A survey of winter crop establishment in the southern and western regions

Glenn McDonald1, Sarah Noak2, Claire Browne3, David Minke4, Jon Midwood5, Stefan Schmitt6, Genevieve Clark3, Emma Pierce3, Ashley Amgouris5, Olena Kravcuc1, Enqi Wu1

1 School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, University of Adelaide, PMB 1 Glen Osmond SA, 5064, Email: glenn.mcdonald@adelaide.edu.au, 
2 Hart Field Site Group, 155 Main North Rd, Clare, SA, 5453,
3 Birchip Cropping Group, 73 Cumming Ave, Birchip, Victoria, 3483,
4. WANTFA, Perth WA Leeuwin Centre, 65 Brockway Rd, Floreat, WA, 6014,
5 Southern Farming Systems, 23 High St Inverleigh, Victoria, 3321,
6 Ag Consulting Co, 120 Long Road, Auburn SA, 5451


Establishment is a critical phase of crop growth. Poor establishment compromises early crop vigour and represents an economic loss from wasted seed. Currently little is known about the levels of crop establishment achieved by growers in commercial crops. One hundred and forty three paddocks were surveyed across the southern and western GRDC regions. A questionnaire was distributed to cooperating growers. Average establishment was 59% in canola, 82% in lentil and 64% in wheat. Separating seed and fertiliser delivery improved establishment in canola and lentil and using paired rows improved establishment in lentil. Other practices that affected crop establishment included time of sowing, depth of sowing, stubble cover and calibration method. The influences of these practices on establishment are described.


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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