Big opportunities for Tasmanian cropping
Tasmania's temperate climate has researchers hoping to see commercial wheat crops of up to 14 tonnes a hectare by 2020.
The project, named Hyper Yielding Cereals is investigating the prospect of Tasmanian croppers producing crops, in particular wheat and barley, with markedly higher average yields than those targeted on the mainland.
A field day will be held on November 17 at Hagley in northern Tasmania to discuss the progress of the project, now in its second year.
One of the aims of Hyper Yielding Cereals is to push average red wheat yields in Tasmania up from 4.4 tonnes a hectare to 7t/ha.
GRDC southern regional panel chair and Tasmanian local, Keith Pengilley, Conara, said there was huge potential for the cropping sector in Tasmania.
“The GRDC recognised some time ago that a huge opportunity exists for Tasmania to be producing much greater volumes of feed grain cereal crops with higher levels of quality to meet the needs of the state’s burgeoning dairy sector,” Mr Pengilley said.
He said in time Tasmania may become self sufficient in terms of grain production.
“Despite a more favourable climate for grain production, compared with the mainland, and greater yield potential, Tasmania remains a net importer of cereal grains.”
“We want to see Tasmania become more self-sufficient in its capacity to supply feed to the state’s dairy industry.”
FAR Australia’s managing director Nick Poole said with its climate, Tasmania could produce yields in line with temperate areas of Europe such as the United Kingdom.
He said paddocks yielding up to a whopping 14t/ha could be achieved by 2020 with the right investments in research and development.