Yield responses to sowing date in southern NSW: one cultivar doesn’t fit all

Felicity Harris1*, Rick Graham2, Peter Matthews3, David Burch4, Eric Koetz1, Ian Menz1, Colin McMaster3, Michael Mumford5 ,
1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650,
2 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth Agricultural Institute, 4 Marsden Park Road, Calala, NSW 2340,
3 NSW Department of Primary Industries, 161 Kite St, Orange NSW 2800,
4 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Condobolin Agricultural Research & Advisory Station, Fifield Road, Condobolin, NSW 2877,
5 Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Agri-Science Queensland, Leslie Research Facility, 13 Holberton Street, Toowomba QLD 4350

*Presenting author: felicity.harris@dpi.nsw.gov.au 


In southern NSW, wheat is traditionally sown in a window from early–late autumn (April–May), to ensure flowering occurs at an optimal time in spring. This project evaluated genotype (G) × environment (E) × management (M) interactions using a range of commercial cultivars and breeding lines that differed in phenology patterns from slow winter types through to fast spring types, where management relates to time of sowing. Field experiments were sown from early April–June at three locations in southern NSW from 2014–2018, where annual rainfall ranged from 224 to 808 mm. Significant interactions between G × E × M, with genotypic responses to sowing time varying across growing environments, and within seasons; largely attributed to seasonal water supply and demand and temperature extremes were determined. Four environment groups were identified, defined by site x sowing time, whereby genotype rankings differed; indicating cultivars are not broadly adapted to environment and management. This affirms that cultivar suitability varies with environment and grain yield can be optimised through management of sowing time by growers.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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