Despite the challenges of COVID 19, InterGrain has successfully sown its 2020 wheat and barley breeding and oat evaluation trial program!
Our dedicated team worked around the clock to get our 250K plots packed, transported to our sites and in the ground thanks to our operations team and efficient trial co-operators.
Company CEO, Tress Walmsley, said despite the restrictions, the team stepped up, kept calm, remained committed and got the job done.
“Seed prep. and planting of our 2020 trial program was a top priority during the height of the COVID 19 WA restrictions. Our business went to operating 24/7 to enable us to operate with fewer staff members working per shift and allowing social distancing measures to be maintained.”
This season the company has 45 sites across Australia. Early to late generation material is being assessed at these sites with many advanced lines also appearing in National Variety Trials (NVT) trials.
“An operational highlight for the business is the commencement of the business’ dedicated commercial seed production site at Wundowie, approx. 60 kilometres north-east of Perth.“
“This season we’ve also made a significant investment in a larger number of early season (late April) sown trials. Some of these were sown dry, whilst others were watered up, with the intention of ensuring our program is aligned with grower practise and industry trend towards earlier sowing. “
We’re fortunate that most of our Eastern Australian trials have had a very good start. Our trial contractors have typically experienced good planting conditions as a result of Anzac Day opening season rains.
This season will also see the company continue to incorporate drone capability into field trial assessments. As technology improves, drone imagery is becoming an increasingly integral part of trial assessment and provides the opportunity to measure biomass accumulation throughout the growing season, providing the basis for future varietal biomass predictions.
Technology cereal breeder, Jayfred Godoy said the overall biomass imagery goal is to develop both local and global calibrations to estimate biomass from different lines.
“Early season imagery is very useful in measuring plant establishment and recording any field variations which can be overlayed with seasonal and harvest data.”
“At key developmental stages during the season, drone imagery is used to record spectral indices, such as NDVI and NDRE. This is intended to provide an idea biomass, canopy temperature and the overall health status of the individual plots.”
The combination of our elite in-house breeding and operational capability, combined with the strategic use of commercial trial operator contractors, provides a highly flexible system for undertaking trial programs throughout Australia. This supports thorough germplasm and breeding line evaluation across a diverse range of environments, ensuring efficient variety and trait selections.