Wagga set to host GRDC update

IN THE FIELD: Department of Primary Industries crop physiologist Rajneet Uppal will talk at the GRDC update in Wagga. Picture: Nikki Reynolds
IN THE FIELD: Department of Primary Industries crop physiologist Rajneet Uppal will talk at the GRDC update in Wagga. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

MEASURING heat stress in canola is just one component of research being conducted in the Riverina.

INVESTIGATION: Canola in flower at the Wagga NSW DPI site last season.

INVESTIGATION: Canola in flower at the Wagga NSW DPI site last season.

NSW Department of Primary Industries crop physiologist Rajneet Uppal is running field experiments in Wagga.

The experiments allow measurements to be taken directly from the field by using portable heat chambers.

“The heat chambers simulate heat stress in the field environment,” Dr Uppal said. 

“We know that (high) spring temperatures in the region can slash the yield potential of canola.”

The portable heat chambers allow for temperatures of 35 degrees to be applied in the field. And research indicates that mid-flowering to mid-podding is the most crucial time.

Dr Uppal is one of the speakers at the Grains Research and Development (GRDC) update in Wagga next week.

The event on February 19 and 20 will have a big focus on canola, in the lead up to winter sowing in this region, and is being held at Charles Sturt University. 

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The canola work instigated by Dr Uppal has found that yield components and quality were reduced when heat stress was applied from 22 to 60 days after first flowering.

However, with irrigation of 175mm there was a 61 per cent increase in yield and a 37 per cent increase in biomass. 

The GRDC update in Wagga next week will provide an ideal platform to discuss winter cropping options for the coming year. 

There will be a big focus on canola in this region and the influences that affect yield and quality.

The work conducted by Dr Uppal will be presented during the canola forum at the update. The forum features more than five years of research work and will discuss new varieites, optimum management lessons from low rainfall years and of course heat tolerance. There will also be a focus on frost in canola and root growth versus slow maturing spring canola. Dr Uppal will be joined by Rohan Brill, NSW DPI and Wayne Pitt of CSU.