Managing wheat varieties for dry seeding 2013 trial report

Page last updated: Tuesday, 5 March 2019 - 12:45pm

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Deep sowing wheat (>100mm) will affect productivity.

Six wheat cultivars were sown dry (two weeks before the season broke), or wet (one day after the break) at two different depths on a loamy duplex soil.

Crop establishment in wet or dry sowing conditions did not differ when sowing at 50mm depth, however deep sowing at 100mm in wet soil reduced establishment significantly compared to the other treatments.

Yield was not affected by wet or dry sowing at normal depth or by seeding into dry soil at 70mm, however, yield was reduced substantially by seeding at 100mm when the soil was wet.


The imperative to get crops sown early, the size of cropping programs and the unreliability of early season rains in Western Australian agricultural areas has meant that an increasing proportion of WA’s wheat crop is being sown dry, before the first rains of the growing season.

This places emerging crops in a potentially different environment than when sown into wet soil.

They may be exposed to water deficit during the establishment phase and dry sown crops are sometimes patchy.

In addition, sometimes after there has been summer rain there is soil moisture below the normal seed depth but the surface soil is dry in early May.

In these circumstances seeding deeper than normal to place seed on moisture can facilitate early establishment.

There is variation among wheat cultivars in how rapidly seedlings emerge when soil moisture is marginal and when seed is sown deep.

Knowledge of this variation could help farmers choose appropriate varieties for sowing in these circumstances.


To test whether wheat varieties differ in their response to dry sowing independently of any time of sowing effect.

To test the response of different wheat varieties to seeding depth.


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Managing wheat varieties for dry seeding 2013 trial report


Bob French