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#875518 - 07/08/2010 12:11 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Goody]
bigwilly Offline
Weatherzone Mod and Photog

Registered: 25/09/2002
Posts: 6543
Loc: Junee - just north of the 'Bid...
Well the situation is getting pretty grave IMO, with Putin banning all exports of grain for the remainder of this year and the expected Russion harvest to be almost half its average dropping from 100 million tons to 65 million tons.

And, by the way, who says the cold war is over?

From a SMH article:

Quote:
Moscow's tabloid press has speculated the United States orchestrated the heatwave in order to favour its own grain exporters by blasting Russia with harmful rays from a research station in Alaska.
_________________________
YTD Rainfall = 281.0mm (Avg to March 117.0mm)
MTD rainfall March = 34.7mm(Avg 41.3mm)
February 2011 total = 203.9mm (Avg 37.8mm)
2010 Rainfall: 759.3mm (Annual Avg: 521.5mm)

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#875544 - 07/08/2010 17:41 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: bigwilly]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
A small Ukrainian site, possibly official, with brief comments that are updated daily; Flagged items are not accessible unless registered and logged in.
http://www.agrimarket.info/

And the Argies are trying to get in on the act although they are only talking up to 13 million tonnes.
http://news.xin.msn.com/en/business/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4261441

The IGC [ International Grains Council ] site provides an updated PDF report around the end of each month.
http://www.igc.org.uk/en/publications/grainmarketreport.aspx [ Download summary ]

Canada; http://www.agr.gc.ca/pol/mad-dam/index_e.php?PHPSESSID=20df9951f713bfc4f7224cdf562a0fef

TOPIX agricultural news; haven't used this one much although i have bookmarked it quite some time ago.
http://www.topix.com/science/agriculture

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#877026 - 13/08/2010 22:28 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
Arnost Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 10/02/2007
Posts: 3909
I suppose that Russia did not corner the wheat futures this time? LOL
http://ca.mobile.reuters.com/m/FullArticle/p.rdt/CTOPCA/ntopNews_uCATRE67B2V120100812
_________________________
“No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise” ...

And this of course applies to scientific principles. Never compromise these. Never! [Follow the science and you will be shown correct in the end...]

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#877053 - 14/08/2010 08:26 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Arnost]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
A deep continental climate so lots of extremes in the weather that will cause lots of problems and grief as the world comes to rely more and more on grain production from out of the southern Russian and Central Asian regions.

Ukraine will be quite a reliable grain producer due to the moderating influence of the Black Sea as will the Russian Caucus, which I saw in 1991 just before the old USSR collapsed, both of which have immense potential for very high grain production, possibly exceeding that of the great Plains of the USA.
They are only producing perhaps half the potential grain production that American and Australian farmers could get from the same land but the Ukrainians and Russians are fast catching up with their crop growing technology.
The lack of good or perhaps in some cases, any grain handling and transport infra structure and poor financial structures are a couple of the main factor holding back grain production in these regions but again there is are big government programs being implemented to get their infrastructure up to international standards so as to be in place in time to take advantage of their proximity to major markets as world food supplies are placed under more stress.

Nikita Kruschev tried agriculture on a grand scale once before in central Asia with his huge Virgin Lands project way back in the 1960's / 70's with resulting immense top soil erosion and huge dust storms and the loss of billions of rubles and little or no grain.

They have moved onto better farm husbandry these days and can keep top soil in place with minimum tillage practices and etc but the extremes of a deep continental climate will always be a major obstacle to reliable and consistent tonnages from central Asia with huge potential production of grain in some years and then almost nothing in others as the major weather systems shift a couple of thousand kilometres across the steppes, a pattern typical of the south east Russian, Siberia and and the central Asian regions.

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#878689 - 24/08/2010 21:12 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
Interesting one from Bloomberg; DuPont Gains on Monsanto as Farmers Question High-Tech Seeds

Apart from farmer interest it should get a couple of the faithfull going quite vocal on this!

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#881711 - 06/09/2010 16:27 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
From a guy called Stephen Budiansky; http://budiansky.blogspot.com/2010/09/sustainable-sentiments.html

And another look at the energy requirements for food production, transport and preparation from The Rational Optimist blog

Budiansky and local food

A very interesting bit of info here
Quote:
The real energy hog, it turns out, is not industrial agriculture at all, but you and me. Home preparation and storage account for 32 percent of all energy use in our food system, the largest component by far...

Agriculture, on the other hand, accounts for just 2 percent of our nation’s energy usage; that energy is mainly devoted to running farm machinery and manufacturing fertilizer. In return for that quite modest energy investment, we have fed hundreds of millions of people, liberated tens of millions from backbreaking manual labor and spared hundreds of millions of acres for nature preserves, forests and parks that otherwise would have come under the plow.


Just 2% of all the energy used in developed nations is used to grow the food that helps to feed the 6.7 billions of humans on this planet.

And the "academic experts" all demand that farmers and farming become more "efficient."

It probably would not be a good idea to measure the "academic expert's" "output" efficiency against their energy use as we would probably find that doing a bit of eliminating of that particular class would increase our national energy efficiency by a significant amount and save a lot in taxpayer's funds as well.

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#881762 - 06/09/2010 21:03 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
Farm Weather Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 10/11/2009
Posts: 845
Loc: West Mallee SA
Gday ROM long time no post from me.
Things are looking great in mid mallee SA actually year is only slightly above average rainfall wise but crops and feed are outstanding. Apart from last half of june and a week in july its been not wet not to dry 33mm from current system.I guess im a "backward" farmer 2/3 of my farm is crop/medic pasture rotation and a 1/3 continuous crop. Guesss which part of farm need no extra N after seeding this year and still doesnt. crop pasture works fine for me withou all the risk, and the ole jumbucks theres a dollar in em still.

Only negatives are to come frost but think maybe diminished chances if current pattern is prolonged until early october, Rust can be sprayed due weather conditons. A nd locusts,one would think with all the technology today the eyes in sky, etc they should be able to pinpoint hatchings to the square kilometre almost ,once it occurs.

Cheers
_________________________
Average Rainfall 340mm

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#881772 - 06/09/2010 22:20 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Farm Weather]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
Gd'day FW.
Finally got wet here as you might have read in the Flooding thread.

Crops are looking pretty good but there is a lot of variation in crops when seen from the air as there have been quite a few stuff ups with the new fangled disc seeders which are the latest expensive fashion.
No doubt they will be right out of fashion after the first couple of wet years around here where the mud sticks like [censored] to a blanket when it gets wet and discs just turn [ ?? ] into big balls of sticky mud reinforced with lots of old stubble straw.
Sorting that sort of mess out is a job that on occassions past after a couple of hours of exhaustion pulling that sort of mixed up crap out from under a machine, has made me just sit down and cry from sheer frustration and anger.

And the neighbors are finding that inter-row sowing has provided the mice with unheard of luxuries in cover and feed at their expense.

My brother and myself in the early 1970's basically pioneered the heavy sowing of medics, ie; 8 to 10 kgs / Ha, harrowed into burnt stubble ground around the end of March and then the resulting medic pasture was plowed down in mid flowering when the nitrogen levels are highest just as the plant starts to extract N from the root system and plant material to put back into protein in the seed.
That mid flowering point is also when the water requirements of the plant start to take a big jump upwards as the transpiration rates increase as the weather warms up for the spring so we got lots of N and still kept most of the water for the following grain crop next year.

Of course we were also getting the rain back in the 1970 and 80's and those medic crops had some really good growth but the dry 90's fixed all that up and it was back to the urea for N requirements.
Plus the dramatic drop in relative grain prices to all other prices during the 1980's and early 90's.

The amount of N put in is directly related to the total dry matter production of the plant during it's life until ploughed down.
The total dry matter production includes any plant material that sheep may also eat off the plant.

It is a fine balancing act when to plough down so as to get as much dry mater production as possible for maximum N production and to retain as much soil water as possible under the following fallow for next year's crop.
This rule applies to all legumes including peas, beans, lentils, vetch and etc.

[ I saw a lot of hayed off crops in the 1950's and 60's where the medic pastures ploughed in very late, had used all the sub soil water, dried out the subsoil but had huge amounts of N under them which gave terrific growth for the following cereal crop which then just hayed off as soon as it got hot in spring and needed lots of water and the resulting yields were quite mediocre and often had pinched grain in the sample.]

So a very poor medic crop or a diseased or badly weed infested medic pasture puts stuff all back in but a good crop puts a hell of a lot of N back into the ground.
A good medic crop will provide enough N to grow about 8 tonnes / Ha [ 40 bags / acre ] before there is a big step down in yields and then yields slowly taper off over some years.
Walpeup found higher N levels under plots that had Medic on them some 20 years previously compared to plots that had never had medics on them so the very beneficial results from even one medic crop certainly hang around for a long time.

While using the medics in this plough down fashion for organic matter and N we were averaging around the 4.1 tonnes/ Ha [ 22 bags / acre ] for a number of those late 1970's early to mid 1980's years.[ 400mm/ 16" annual rainfall, Wimmera cracking clay soils ]

Bean N is released very quickly in a big pulse.
Pea N is also released quite quickly.
Lentils just don't have the bulk to provide high N inputs.
The other factor is that if a pulse crop is allowed to mature and set seed for harvest, ie; peas, beans, lentils and etc, a very large proportion of the N that is fixed by the plant during the growing period is drawn back from the plant material and converted into protein in the seed so the soil N is a lot lower than if the crop is ploughed down during that early to mid flowering period.


Rolf [ son ] would have liked to have gone back to that medic plough down system or using another legume or pasture legume but the dry years and the droughts have destroyed all that plus all the enthusiasm and the dreams that he had for his and his wife's future that he told me about.
To the extent that he has just sold most of the property, [ with my blessing ] is getting a massive debt completely off his and my very smart DIL's back and intends to buy a nice big house in town and go looking for a job and still have nearly a 1000 acres to call his own and to lease out.
He has had a couple of job offers already before he even sold and he didn't even know the guys who rang up and offered him a job if he was looking for one when and after he sold.
So Rolf's Old Man will no longer be able to drift out there and have a bit of a wander across the crops and feel content and do some calculations on how much money will be made [ and never is ]

Farmers will understand just what I mean!

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#882554 - 11/09/2010 10:46 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
The price outlook for this year's Australian grain harvest is starting to get real interesting.
Russian stocks may be lower than they are currently admitting;
From AgTalk;
No identifiable source given here but it sounds like a Russian source for this comment here

And from the Ukranian site; AgriMarket
Quote:
Kazakhstan to supply 1.5 mln tonnes of grains to Russia
During the current season Kazakhstan is able to supply nearly 1.5 mln tonnes of milling grains to the Russian Federation, announced Romin Madinov, the Chairman of the Agrarian Committee of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, on September 6.
R.Madinov also stated that Russia and Kazakhstan should have the common grain terminal in the Far East region. Russia certainly needs the common project of grain terminal building in the Far East region with capacity level of 200-3300 thsd tonnes, noted he.
According to him, in order to realize the project it is necessary to solve the issue about grain supplying tariffs to the Far East direction.

Possibly just logistics to supply the Russian Far East but maybe just simply not enough Russian grain to go around.

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#883327 - 14/09/2010 21:38 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
From the Ukrainian Agrimarket site; Sept 13th.

Quote:
Grain production in Russia in 2010 – experts estimation
According to August forecast of WJ ProZerno, grain production in Russia in 2010 will total 65.1 mln tonnes, down 32.9% compared to grain production in 2009.
WJ ProZerno decreased barley production forecast in the country to the level of 8.9 mln tonnes (as opposed to 17.88 mln tonnes in 2009). Wheat production estimation totals 43 mln tonnes.
According to the renewed balances of APK-Inform Agency, in the current year grain production in Russia will total 69.1 mln tonnes (97.1 mln tonnes in 2009). The experts expect for wheat production decrease to the level of 44.8 mln tonnes (61.7 mln ha in 2009), and also barley production decrease to the record low level of 10 mln tonnes.


The drop of about 32 million tonnes in the Russian [ all grains ] harvest this year compared to 2009 is not far behind the total Australian all grain's harvest of close to or around 40 million tonnes in a reasonable year.

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#883597 - 16/09/2010 17:56 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
bigwilly Offline
Weatherzone Mod and Photog

Registered: 25/09/2002
Posts: 6543
Loc: Junee - just north of the 'Bid...
Interesting editorial on the SMH today:

The Great Rush for the Last Arable Land

Quote:
The limits to growth are being tested and the political tensions are rising, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.


Interesting to see the number of countries that are making concerted efforts to limit or eliminate foreign entities from owning/controlling arable land and water resources.

As is mentioned in the article, even Australia has made noises about an audit to determine just how much land is locked up by off-shore controllers.
_________________________
YTD Rainfall = 281.0mm (Avg to March 117.0mm)
MTD rainfall March = 34.7mm(Avg 41.3mm)
February 2011 total = 203.9mm (Avg 37.8mm)
2010 Rainfall: 759.3mm (Annual Avg: 521.5mm)

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#883691 - 17/09/2010 10:45 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: bigwilly]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
I think I have mentioned this before in this forum.
From a personally known source that is well connected through farm research organisations and has some very good and very highly placed state political contacts from where this info came from.
A year or so ago a feeler was put out to the Vic state government from an international entity, who was not specified, to buy the whole of the Wimmera in western Victoria if it was for sale.
Now that's some area and some mighty dollar sums involved.

The probable reason for this approach is the increasing nervousness of a lot of food importing counties to ensure their own food security into the future.
There are reputedly over a million Chinese working Chinese owned land in Africa.
The locals are excluded from these farms in a lot of cases and the chinese are not doing themselves any favours as they are increasingly being seen as the new Imperialists.

If global cooling is underway, due to continued low solar activity and some evidence of coming cooling seems to be already evident in the short term data but has yet to be confirmed, then the most northern regions of the current food production areas in the NH may become non viable.
Canada at the moment has the potential for a very serious shortfall in it's grain production this season due to extreme rainfall which prevented a lot of crop being sown and very cold temperatures over summer delaying crop maturity across the Prairies with snow already reported as falling in some localities, some weeks ahead of the last 3 decades accepted normal times.
If this early winter pattern continues a good deal more than normal of the Canadian prairie crop will finish up under snow before being harvested and will have to wait until the thaw next northern spring to be harvested.

Russia of course was earlier in the news about their heat wave around and to the south of Moscow and across their main grain growing areas which has reduced their harvest by a third this year and forced the political decision to stop all Russian grain exports, all due to the stationary position of the polar jet streams which created the sustained pool of very hot air around Moscow and also due to their tracks, brought very cold air down across Canada and northern states of the USA.
Siberia a couple of thousand kilometres to the east of Moscow had well below normal temperatures for a very extended period again due to the positioning of the polar jets but as is now to be expected, this was not at all reported on by a very biased, global warming advocating MSM.

All of the consequences of the changes taking place in the global food supplies seems to have almost completely passed our MSM by.
Plenty of food in the supermarkets where food comes from so what's all the fuss about.

There is no doubt that the quite shockingly poor and biased standards of reporting by the MSM are being exposed in a huge way by the internet and the ability of the ordinary citizen to find a large number of alternative news sources for information.
From the current attitudes, it seems that the MSM are so entrenched in their own hubris that even as they steadily lose readership they are incapable of rationally examining their own contribution to this loss of trust and confidence in their reporting standards.

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#883783 - 17/09/2010 20:53 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
For the grain cockies!

Rolf's [ son ] tame truckie through his trucking buddy contacts reports that Western Australia is about kaput as far as crops are concerned and that a lot of the WA grain carting truckies will be heading for the eastern states to try and get some work during the harvest.
Any WA posters here who can give us a picture on just what is the real situation re crop yields and the effects of the dry / drought over there across the WA grain belt?

Re the harvest progress in Canada and the USA.
The USDA's Crop Progress Report indicates that the corn harvest is about on track.

There seems to be a very large range in corn yields with a lot of growers posting that they are disappointed in their corn yields.
As usual those who are having a very good year are keeping their heads well down so this sort of report at this time of the corn harvest is quite typical.
Happens here in Australia as well.

Plenty of gossip on this site and thread and they are not particularly happy;; Agtalk > Crop Talk
Follow the Snail Trail back for other subjects or [ linky ]

One of the locals goes over to Canada each year to follow the Canadian harvest.
Rolf told me this arvo that Peter reported the first snow flurries on his Face Book page last night which backs up the report I got on wednesday that the Canadians expect that a lot of the prairie crop will be under snow soon due to an early winter and won't be harvested until their spring in March at the earliest.
Australian grain growers blanch at the thought of the quality or lack of by then!

A Canadian harvest progress thread can be found on The Combine Forum
Scroll down to the "General Farming Board" where a Canadian Harvest thread " How much have you got left to combine? commenced on the 5th Sept 2010.
[ "9 / 5 / 2010" as usual for the north Americans?? ]
In 7 days they have 60 posts and they are not happy as they are way behind in their harvest and it is wet and staying wet in most places.
And also not much mention here but the Canadians missed out on getting quite a lot of acres planted due to being too wet and then when it did dry up it was getting too late to plant.
They are after all on about 90 to 100 day maturity from emergence to harvest in a "normal season" if there is such an animal in farming?

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#884522 - 20/09/2010 20:20 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
Got a query about the 90 and 100 day emergence to maturity crops.
I first came across this in 1991 [ in those now far past and very ancient historical days when there was no internet! ] while sitting on a lawn up at Great Sandy near the Canadian border in Montana in the USA.
A whole bunch of American farmers were sitting around chewing straw so as to speak about farming, life and etc.
My brother and I were guests of honor and the main speakers at a medic pasture field day, the first held in North
America and this was the relaxation aftermath.
One question led to another and then when did we sow our crops.
Turned out there was not much difference in the calendar times of sowing which was in late April through May.
Now this was in early July and some of those crops up in southern Montana were still green but getting close to maturity and we actually saw one wheat crop just being started harvesting before we left Montana a few days later.

When they told us their time of sowing and we saw the growth stage of their crops we were gob smacked!
How in the hell does it grow so fast was our reaction.
Theirs was how in the hell does your crop live that long [ late November/ December harvest for us.]
We were told that 100 day wheat was the norm up here and as my brother covered a lot of research work in Canada over the next few years, 90 day wheat and other crops were near the norm the further north one went.

So there were a lot of puzzled yanks sitting around that lawn wondering why the difference until I filled them in on the number of daylight heat units required for a crop to go from emergence to maturity.
It is the same number of heat / daylight units required with only small variations in the same species of crop across all grain production areas around the world.
In Montana which is at about the Latitude of 48 degrees north or about the same Latitude in the south as Stewart Island off NZ's southern tip has as much as 18 or so daylight hours during mid summer.
At 10 pm the towering Rocky Mountains a few tens of Kilometres to the west of us were still bathed in bright light from the setting sun behind them.
Those wheat plants and other crops got a lot of sunshine and heat units in a much shorter time than our crops do hence the shorter time to maturity.

[ A side discussion was the Montana / Nevada rotation which brought some very puzzled looks from us until it was explained, to their amusement, that when the oft times vicious Montana winter sets in they head for Nevada and as spring starts to warm things up they head back to their farms to get on with the crop preparation and sowing.

Their State Parliament by their constitution has to sit for at least 90 days within every 2 years.
Those yank farmers reckoned their constitution had it ass about face.
The constitution should have said that the pollies should sit for 2 days every 90 years! ]

A good friend of mine who was an ag researcher tells of the international field trip researchers who scour the world for new species of crop plants, both the original wild species and the ancient farmer selected field crop varieties to acquire the genes for further improvements in modern plant varieties, told of finding a Barley variety at the Buddhist monasteries in the high Himalayas that from emergence to reaching maturity took only a staggeringly short 40 days.
The quality was s**t but it was the crop the Buddhist monks relied on for their food sources and no doubt their beer.
But there was lots of sunshine up there for their short summer before the high altitude cold again set in and over the centuries the Monks had selected this barley to grow at ever higher altitudes and in ever shorter growing conditions.

There is a lot more to this story with world wide research being done on photosynthesis in plants, a short seminar on which i attended a few days ago which discussed the way plants protect themselves against too much intense sunshine.
Lots of chemicals and chemical reactions involved which were well above my head but still very interesting.

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#884710 - 21/09/2010 22:08 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
Arnost Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 10/02/2007
Posts: 3909
My dad always reckoned there will come a time when a lot of our table vegies and such will come from greenhouses in high-lattitude countries. Here's some recrds from the Alaska state fair:
http://www.alaskastatefair.org/2009/pdf/2008_Large_Vegetables.pdf
_________________________
“No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise” ...

And this of course applies to scientific principles. Never compromise these. Never! [Follow the science and you will be shown correct in the end...]

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#884765 - 22/09/2010 09:49 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
Farm Weather Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 10/11/2009
Posts: 845
Loc: West Mallee SA
Rom spent about 8 weeks of my life on 1 ranch and one farm in eastern montana,places called plevna the cattle ranch and terry the wheat farm. Been to each twice.

Yeah its incredible the 90 day barleys etc but in the peace river region of alberta i think it is they have even shorter season barley believe 75 days and again they are further north again.

Was in a island off swedish coast this year Gotland on a farm again for 9 days,basically there was sunlight 20 hours a day and dime light after that couldnt believe the crop growth from day one to day nine was astounding.

Was lucky enough to be asked to walk a swedish girl down the isle along with her father, i was her "australian" father she stayed with us for a year here.

Even though we had communication troubles with a lot of the time with father and other local farmers we all worked it out in the end.Farming is a great communication point diffent but same time similar all over the world. but geez arent subsidys a entrenched way of life in europe. French are by far the worst it seems.
_________________________
Average Rainfall 340mm

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#884803 - 22/09/2010 14:08 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Farm Weather]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
Many years ago in the early 1980's we had an old farming guy from Peace River jump the fence to ride in our then brand new N7 Gleaner for an hour or so, the first Gleaner rotary he had seen.

We hear of "white men" but was this guy white as in an actual real white colour!
I was quite fascinated by his whiteness but couldn't say anything

At that time Peace River, way up in Alberta, was the furtherest north crops were grown anywhere including Russia but as the near Arctic climate warmed over the last 3 decades the cropping areas due to both the warming climate up there near the Arctic circle and the newer and extremely short season varieties have moved further north again in small areas and the northern most agricultural limits are now a couple of hundred kilometres further north than Peace River.
That no doubt will change and may already be doing so as the last couple of Canadian growing seasons are getting cooler, wetter, shorter and back closer to the summer lengths of the 1970's.
Never been up there but an ag research friend of mine nearly came to grief out there on the highway to Peace River as all those little settlements marked on the map up to Peace River, like Australia, no longer exist or never existed and he almost ran out of fuel and got stranded way out in the back blocks of the Canadian equivalent of the "outback".
A long distance truckie pointed him to the one big off road service centre which was not marked on his maps.

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#885137 - 24/09/2010 15:14 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
Adam Ant Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/10/2003
Posts: 1075
Loc: West Toowoomba
What sort of yields do they get with the 90 day barley?

We are having some serious problems with diseases in SE QLD this year. Its pretty much been 2 months of cloudy, drizzly weather. It was a very late planting, most crops are only at the booting stage. The mildew and rust is going crazy, as well as some other unknown disease. With another week of rain forecasted I would say yields are going to be impacted. Bloody la nina!!

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#885193 - 24/09/2010 22:12 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Adam Ant]
ROM Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/01/2007
Posts: 6628
Dunno what yields they get with that 90 day barley but with the same number of heat units due to more sunshine every day but for a fewer number of days plus plenty of moisture, I would think the yields would be on a par with ours if not quite a bit higher.
The reason for the potentially higher yields is the cooler finishing conditions.
Planting that 90 day barley in our conditions will just mean that same barley will take as long to do it's thing as our own home bred barleys do right now but with low yields as the varieties are not adapted to our conditions.
And the reverse is also true.
However the breeders are swapping gene pool material all the time such as in our "dwarf" wheats with the short straw compared to the older types with much longer straw and more likely to lodge.
The short straw or dwarf genes came from a Japanese wheat breed, Norin or something similar in name in about the late 1960's.

Horsham along with Sydney has the two main cereal gene pool banks in Australia.
There may only be 3 or 4 seeds in some cases of a particular tame cultivar, a landrace version or wild cultivar of a cereal crop type.
These are in sealed in foil packets and kept at about 20 C or 30 C below freezing in the vaults.
More regularly used material is kept at about 4 or 5C below freezing.

The tiny number of these world wide and arguably the most important single resource that mankind possesses, the collections of all of the world's crop plant genetic material, the curators of which are ultimately responsible for keeping all the genetic material that is needed to ensure the world will continue to be adequately fed into the far future, are all interconnected electronically around the world and all know one another very well through their electronic connections and sometimes meetings that we never hear of somewhere in the world.
Here they exchange notes and get to know one another, all of which greatly speeds up the interchange and exchange of genetic material when the plant breeders ask for something particular or a specified gene type that they have found in the complex specifications of a particular cultivar or cultivar type which may only have a half dozen seeds in a collection held somewhere like in Kazakhstan and I am not kidding here!
The curator will then ensure that the breeder may then get two or at most 3 seeds in this case to breed a couple of plants from and he will assess those plants and try to incorporate the wanted genes from those plants into his own breeding types through fertilizing the flowers by transferring pollen after the male parts of the flowers have been sterilised.
The girls with the sharpness of eye and a delicate touch are the only ones who seem capable of doing this successfully and are always employed for this very delicate operation.
Or other chemical or even mechanical means like shooting a tiny pellet coated with the required genetic material into the plant has been used in a form of genetic engineering but between similar plants species.
[ You learn a lot of things if you are a trustee for the land under a major research institute and you even get invited to major international scientific seminars when held locally.
Sadly I have just resigned for private reasons but life goes on! ]

Americans and Europeans who come out here to Australia to do crop research for the first time are a bit stunned at the temperatures that our cereal crops have to flower and set seed in.
Their flowering and seed setting temperatures are a lot lower than ours so there isn't the same stress on the crops, with a higher seed set as a result and higher yields obtained for the same inputs, all heavily subsidised of course as well.

The winter cereals, sown prior to winter, germinate and emerge and then go into a type of hibernation through the winter.
Snow cover is essential to protect winter cereals from freezing and a lack of snow cover and a freeze will create a lot of "winter kill" in NH parlance.
Winter crops in the USA are generally only sown south of the line running about along northern South Dakota as north of that, the winters are too harsh and winter kill becomes too much of a potential financial penalty
Spring cereals are sown into the stubbles, which retain the snow for moisture and stop it drifting away, and as the ground thaws, the crop germinates, emerges and the crop's roots follow the thawing ground down to collect the resulting moisture.


We are finally getting enough rain down here to start hoping for a really good season for the first time in some 14 years,
Striped rust plus locusts are both on the move but at least the striped rust can be controlled.
The locusts are another question with a 4 kilometre band of hoppers being found up near Mildura in the last day or so.
That's just one band and you can imagine or maybe not imagine, the sheer numbers of hoppers and potential locusts in just that one band.
And there are hundreds of bands and egg beds around in the north with the locusts just starting to hatch over the last few days in north west
Victoria, let alone south Oz and right up into NSW.

As the old chinese curse says; May you live in interesting times!

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#885202 - 24/09/2010 22:47 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: ROM]
Adam Ant Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/10/2003
Posts: 1075
Loc: West Toowoomba
Interesting stuff Rom. I actually used to do a bit of work with the wheat breeders up here in qld so Ive seen my fair share of varieties from around the world. There certainly is some strange varieties out there. Alot of those ancient varieties also have a fairly good seed dormancy that needs to be broken before you plant those precious few seeds. Another half inch of rain here tonight!

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