie Schefe said there were two key take-home messages from the walks.

‘‘In stubble retained systems, apart from burning, growth and development of plants were different,’’ Dr Schefe said.

‘‘A key message this year, that is pretty important, is in our wheat sites at Coreen and Yarrawonga.

‘‘They had over 500 hours of temperatures below 0°C this cropping season and we’ve found that there is no difference between stubble retention and burning in terms of how cold it got.

‘‘If there was a difference, we would have seen it this year.

‘‘We found there was more frost on plants where stubble had been burnt in Coreen rather than where stubble was retained because the stubble protected these.’’

Dr Schefe said as the year had gone on there was a slight change to the way plants grew in stubble and the season was looking good.

‘‘It’s shaping up well in this region. The rain we had last night (October 11) will finish them (crops) off nicely,’’ she said.

‘‘Yields are on track for an average year.’’

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