Active stubble management to enhance residue breakdown and subsequent crop management, focus farm trials


Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Nick Poole, Tracey Wylie and Michael Straight (FAR Australia)
Year(s) 2017
Contributor Riverine Plains
Trial location(s) Coreen Stubble 2017, NSW
Related trials
Active stubble management to enhance residue breakdown and subsequent crop management, focus farm trials locations

The project seeks to:

  • investigate, demonstrate and extend cultural practices that will assist growers to adopt no-till stubble retention (NTSR) in medium and higher-rainfall environments;
  • build on findings from the previous Riverine Plains Inc. Water Use Efficiency (WUE) project; and
  • extend the frontier of agronomic knowledge for crops grown in NTSR systems.
Key messages
  • There were significant increases in dry matter (DM) accumulation, nitrogen (N) uptake and crop canopy greenness where second wheat was established following cultivation with additional nitrogen, however there was no yield benefit.
  • Over four years of research (2014–17) at the Coreen focus farm there has been no benefit to either cultivating, burning or additional nitrogen at sowing with cultivation over the no-till stubble retention (NTSR) control.
  • Growing a faba bean crop instead of a second wheat crop increased the yield of the following wheat by 0.34–0.47t/ha in 2016 and an average of 2t/ha in 2015, however there was no evidence that the legume benefit of the faba beans influenced canola sown two years later (in 2017).
  • Burning first wheat stubbles before establishing second wheat has offered no yield benefit, despite indications of better tillering, higher DM and superior yellow leaf spot (YLS) control.
Lead research organisation Riverine Plains
Host research organisation Riverine Plains
Trial funding source GRDC RPI00009
Related program Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble

Thanks to the farmer co-operators at each of these sites:
• Corowa/Coreen: Tomlinson Ag
• Yarrawonga: Telewonga Pty Ltd
• Dookie: Ludeman Brothers

This work was carried out as part of the Riverine Plains
Inc GRDC funded project Maintaining Profitable Farming
Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains
Region (2013–18).

Other trial partners FAR Australia
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop: Rotation
  • Stubble: Management
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Blocked, randomised and replicated

Coreen Stubble 2017 2017

Sow date 18 May 2017
Harvest date 9 December 2017
Plot size 40m x 15m
Plot replication Not specified
Paddock history Wheat
Herbicide <p>host farmer paddock management</p>
Insecticide <p>host farmer paddock management</p>
Fungicide <p>host farmer paddock management</p>
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Trial results Table 1

@T1: GS 30-31 @T2: GS 39 @T3: GS 65 @T4: GS95
# Treatment 1
Screenings (%) 1000 grain weight (g) Establishment plants (plants/m2) Hectolitre weight (kg/hL) Protein (%) Grain yield (t/ha) Head abundance (heads/m2) Cereal tillers (tillers/m2) Dry matter (t/ha) Nitrogen uptake (kg N/ha) Dry matter (t/ha) Nitrogen uptake (kg N/ha) Dry matter (t/ha) Nitrogen uptake (kg N/ha) Dry matter (t/ha) Nitrogen uptake (kg N/ha)
1 NTSR (Control) 1 43.2 125 77.9 9 3.88 282 300 1.34 65 6.28 156 10.25 120 12.28 130
1 Cultivated (one pass) 0.8 45.8 121 78 10.2 3.5 269 316 1.34 60 6.7 148 9.74 141 11.84 135
1 Cultivated (one pass) + 40kg N/ha 0.7 46.1 123 77.9 10.5 3.37 323 364 1.88 89 8.15 215 11.67 167 12.45 116
1 Burnt 0.7 46.3 130 77.8 10.2 3.54 316 350 1.48 69 7.95 169 11.9 134 14.02 151

Grain yield t/ha


1000 grain weight g


Cereal tillers tillers/m2


Dry matter t/ha


Establishment plants plants/m2


Head abundance heads/m2


Hectolitre weight kg/hL


Nitrogen uptake kg N/ha


Protein %


Screenings %

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Site Depth Type pH EC P K N A OC CAT
Coreen Stubble 2017, NSW 0 - 60cm 58.00
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Coreen Stubble 2017, NSW Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source
Trial site Soil order
Coreen Stubble 2017, NSW Sodosol
National soil grid Source
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Coreen Stubble 2017 NSW 2017

Observed climate information

Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 273mm

Derived climate information

Coreen Stubble 2017 NSW


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.