Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Wheat, Sowing date, Yields, Western Australia

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Early sowing of cereal crops is one of the most important management practices through which Western Australian cereal growers can increase yields.

Researchers have long known that in theory early sowing should mean improved growth and water use efficiency - which both contribuite to increased yields. Application of this knowledge has had to await new tillage and herbicide technology, but recent research in the northan and central wheatbelt has now demonstrated the advantages of early sowing in practice. And more exciting yet, there is evidence that yield responses to weed control and applied fertilizers may also be greater in early sown crops.

Nothing comes without some cost, and there are also specific risks associated with early sowing of crops. Management may have to change to allow for these risks, but the benefits may be substantial.