Foundation for Arable Research

Christchurch, New Zealand

Foundation for Arable Research

Christchurch, New Zealand

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Muller K.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Holmes A.,PlusGroup Horticulture Ltd | Holmes A.,Foundation for Arable Research | Deurer M.,Manawatu Mail Center 11600 | Clothier B.E.,Manawatu Mail Center 11600
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Assessing the sustainability of orchards focuses on quantifying environmental impacts and resource consumption. Sustainable orchards also have to be profitable and socially responsible. We aimed to identify sustainable kiwifruit production in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, by considering orchards' environmental and economic performance. We conducted a survey of 40 orchards with different cultivars (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward' (green) v. Actinidia chinensis 'Hort16A' (gold)) and management (integrated v. BioGro certified organic). Assessment of environmental performance was restricted to greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint of the orchard phase). We defined eco-efficiency on an area basis as NZD net profit per kg greenhouse gas emissions (1 NZD = 0.83 USD, 31/10/2013). Carbon footprints for the cultivars and management systems were comparable. The choice of functional unit, namely land area and 1 kg of produce, did not affect the result. Our analysis revealed fertilizer use and the N-associated emissions as hot spots for greenhouse gas emissions. Opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions arise in the background system of fertilizer production, packaging, storage and transport, and the optimization of nutrient-use efficiency in the orchard. The integrated system had insignificantly higher greenhouse gas emissions than the organic system. Taking into account the profitability of the orchards, the eco-efficiency of organic orchards was significantly higher than that of integrated orchards. We demonstrated that the metric of eco-efficiency can enhance product differentiation for customers and can also assist orchardists to find the most sustainable management system. However, the volatility of commodity markets and changing consumer preferences remain challenges. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Harvey I.C.,PLANTwise Services Ltd | Craigie R.A.,Foundation for Arable Research | McCloy B.L.,New Zealand Arable
New Zealand Plant Protection | Year: 2015

Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, the cause of tan spot of wheat was first recorded in New Zealand in 1979, but only on wheat seed. However, this pathogen has recently been recorded as causing possible yield losses in isolated crops. A small plot trial set up in a central Canterbury crop of cv. Saracen tested several fungicides alone or in mixtures. Control was not entirely effective since tan spot infection was well established when the first applications were made at GS33 (third node detectible). Nevertheless, two triazoles (propiconazole and prothioconazole) and three SDHI fungicides (isopyrazam, bixafen plus prothioconazole and fluxapyroxad plus epoxiconazole) all gave similar levels of control either when applied alone or in mixtures. Two triazoles (epoxiconazole and difenoconazole) were less effective alone, while addition of strobilurin (pyraclostrobin) to mixtures gave little extra control. Several treatments showed significant increases in green leaf retention and final grain yield. The life cycle of the pathogen dictates that management of the over-wintering inoculum in stubble is a probable essential step in control of the disease. © 2015 New Zealand Plant Protection Society (Inc.).

Rolston P.,Agresearch Ltd. | Trethewey J.,Agresearch Ltd. | Chynoweth R.,Foundation for Arable Research | Mccloy B.,New Zealand Arable
New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2010

The plant growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl (TE) is widely used to enhance ryegrass seed yields by reducing lodging (i.e. delaying collapse of the crop). However, lodging data are usually a single evaluation related to TErate for a particular date of measurement. In eight field trials with varying rates of TE, weekly lodging assessments were made from full head emergence and days to 50% lodging were determined. In all trials, dynamic assessment of TEtreatment showed there was a strong positive correlation (R2=0.82) between the number of days to 50% lodging and seed yield. Nil TEreached 50% lodging in 7 days compared with 33 days for TE treatments of 400 g ha-1. On average, one days' delay in reaching 50% lodging increased seed yield by 24 kg ha -1 (response range 16-33 kg ha-1). The data indicate that TErate per se is less important than the rate required to delay the date that 50% lodging is reached. The seed yield response was linear for delayed lodging from full head emergence to harvest, suggesting that the highest yields are achieved if the crop is not more than 50% lodged at harvest. © 2010 The Royal Society of New Zealand.

Dastgheib F.,IWM Consultancy | Poole N.,Foundation for Arable Research
New Zealand Plant Protection | Year: 2010

Aspects of seed biology of ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus) and soft brome (B. hordeaceus) were studied in relation to land management practices. Among the practices tested, burning stubble had a detrimental effect on seed survival. The majority of seeds close to the soil surface were charred or non-viable following a stubble fire. Overall, higher brome infestation was measured in no-tillage compared to minimum tillage or burning treatments. More than 80% of the seeds of both species emerged in the field within the first couple of months after planting, and full germination was achieved by spring. Seed burial at depths from 1 to 20 cm did not significantly affect germination but seedling establishment and vigour was reduced with seed depth. Implications of these results in management of brome grasses are discussed.

Chapman R.B.,Insect Science Solutions | Marris J.W.M.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Drummond J.B.,Foundation for Arable Research
New Zealand Plant Protection | Year: 2016

Producers and processors of cereal grains in New Zealand were invited in August 2015 to submit grain samples to allow extraction and identification of any insect pest species present. Sixty grain samples were received, of which 73% were infested with one or more insect species. These were predominantly Coleoptera and Psocoptera. The most frequently encountered beetle species were Oryzaephilus surinamensis, Cryptolestes ferrugineus and Cortinicara hirtalis. The Psocoptera were predominantly unidentified species of Liposcelis. Sitophilus species and lepidopteran pests were notable by their absence. The proportion of storage facilities infested by insects in this survey (73%) was higher than two previous surveys (38%, 50-63%), and the proportion of storage facilities treated with insecticides (62%) was lower than a previous survey (83%). © 2016 New Zealand Plant Protection Society (Inc.).

Harrington K.C.,Massey University | James T.K.,Agresearch Ltd. | Parker M.D.,Foundation for Arable Research | Ghanizadeh H.,Massey University
New Zealand Plant Protection | Year: 2016

The first cases of weeds developing resistance to glyphosate within New Zealand have recently been reported and investigated. Both perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) populations have become resistant to glyphosate in several Marlborough vineyards due to many years of weed control using mainly just glyphosate. Glyphosate is currently being used in many situations throughout New Zealand that could easily lead to further resistance developing, such as in other perennial fruit crops, on roadsides, railways, amenity areas, waste areas, fence lines and headlands of crops. Following wide consultation as part of a Sustainable Farming Fund project, strategies for resistance management in three systems (vineyard and orchards, amenity and waste areas, and crops and pastures) are suggested. Adoption of these strategies will allow glyphosate to continue as a useful herbicide in New Zealand. © 2016 New Zealand Plant Protection Society (Inc.).

Trethewey J.A.K.,Agresearch Ltd. | Rolston M.P.,Agresearch Ltd. | McCloy B.L.,New Zealand Arable | Chynoweth R.J.,Foundation for Arable Research
New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2016

The plant growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl (TE) is widely used to increase seed yield by reducing lodging in many grass species, including perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). However, the seed yield responses of annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) to TE has not been widely investigated. In four field experiments, different rates of TE (between 0 and 800 g ha−1) were applied and the plant response measured. Seed yield was significantly (P < 0.05) increased above the control by all TE treatments with an average response of 51% and 65% for the 200 g and 400 g TE ha−1 treatments, respectively. The seed yield response was associated with reduced lodging and shorter stems contributing to 1.1 more seeds per spikelet attaining saleable weight resulting in 72% more seeds m−2. The plant growth regulator TE can improve seed yield in well-managed stands of annual ryegrass. © 2016 The Royal Society of New Zealand.

MacLeod C.J.,Landcare Research | Tompkins D.M.,Landcare Research | Drew K.W.,Landcare Research | Pyke N.,Foundation for Arable Research
Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

Context Bird damage to horticultural crops causes significant economic losses for growers around the globe. However, bird damage is unpredictable and pest-bird movements and abundance patterns are poorly understood. Aims To assess whether habitat management is likely to be an effective approach for controlling two pest-bird species (house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and greenfinch, Carduelis chloris) in New Zealand's arable landscape. Methods Breeding- and winter-bird and habitat surveys were carried out over a 3-year period (2003-05) on 19 1-km1-km squares with arable crops on the Canterbury Plains, New Zealand. Bird abundance and/or distribution were analysed with respect to both temporal and spatial (crop- and boundary-habitat composition) variables. Results Estimated breeding-season densities for house sparrow were higher but more stable than those for greenfinch (which increased by 70% over a 3-year period), and for individual farms were more predictable across years than were winter densities. Boundary habitat was the best predictor of bird densities and distribution in the breeding season; features associated with enhanced seed abundance or access were important in the winter. However, habitat composition alone could not account for temporal and spatial variation in bird densities on farms. Conclusions Either habitat management or the reduction of key seed resources could potentially control pest-bird numbers. However, habitat management is likely to have adverse consequences for other important functions (such as the shelter and biodiversity benefits of shelterbelts), and any form of bird control applied at the farm scale is unlikely to be effective. Implications To make control actions both effective and economically viable, a coordinated program involving multiple farms is likely to be needed. We recommend investigating the effectiveness of an experimental manipulation of key food resources at the landscape scale. © 2011 CSIRO.

Poole N.F.,Foundation for Arable Research | Arnaudin M.E.,Foundation for Arable Research
Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology | Year: 2014

Fungicides are the last line of defence in the armoury of an integrated disease management (IDM) approach. They do not create yield, but protect an inherent yield potential that the grower may realize in the absence of disease. In the field, securing effective disease control from fungicide applications is dependent upon the disease pressure and the effectiveness of the fungicide to control that disease. Globally, the same fungicide active ingredients are used against a similar range of fungal pathogens. However, in the presence of the pathogen, the level of economic response to fungicide applications is primarily driven by the prevailing environmental conditions and their interactions with crop development and the pathogen. Fungicides are canopy management tools that influence the size and duration of the green leaf area (GLA) of the crop. The total number of fungicide applications links to the length of the growing season and the disease risk in that period. For example, the top three leaves of a wheat crop canopy might warrant protection for approximately 120 days in an irrigated wheat crop on the Canterbury Plains of New Zealand, but only 60 days in the dry land wheat crops of the Victorian Mallee in Australia. Combining our knowledge of fungicide effect on the crop canopy with soil water and nutrient availability enables better matching of fungicide product, dose and timing to a specific disease risk. It also enables better use of crop physiology models, such as APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems Simulator), to assist with in-crop fungicide decisions. This paper reviews the role of fungicides, principally the triazoles (FRAC Group 3), strobilurins (Group 11) and SDHIs succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (Group 7), in cereal disease management. It explains (i) why applying foliar fungicide by plant development stage (as well as disease threshold) confers advantages when fungicide mode of action and on-farm logistics are taken into consideration; (ii) gives examples of how fungicide management strategies are adjusted in Australia and New Zealand to take account of environmental conditions; and (iii) explains the importance of green leaf retention (GLR) in the realization of an economic response from fungicides. © 2014 The Canadian Phytopathological Society.

Taghizadeh-Toosi A.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Clough T.J.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Condron L.M.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Sherlock R.R.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2011

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from grazing animal excreta are estimated to be responsible for 1.5 Tg of the total 6.7 Tg of anthropogenic N2O emissions. This study was conducted to determine the in situ effect of incorporating biochar, into soil, on N2O emissions from bovine urine patches and associated pasture uptake of N. The effects of biochar rate (0-30 t ha-1), following soil incorporation, were investigated on ruminant urine-derived N2O fluxes, N uptake by pasture, and pasture yield. During an 86-d spring-summer period, where irrigation and rainfall occurred, the N2O fluxes from 15N labeled ruminant urine patches were reduced by >50%, after incorporating 30 t ha -1 of biochar. Taking into account the N2O emissions from the control plots, 30 t ha-1 of biochar reduced the N2O emission factor from urine by 70%. The atom% 15N enrichment of the N2O emitted was lower in the 30 t ha-1 biochar treatment, indicating less urine-N contributed to the N2O flux. Soil NO 3 --N concentrations were lower with increasing biochar rate during the first 30 d following urine deposition. No differences occurred, due to biochar addition, with respect to dry matter yields, herbage N content, or recovery of 15N applied in herbage. Incorporating biochar into the soil can significantly diminish ruminant urine-derived N2O emissions. Further work is required to determine the persistence of the observed effect and to fully understand the mechanism(s) of the observed reduction in N2O fluxes. Copyright © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

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