2024 Winter crop variety sowing guide available now

5 Apr 2024

The latest edition of the NSW Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide is available online and in hard copy to help grain growers and their advisers make the best cropping decisions to achieve more productive and profitable winter crops in 2024.

Peter Matthews, NSW DPI’s Technical Specialist Grain Services, said the annual guide provides growers with new variety and technical information based on the latest research and development results from departmental and industry programs.

“This year, 10 new spring wheat varieties are available, as well as two longer season wheats suited to NSW higher rainfall production zones, and a specialist hay wheat suitable for northern NSW.

“There are also new varieties of barley, canola, field pea and lentil available,” Mr Matthews said.

"When considering a new variety, compare the yield, grain quality and disease resistance of the new variety with currently grown varieties.

“In regard to disease, stripe rust continues to be a major concern for wheat growers, with many commonly grown varieties susceptible to the main stripe rust pathotypes in NSW.

“Growers and agronomists are urged to check current resistance ratings, develop a stripe rust management plan, and actively monitor crops throughout the season for signs of any rust species.

“Conditions were ideal for wide-spread septoria tritici blotch (STB) infection during the early part of 2023 in southern and central NSW, however the drier 2023 spring conditions across large parts of NSW were not favourable for STB build up, limiting crop infection.

“The disease is carried over on wheat stubble for a minimum of two years, so avoid sowing wheat-on-wheat, choose varieties with good STB resistance, consider stubble management practices, fungicide seed dressings, and foliar fungicides to protect this year’s crop.

“Fusarium crown rot (FCR) was widely detected across NSW in 2023 wheat crops, with the dry spring conditions increasing yield losses to the disease, so growers are urged to test paddocks for FCR inoculum levels before sowing.

Mr Matthews emphasised that profitable yields result not only from informed variety selection, but also from good management.

“To reach their full potential, varieties must be grown in a rotation that minimises the risks from diseases and weeds and maximises soil fertility and soil moisture storage.

“Therefore, sow at least two different varieties each year to spread the risk of frost and disease damage.

“With the continuing patchy rainfall across NSW, growers should be prepared to sow when the opportunity came. Sowing towards the earliest part of the recommended planting window, usually results in higher yields,” said Mr Matthews.

The Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide includes data from the National Variety Trials, the Grains and Research Development Corporation’s program which undertakes comparative crop variety testing with standardised trial management, providing varietal information and comparisons on a regional scale.

The NSW Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide is available on the NSW DPI website at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/broadacre-crops/guides/publications/nsw-winter-crop-variety-sowing-guide and hard copies are available at local agribusiness stores, Local Land Services and NSW DPI offices.

Media contact: 02 6391 3686