Long Coleoptile Project
Improving sowing opportunities for increased farm resilience in a changing climate.
- Changing climate patterns predict less in-season rain, more frequent summer rainfall events, and a less predictable season break for many areas of the Australian Wheatbelt.
- Deep sowing adapted cultivars into stored summer moisture may create the opportunity to sow earlier and potentially offer yield benefits.
Managing limited and unpredictable water resources during the summer fallow and early sowing season, together with options for better crop establishment early in the growing season, are key factors in the drought resilience of our cropping systems. Across the Australian wheatbelt, the break of the season is becoming less predictable and rains during the autumn sowing season can be small and intermittent, or the season ‘break’ can be followed by weeks of dry weather.
In conjunction with lower growing season rainfall, many areas of the Australian wheatbelt have shown an increase in summer rainfall events and this is projected to continue even as growing season rainfall decreases. Deep sowing of adapted cultivars could ensure early sowing opportunities or timely sowing in seasons with a late break where a dry surface soil would otherwise limit or delay sowing.
The Future Drought Fund and CSIRO are working with Facey Group and 5 other grower groups to compare the establishment, yield, and grain quality of a range of long coleoptile wheats, legumes, and oats at two different seeding depths. The varieties include top-performing wheats for the area as well as selected long coleoptile breeds.
The project was sown on the 27th of April at 4 cm and 12 cm depths, and we will be closely monitoring the varieties during establishment and across the season to compare them. This site will be included in our field walks so keep an eye on the Facey Group Facebook and Twitter for when they will occur.
Project Start Date: 2nd May 2022
Project End Date: 30th June 2024
This program/project is supported by CSIRO, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
Project Lead: Dr Sarah Rich, CSIRO
Host Farmers: Troy and Carly Smith
Above Left: Soil Sampling & marking the site.
Above Right: Weather station.
Photo Left: Deep sowing adapted cultivars such as long coleoptile wheat at 12cm down to utilise stored summer moisture.