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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, VICTORIA


Research Farm

THE CENTRAL STATION

------------- ■    ■: :~^= FOR --

AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH

IN VICTORIA

Located at WERRIBEE—18 miles from Melbourne, abutting on Melbourne - Geelong main road and railway

SOILS :

1650 acres volcanic clay loam with grey-blue pug clay subsoil.

500 acres alluvial clay loam with red clay subsoil.

RAINFALL : 20 inches per annum.


State


TELEPHONE : WERRIBEE 19


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7989/46.






Guide Book

STATE RESEARCH FARM, WERRIBEE

1947

CONTENTS

Purpose, &c., of the Farm    -    -    -    -

Situation and Soil    -    -    -    -    -

Scope of Activities    -    -    -    -    -

Field Plot Technique    -    -    -    -    -

Summary of Cropping, 1947    -    -    -    -

Seasonal Conditions    -    -    -    -    -

Cereal F.xperiments    -    -    -    -    -

Cereal Breeding (Wheat)    -    -    -    -

Cereal Breeding (Oats)    -    -    -    -

Cereal Breeding (Barley)    -    -    -    ■

Flax Breeding    -----Wheat Experiments    -    -    -    -    -

New Varieties Produced at Werribee    -    ■

Variety Trials    -    -    -    -

Quality Tests -----Fertilizer Trials    -    -    -    -    -

Permanent Manurial Field

“Minor” Elements Manurial Trial -    -    •

Manurial Tests on    Stubble Land    -    -    •

Gypsum Trials    -    -    -    -

Seeding Trials    -    -    -    -

Rate and Time of    Seeding Tests    -    -

Diseases of Wheat    -    -    -    -    ■

Oat Experiments -    -    -    -    -    -

Varieties    ------

Manurial Tests    -    -    -    -    -

Permanent Manurial Field    -    -    -    ■

Manurial Tests on    Stubble -    -    -    ■

Seeding Trials    -    -    -    -    -

Diseases    -----Barley Experiments    -    -    -    -

Manurial Trials    -    -    -    -

Diseases    ------

Page

I

I

I

3

4

4

5 9

9

10 I I I I 12 12 12

13

14

14

15

15

16 16 18 18 19

19

20 21 21 21 22 23


CONTENTS —continued.

Page

Crop Rotation Tests ---------    24

Permanent Rotation Field ........    24

Green Manurial Tests    ........    25

Residual Effect of Green Manuring -------    26

Field Peas    ..........    27

Hoary Cress Control .........    27

Selective Weedicides ---------    28

Lucerne -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    29

Rate and Frequency of WateringJTests    -    -    -    -    -    -    29

Spacing of Rows Tests    ........    30

Time of Cutting Tests    ........    30

Renovation Tests    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    30

Variety Trials    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    31

Fertilizer Tests    .........    32

Irrigated Pastures ----------    32

Importance of Strain ---------    32

Variety and Strain Tests --------    33

Experimental Technique ........    33

Rate and Frequency of Watering Tests    -    -    -    -    -    -    33

Combined Watering and Manurial Tests ......    34

Manurial Trials    .........    37

Frequency of Cutting Tests --------    39

Rotational Grazing Tests --------    40

Frequency of Grazing Trials -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    42

Grazing Tests on Old Lucerne ConvertedJto'Pasture -    -    -    -    43

Dry Pasture Trials    .........    44

Prevention of Common Complaints of Sheep    -    -    -    -    -    -    45

School of Dairy Technology -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    46

Farm Live Stock—

Clydesdales ----------    47

Sheep    ..........    48

Cattle    ..........    48

Red Polls    .........    48

Friesians -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    51

Herd Management and Feeding .......    52

Red Poll Records .........    53

Friesian Records .........    53

Artificial Insemination    ........    54

Poultry    ..........    55

Production Statistics --------    56

Average Egg Production --------    57

Feeding Tests .........    57

STRTE HESERUCH EM

LmzMNUBEE -J

By OFFICERS OF THE FARM

THE State Besearch Farm, Werribee, which was established in 1912, provides, for permanent use by the Department of Agriculture, an experimental station on which the problems of agriculture and of live stock husbandry can be investigated by a trained staff. It provides also facilities for the thorough testing, under practical farming conditions, of the results obtained in the experimental fields, and of any suggested departures from recognized farming practice.

The farm is conducted, not as a commercial proposition expected to attain financially profitable results so far as its own operations are concerned, but rather as an institution, the work of which will confer on agriculture the benefits of modern scientific advances. To that end the farm is devoted largely to the conduct, under practical and accurately recorded conditions, rof investigations and trials concerning the problems involved in increasing the agricultural output of the State, particularly in regard to the improvement of wheat and other cereals, grasses, &c., the improvement of pastures, both dry and irrigated, and the breeding, feeding, and distribution of stud live stock.

SITUATION AND SOIL

The location has many advantages. Its frontage to the Melbourne-Geelong section of the Prince’s-highway, and to the railway, renders it easy of access to and observation by travellers, and its proximity to the Werribee railway station and to Melbourne invites inspection and facilitates co-operation with other branches of the Department in Melbourne.

The soil varies from comparatively good to poor. Of the total of 2,186 acres, about 75 per cent, is volcanic clay loam overlying grey-blue pug clay, and the remainder is alluvial clay loam separated by a band of red clay from a porous silty sub-soil.

THE SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES.

The work of the farm covers as many phases of agriculture as its location, soil,


and climatic environment allow. The volcanic areas are devoted to the testing of improved cereal varieties and the production of seed of outstanding varieties for general distribution. Various tillage, manurial, seeding, and disease problems, which have arisen since the establishment of the permanent experimental fields, are also investigated on this area.

The alluvial area, exclusive of the permanent cereal experimental fields, is devoted almost entirely to irrigated permanent pastures of the standard perennial rye grass-cocksfoot-white clover type and lucerne. Lucerne was the main irrigated crop during the early development of the farm, but has been replaced almost entirely by pasture. The most generally satisfactory methods of seeding, watering, manuring, and management of irrigated lucerne have been determined, and similar work has been in progress on pasture for a number of years.

A small area of natural pasture representative of the • district remains, and has been the subject of manurial and seeding experiments with the object of raising its carrying capacity.

The sheep, horses, dairy cattle, and poultry maintained on the farm have been the subject of careful investigation in regard to feeding, breeding, and productivity under varying methods of management, and good types of the particular breeds maintained may be purchased at prices commensurate with their breeding and performance.

Advanced work, which has a bearing on agricultural problems and experimental methods, has been carried out along with the work outlined above. These studies have included the investigation of soil chemistry and micro-organisms in regard to nitrification ; plant nutrition, parasitism, and disease ; the application of statistical methods of field experiments; the analysis of the factors of yield in cereals ; weed control; and preventive veterinary medicine.

Many problems which do not receive much publicity, such as those relating to fencing, subdivision, the disposition, construction, and equipment of sheds and stockyards, farm water supply and drainage, the construction of farm roads, have also been practically investigated, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of many systems and methods may be seen under practical working conditions at the farm.

School of Dairy Technology

Associated with the farm is the School of Dairy Technology, which was officially opened in June, 1939, for the purpose of giving instruction to factory operatives as well as to undertake research into manufacturing problems.

Cereal Laboratory

So that the cereal staff could conduct its work more efficiently, a new laboratory was erected in 1937 with portion of the money made available from the Wheat Marketing Fund, which consisted of moneys derived from the sale of Eumanian bonds accepted in payment for Australian wheat delivered during the First World War.

Field Days

The farm offers exceptional opportunities for viewing the many phases of farming activities in actual operation within easy distance of Melbourne, and visitors are always welcome. During Show Week, special facilities are provided for this purpose when the annual field day is conducted. During the year, arrangements can readily be made for parties of farmers, farmers’ organizations, and young farmers’ clubs to visit the farm.

Educational Facilities

Each year, bt arrangement with the Education Department, instructional classes in agricultural subjects are conducted for State school teachers, and for young farmers’ organizations.

Wartime Activities

With the outbreak of the second World War, the normal activities of the Experimental Branch were suspended, and efforts were directed towards assisting the national war effort. Among other things this included the organizing and direction of War Agricultural Committees, and assistance in drives to increase food and flax production.

In addition, an area of the farm was set aside for the production of vegetable seeds to meet local and overseas requirements, and considerable quantities of seed of such crops as cabbage, red beet, onion, peas, and navy beans were produced.

Research was conducted into the production of ergotine for the treatment of shell shock, and extensive areas were sown with opium poppies to help meet the wartime shortage of morphine. The possibilities of substitute rubber plants were also investigated.

Assistance in carrying out these investigations was provided by Land Girls employed by the farm. During the war, more than 300 girls received their initial training at an Australian Women’s Land Army Instructional Depot established on the farm.

FIELD PLOT TECHNIQUE

In the early years of the farm, the usual type of field experiment consisted of a series of single plots of each variety or treatment, the yields of which were compared with those of check plots which occurred at regular intervals throughout the paddock. This type of experimental design is to be seen in the Permanent Fields (e.g., rotation, manurial) and in certain of the observation plots in the main Variety Field. It is quite suitable for demonstration purposes,, and, when repeated over a number of years on different sites, gives satisfactory yield comparisons. For finer yield testing work, and where results are required within a limited time, a more accurate system is necessary. This has been found in the



general adoption of the most modern methods of plot experimentation, including the replication of treatments, the use of the newer plot designs, and the statistical examination of results. By such means it has been possible to demonstrate significant differences of as low as 5 per cent.

GRADED SEED FOR DISTRIBUTION

The bulk cereal crops for grain comprise the following varieties :—

Wheat.—Diadem, Pinnacle, and Insignia. Barley.—Prior and Research.

Oats.—Algeribee, Orient, and Dawn.

The grain obtained from these areas will be available for distribution among farmers as graded seed. Special precautions are taken to maintain its purity and trueness to type.

SUMMARY OF CROPPING, 1947

This season, 1,123 acres are under crop, and 650 acres in winter fallow. The cropped area is made up as follows :—

Acres.

Acres.

Wheat for seed (bulk areas) ..

106

Oats for seed and hay .. ..

150

Barley for seed .. ..

75

Oats, and wheat, mixed, for hay ..

210

541

Irrigated lucerne .. ..

J, 420

4-9.0

Irrigated sown grasses .. ..

Experimental plots .. ..

162

162

Total .. ..

1,123

The experimental area comprises 262 acres, of which approximately 100 acres are included in the fallow above, and 162 acres are occupied as follows :—

Acres.

Rotation trials .. .. ..

12

Green manurial and feeding-off tests . .

20

Permanent fertilizer tests .. ..

14

Stud cereals and low rows . . ..

10

Seed, variety, and selection plots—

Wheat .. .. .. ..

38

Seed and variety plots—

Barley and oats .. .. ..

8

Miscellaneous cereal test s .. ..

8

Pasture top dressings .. . . ..

12

Irrigation investigations .. ..

40

Total area .. .. ..

162

Seasonal Conditions

The rainfall at Werribee for the past 34 years has averaged approximately nineteen and one half inches. Compared with the wheat belt, this rainfall appears at first sight to be adequate for heavy-crop production. In point of fact, however, the rainfall at Werribee is less effective than a similar annual rainfall would be in the wheat belt of Northern Victoria.    The

average monthly rainfall (in inches) for the 34 years 1913 to 1946 is as follows :—

January, 1-33; February, 1-42; March, 1-55 ; April, 1-60; May, 1*55 ; June, 1-56 ; July, 1-44 ; August, 1-64 ; September, 1*79; October, 1.94; November, 1*83; December, 1-72 ; average annual rainfall, 19*37.

The greater portion of the rain falls in light showers, which are frequently followed by strong winds, cansing a large percentage of the moisture to be dissipated by evaporation. The average annual evaporation from a free-water surface approximates 45 inches per annum. The problem of conserving moisture in the soil for the use of the crops is, therefore, quite as important at Werribee as it is in the driest parts of the wheat belt of Victoria.

The rainfall, during the first six months of the present year, was approximately equal to the progressive monthly mean at this farm for the past 34 years.

The season opened favourably with monthly recordings of—January, 40 points ; February, 215 points ; March, 338 points ; and April, 226 points ; May, 35 points ; June, 112 points. These falls aided early autumn growth of pastures and germinated early sown cereals, but they were unfortunately followed by a period of very dry weather from mid-April until the end of June. Wheat and barley crops, sown during June, suffered through lack of soil moisture, germination was low and uneven, while pastures suffered a definite setback.

CEREALS

The improvement of the yield and quality of cereal crops is of material importance in this country where the prosperity of the whole community depends to such a large extent on the primary industries.

An increase in the yield of wheat of even half a bushel per acre, at present prices, represents a sum of approximately £450,000 per annum. This amount constitutes a material addition to the spending power of the community. To the individual farmer, an increase of half a bushel per acre may well decide whether he is to finish the year’s operation with a surplus or a deficit.

The increase in production may be brought about in a number of different ways, such as the introduction of better varieties, by better manurial-crop rotation and cultivation practices, by more effective disease-control measures, and generally by the application of a wider knowledge of all the factors of plant growth.

The centre for cereal breeding in Victoria,, the State Research Farm, has been particularly successful in producing new improved wheat varieties, which comprise about 80 per cent, of the total area sown to wheat in Victoria. The principal Werribee wheats now grown are Quadrat, Pinnacle, Pindar, Ghurka, Magnet, and Eanee. Oats and barley also have received attention commensurate with their importance to Victorian agriculture. The oat varieties, Algeribee and Dawn, were bred at Werribee, and the new barley variety, Research, is the outcome of intensive work to improve grain quality of this cereal.

CEREAL BREEDING

Wheat is by far the most important annual crop in Victoria, approximately 3,000,000 acres being sown each year. The chief activities of plant breeding and general crop-improvement work of the farm are devoted to this cereal.

Considerable success has attended the efforts of the plant breeders in producing


new wheats. The rapidity with which these wheats have displaced the older varieties is indicated by the accompanying table.

Distribution of Werribee-Bred Wheats.

Year.

Acreage Sown in Victoria.

Percentage Total Area.

1925 . . . . ..

66,000

0/

/o

2

1926 . . . . ..

195,000

6

1927 .. .. . .

507,000

16

1928 .. . . . .

1,000,000

25

1929 . . . . . .

1,480,000

41

1930 .. . . ..

2,680,393

56

1931 .. . . . .

2,116,599

66

1933 .. . . . .

2,628,945

82

1934 . . .. . .

2,190,280

85

1935 .. .. ..

2,117,118

88-

1936 . . . . ..

2,149,092

87

1937 .. .. ..

2,255,933

81

1938 .. . . . .

2,406,623

80

1939 .. .. . .

2,407,651

80

1940 .. .. . .

2,094,415

78

1941 .. .. . .

2,394,046

83

1945 . . . . . .

2,376,793

73

1946 .. .. . .

2,992,129

82

Statistics not collected in 1932, 1942, 1943, or 1944. The 1945 figures are obviously too low, owing to the large amount of silo wheat sown in that year.

The production of new, improved varieties of wheat, oats, and barley, by hybridization and selection, is one of the most important and extensive aspects of the research work being conducted at the State Research Farm, Werribee. Under the existing organization, the farm with its laboratory, glasshouse, and cage facilities, forms the pivot of all cerealbreeding activity in Victoria.

It is here that the actual hybridization work is carried out, and the first generation crossbreds raised in the breeding cage under automatically-controlled lighting conditions, which enable several generations of plants to be produced in one year. Second generation crossbred material is distributed to selection centres located in the Mallee, (Mallee Research Station, Walpeup), Wimmera (Longerenong College), and the Rorth-east (Dookie Agricultural College) for further development.

The soundness of this policy of breeding wheat for the district in the district is demonstrated by the recent release of two new varieties, Insignia and Diadem. These were developed at the Mallee Research Station and Longerenong Agricultural College, respectively.

A portion of the wheat and oat crossbred material is retained at Werribee for selection and testing under local conditions, and the entire barley-breeding programme is carried out at this station, since the district is particularly suitable for the development of feed and malting barley.

Use is made of the laboratory facilities for testing for grain quality, and in this regard all crossbred-wheat material from the third generation onward is subjected to dough tests, grain samples from the selection centres being forwarded to Werribee for this purpose.

A large collection of material, numbering several hundred distinct varieties of wheat, oats, and barley, has been built up by cooperation and exchange with Agricultural Departments and Experiment Stations in all States of the Commonwealth, and in numerous overseas countries. Collections of varieties have been obtained from England, France, Denmark, Russia, Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Iraq, India, Japan, China, Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, Argentine, Chile, Peru, and New Zealand.

Each variety is grown and studied under local conditions, and those exhibiting desirable characteristics such as earliness of maturity, quality of the grain, resistance to disease, &c., are retained as potential parent forms. Particular attention has been paid to wheats which have been evolved in countries subject to arid conditions, and a considerable amount of success has been attained with these, several of the most extensively grown varieties in the State having been produced by the inclusion of Indian wheats in the crossing programme.

Each year a large number of matings of desirable parents is made and studied in nursery rows in the Stud Cereal Plots, which comprise from 6,000 to 8,000 rows annually.

These rows are culled drastically, and only those hybrids which are fixed in type and exhibit desirable characteristics are retained. These are then grown in field plots, where they are subjected to accurate tests to determine their yielding capacity and general suitability for commercial use. The best of them are then tested at the

Yield (YW


Average weight per ear


various departmental plots throughout the wheat belt.

The work of cereal breeding has many aspects which may be briefly summarized as follows :—

(a)    Wheat.—Breeding for yielding capacity, milling and baking quality, and resistance to disease.

(b)    Oats.—Breeding for yielding capacity, embracing types for hay, grain, and green feed, resistance to disease, and milling quality.

(c)    Barley.—Breeding for yielding capacity in both malting and feed types, malting quality, resistance to disease, and smoothness of awn.

(a) WHEAT

Breeding for Yield

The breeding of new varieties involves a programme of crossing of suitable parent types, in order to combine their desirable characters in the progeny. This necessitates a knowledge, not only of yield and the factors which go to make up yield, but also of such accessory characters as drought and disease resistance, strength of straw, and ability to hold grain.

A study of the factors which make up yielding ability has formed an important part of the activities of the farm.

The yield of any crop is controlled in the first instance by two factors, (1) number of ears, and (2) average weight of ear. Analysing these factors still further, we find that “ yield ” may be expressed as the product of four main factors :— /Number of plants Number of l (p)

ears 1 Number of ears/ plant (e)

f Number of grains/ J ear (n)

] Average weight per l grain (g)

If accurate information of this character can be obtained varieties then may be classified into groups exhibiting desirable characters of, say, large number of heads, or weighty grain, &c., and thus a guide is given in the breeding and selecting of new wheats.

A study of all plants in any crop becomes an impossible task when many experiments

are to be studied, so that some system of examining certain small portions scattered over the whole area is essential.

A system of sampling has been developed in which crops are examined at three stages of their growth—at germination, at stooling, and at harvest—and accurate counts made of the factors affecting plant development.

Average Figures at Werribee for the “ Yield Factors.”

Rajah.

Ranee.

Free

Gallipoli.

Federa

tion.

(p) Plants/foot ..

9-25

8-23

8-11

7-02

(e) Ears/plant ..

1-30

1-60

1-36

1-44

(n) Grains /ear ..

20-0

14-8

17-2

17-3

(g) Weight/1,000 grains

33-6

35-8

37-3

30-2

(7) Yield (bus./ac.) ..

22-2

22-4

20-2

16-0

The figures for the number of ears per plant show that Ranee matures a large number of ears per plant, which however tend to be small in size when compared with the large head of Rajah. An outstanding feature is the large grain of Free Gallipoli when compared with Federation.

The final “ yield ” figures show the material . increase of all three new types, Eajah, Eanee, and Free Gallipoli, over the standard Federation achieved in each case by a superiority in a different “ yield ” factor.

A stndy of the relation of the number of stools produced in spring to the number of heads matured at harvest has provided results of interest. Those varieties which * can produce from a given quantity of vegetative spring growth the greatest number of ears at harvest should tend to be more economical in food and water requirements, and therefore may be more drought resistant than other types. Thus it is possible that the figure of “ percentage survival ” of ears and stools may be a direct measure of drought resistance. The figures for the above four varieties at Werribee are set out in the table in the next column.

It is significant that all the new varieties which have proved themselves superior to Federation in the drier districts of the State show a material increase in this “ survival ” figure. The “ census ” analysis of yield has been extended to include many other trials, not only with wheat, but also with barley and oats, and in this manner the interpretation of the action of rates of seeding, manuring, and other allied problems has served a most useful purpose.

Average Figures for “ Percentage Survival ” at Werribee of Ears and Stools.

Rajah.

Ranee.

Free

Gallipoli.

Federa

tion.

Number of stools per

plant .. .. Number of ears per

2-37

2-92

2-89

3-38

plant .. ..

1-30

1-60

1-36

1-44

0/

/o

0/

/o

0/

/o

0/

/o

“ Percentage Survival ”

55

55

47

43

Breeding for Milling and Baking Quality

Improvement of the milling and baking qualities of Victorian wheats, by hybridization and selection, provides one of the most important phases of the breeding work. A collection of the highest quality wheats available in the world is being built up, and the more promising of these are being used as parents for mating with the best yielding Australian forms, in an attempt to produce new varieties combining the three desirable characters—quality, flour colour, and prolificacy.

The work .involves the conducting of more than 3,000 laboratory tests each year. In carrying out these tests, a small sample of grain is ground in an experimental mill to a coarse meal. A portion of this meal is mixed with a suspension of yeast in water, and is moulded into a dough-ball. The ball is immersed in water and kept at a constant temperature in an incubation cabinet. As the yeast works, the ball swells and finally bursts. The longer the time taken by the dough ball to burst, the better the quality of the sample. High-quality wheats burst in 100 to 150 minutes, as compared with 20 to 30 minutes taken by poor-quality types. While undergoing final yield trials prior to naming, all crossbreds are subjected to milling and baking, and other tests of a more accurate nature than those applied in the early stages of breeding.

All crossbreds which fail to attain a definite standard of quality are discarded in the early stages of breeding. As a result of this policy all varieties now released by the Department are of superior quality to the varieties which they replace. The most recent of these is the variety Diadem, which was developed at Longerenong Agricultural

College, and made available to growers this year. Diadem produces a grain of better quality than any other variety produced by the Department.

Breeding for Disease Resistance

Special attention is being devoted to the production of prolific varieties which will be resistant to one or more of the various fungous diseases which take their annual toll of the wheat crops. This aspect of the work necessitates the growing and testing of the new crossbreds in special disease nurseries, where every grain is inoculated with the specific disease prior to sowing. The main aspect of this work is the production of varieties of wheat resistant to flag smut (TJrocystis tritici). A number of standard varieties have been tested to determine their reaction to the disease, and in this way resistant forms have been isolated. These are now being used as parents for mating.

The field testing of the new crossbreds for flag smut resistance has been transferred to the Mallee Research Station at Walpeup, where it has been found that- conditions are more favourable to the development of the disease.

It is worthy to note that several Werribee productions, including Ghurka, Quadrat, and Pinnacle, exhibit a high degree of resistance to flag smut. Efforts are also being directed towards the production of varieties resistant to loose smut, stinking smut, and rust.

(b) OATS

Breeding for Yield

With oats, the main objective has been the production of prolific, drought resistant varieties suitable for hay or grain. In addition, attention is being directed to the production of varieties suitable for early green feed. The new oat, Orient, developed at the Mallee Research Station, is the result of such work.

Breeding for Disease Resistance

Attention is also being devoted to the breeding of varieties of oats which will be resistant to the two diseases—Loose Smut (Ustilago avenae) and Covered Smut (TJstilago levis). For this purpose resistant varieties have been obtained from America and are being mated with the local high yielding forms. The progeny will be tested, by a method similar to that adopted for testing flag smut resistance in wheat.

Milling Quality

In recent years a great deal of attention has been paid to the production of varieties especially suited to the requirements of the milling trade, and all new crossbreds are subjected to a close examination to determine their suitability in this respect.

(c) BARLEY Breeding for Yield

The breeding programme in regard to barley embraces the improvement of both malting (two rowed) and feed (six rowed) types. During the past few years more than one hundred and fifty new varieties of barley have been imported from many countries.

One object of these importations is to secure early maturing forms, which may be used as parents with the local varieties for the breeding of superior new varieties suited to the Victorian environment. Earliness of maturity is regarded as essential under Victorian conditions, in order to enable the

plant to escape the hot northerly winds, which result in decreased yields and inferior grain samples. In addition, attention is being directed towards the production of smooth awned barleys, with the object of eliminating the objectionable, rough, barbed beard so characteristic of the common varieties.

Breeding for Disease Resistance

Varieties which are resistant to the common smuts of barley—Covered Smut (UstUago hordei) and Loose Smut (UstUago nuda) have been obtained from Europe and are now being used as parents for mating with local varieties.

Breeding for Malting Quality

Particular attention has been paid to the production of new varieties combining earliness of maturity, yielding capacity, and superior inherent malting quality. Barleys obtained from England have proved superior in regard to inherent malting quality, and some of these have been mated with local varieties, and with certain early maturing Indian forms. From the progeny of these matings, numbering some hundreds of thousands of plants, three or four hundred distinct lines have been isolated and are at present under trial in the stud nursery area.

FLAX BREEDING

Duting the war a comprehensive flax breeding programme was undertaken with the object of developing varieties of fibre flax which would be more suitable for cultivation under local conditions than those at present available. The breeding work

at Werribee is supplemented by one selection nursery at Colac in the Western District. The scheme aims at improving yielding ability, early winter growth habit, and resistance to disease. Selection work is based on fibre content and quality, which is determined by examination of cross-sections of the stems of individual plants. Two main diseases, rust and wilt, are involved, and resistance to these has been introduced from linseed types of flax, obtained from America, and the U.S.S.R. A large number of resistant crossbreds are at present under trial in the nursery area at Colac. In addition, an extensive varietal collection of fibre and linseed flaxes is being maintained at Werribee.

TYPES OF PLOTS EMPLOYED

Stud Plots.—The stud plots consist of single rows, each 25 links in length. These form the nursery for new crossbreds and selected plants. Single plant testing is the basis of the work, and, to make this practicable, seeding is done by hand, the seeds being dropped singly, 2 inches apart. Crossbreds remain in these plots until at least the fifth generation.

Seed Multiplication Rows.—In these rows? which are 3 chains in length, are sown the more promising crossbreds from the stud plots, the purpose being to build up a supply of seed sufficient to sow larger plots in the following year. The rows are sown singly, 35 inches apart, with an ordinary seed drill, the spacing being obtained by closing the necessary number of grain runs.

Seed Multiplication Plots.—These are single plots of one-fortieth acre in area, representing the next stage in the development of the new crossbreds. In these the crossbreds are studied to observe their reaction under field conditions. Ho yields are recorded.

Replicated Yield Trials.— All varieties are subjected to two stages of accurate yield tests. As soon as possible after promotion from the stud plots they are grown in junior tests in which the yield of duplicate small plots of each variety ard compared with the standard variety. The best of these are then promoted to the senior yield trial where they are sown in quadruplicate plots of one-fortieth acre in area ; they must prove themselves over at least three or four years in these trials before they can be distributed to farmers.

Seed Plots.—The seed plots average about 1 acre in area and are used solely for the purpose of seed multiplication. Only those standard and crossbred varieties which have shown superior yielding capacity are admitted to these plots. Before sowing, the seed is subjected to the Tapke hot-water treatment for prevention of loose smut, and then before harvesting, the crop is carefully examined and all foreign varieties removed. The seed from these plots is used to sow the bulk areas from which is produced the grain distributed to farmers.

WHEAT EXPERIMENTS

NEW VARIETIES

Produced at State Research Farm, Werribee

The following are some of the more prominent wheat varieties which have been produced at Werribee :—

Quadrat is the most popular variety in Victoria at the present time. It is a brown-chaffed, short-strawed, free-stripping variety which matures about the same time as Ghurka. The grain is of good colour and does not crack readily. Quadrat is recommended for sowing in all districts except the northern Mallee. It is highly resistant to flagsmut.

Ghurka was, for more than ten years, the most popular Victorian variety, being displaced from this position in 1946 by the more prolific Quadrat. It is a brown-chaffed, free-threshing, short-strawed, midseason variety, which is highly resistant to flagsmut. It is being displaced by the new varities bred for specific districts, most of them having Ghurka as a parent.

Pindar is a selection from Ghurka, and is a distinct improvement on that variety in both prolificacy and flour quality. It is similar to Ghurka in disease resistance, but is slightly taller and earlier than that variety. Pindar is recommended for sowing in all districts except the Wimmera. It is the third most popular Victorian variety.

Pinnacle is a further selection from Pindar, which it resembles very closely in general characteristics. It is highly resistant to flagsmut and possesses good harvesting characteristics. In flour quality, it is superior to the parent, Pindar. The production of Pinnacle marks a distinct

7989/47.-2 advance in the objective of improving, not only the prolificacy, but also the grain and flour quality of Victorian wheat. Pinnacle is recommended for sowing in the Wimmera and east northern districts.

Magnet is a late-maturing white-chaffed variety with a long straw of medium height, suitable for grain and    hay. It is

recommended for limited sowing in the Wimmera and east northern districts.

Ranee is an early midseason variety, particularly suited to the drier areas of the wheat belt. It has brown, slightly tapering, tip-awned heads, and produces a grain of better than average baking quality. It is recommended for the Mallee Northern, and Wimmera (red soils) districts.

Regalia is an early drought-resistant, red-chaffed variety, resembling Eanee in most characteristics. It is recommended for the Mallee and mid-northern districts, but is likely to be replaced by the newer variety, Insignia.

Other wheats produced at Werribee include Free Gallipoli, Sepoy, Rajah, and Mogul, which were widely grown until replaced by the further improved varieties. The new medium-strong wheat, Diadem, was originated at Werribee by crossing Ghurka and the Canadian wheat, White Fife, selections being made at Longerenong College. A cross between Ranee and Ghurka produced the progeny from which

Insignia was developed at the Mallee Research Station, Walpeup.

Variety Trials (Wheat)

All    standard wheat    varieties of

importance in this State are grown in test plots at Werribee, and some of the results are given in Table 1. They are applicable particularly to the Central and Western Districts. The varieties now recommended being    Pindar,    Pinnacle,    and Quadrat

for general sowing, Magnet as a dual-purpose (grain and hay) type, and Insignia for the later sowings if rust attack is not feared.

Table 1.—Yield of Wheat Varieties for Various Periods—Werribee.

Variety.

Eight

Years.

Average.

Pour

Years.

Five

Years.

bushels

bushels

bushels

Midseason Varieties—

per acre.

per acre.

per acre.

Pindar .. ..

23-4

Pinnacle .. ..

23-2

Quadrat .. ..

22-3

Magnet .. ..

21-3

Ghurka . . ..

24-5

22-6

19-1

Mogul .. ..

24-6

22-4

Sepoy .. ..

23*4

21-2

Major .. ..

22-2

20-7

Free Gallipoli ..

20-3

20*8

Federation .. ..

20-6

21-0

Currawa .. ..

20-9

19-6

Early Varieties—

Insignia .. ..

23-7

Regalia .. ..

22-0

19-8

19*6

Ranee .. ..

23-6

22-4

19-1

Dundee . . ..

19-5

Bencubbin .. ..

19-0

Ford .. ..

18-5

Nabawa .. ..

18-1

16-6

Baldmin .. ..

• •

16-3

Many farmers are also interested in the progress of the new crossbred wheats, of which, as indicated in the section on cereal breeding, there are hundreds under test. The yields of a few of the best of these are given in Table 2. None of these is available for distribution to growers until it has been tested for longer periods in other districts.

Table 2.—Yields of New Wheats.— Werribee.

Variety

Average Three Years.

bushels per acre.

Pindar Selection W 193 A1

20-5

Pindar Selection W 98 A2

20-3

Pindar Selection W 977 X

19-3

Pinnacle ..

19-1

Pindar .. .. ..

19-0

Ghurka .. .. ..

15-4

Quality Tests

All new crossbred wheats and selections are subjected to grain quality tests in the early stages of development, and those strains which prove unsatisfactory in this respect are discarded. In this way, it is possible to control the breeding work so that the standard of grain quality of the new varieties will show a definite improvement on that of the older ones. (For details of procedure, see page 8.)

Fertilizer Trials (Wheat)

The practice of manuring wheat crops with superphosphate has become almost standardized in this State. This process has been assisted by means of accurate experiments carried on here and elsewhere. The application of phosphates is a primary necessity owing to their deficiency in our soils. Evidence, however, is now accumulating that, under certain conditions, the addition of nitrogen is advantageous, while, in particular localities, remarkable results have followed the application of certain other elements which are used by the plant in very minute quantity.

. These questions are receiving continued attention on the Research Farm, and the results obtained to date are summarized below.

Permanent Manurial Field

These tests are of the single-plot type, on fallow, and are in two alternate sections,

one being in fallow, and the other in crop every year. The field was laid down in 1913, and each plot has received its appropriate application of fertilizer every alternate year since, with the exception of four seasons, two on each section, when an attempt was made to ascertain the residual effect of the treatments.

The lengthy period over which the tests have been continued, and the uniform nature of the treatment given, make them of exceptional value in providing evidence on the long-term effect of fertilizer applications.

Summary of Results.—Wheat on Fallow

(a)    At    Werribee    superphosphate is

normally    the only    fertilizer required

with wheat sown on a clean fallow.

(b)    The    quantity    of superphosphate

giving the most profitable results is from I to 11 cwt. per acre, the greater quantity being recommended where the land has not been liberally fertilized for a recent crop.

(c)    No    profitable    increase has been

given either by potassic or nitrogenous manures or by lime.

Residual Effect of Fertilizers

In order to ascertain the residual effect of previous dressings, the usual applications of fertilizer were withheld in 1925, 1926, 1937, and 1938. Unfortunately, each of these seasons were characterized by very low rainfall and consequent low yields, and it is possible that, under conditions more nearly approaching normal, the relative results may have been different. They indicated, however, that :—    •

(a)    The residual effects of some of the manures were extremely high, but insufficient to produce maximum yields without application of superphosphate each year of cropping.

(b)    The most marked effects were obtained from farmyard manure, and the heavier applications of superphosphate.

(c)    Insoluble phosphate, such as bone fertilizer and Thomas’s phosphate, has shown, only in a minor degree, the long-distance effect with which it is often credited.

(d)    Potassic and nitrogenous fertilizers and lime gave little sign of residual effect.

Table 3.—Effect of Fertilizers on the Yields of Wheat Grown on Fallow.

(Alternate years since 1913.)

Average per acre for 30 years (immediate effect) and four years, 1925-26 and 1937-38 (■residual effect). Two sites cropped in alternate years.

Yield.

Manurial Treatment.

Immediate

Effect

Average

Thirty

Years.

Residua

Effect

Average

Four

Years.

No manure .. .. ..

bushels.

6-3

bushels.

2-2

Super., £ cwt. .. ..

13-7

3-6

Super., 1 cwt. .. ..

16-6

6-0

Super., U cwt- .. ..

18-9

7-9

Super., 2 cwt. .. ..

19-3

9-6

Bone fertilizer, 1 cwt... ..

10*7

4-3

Thomas’s phosphate, 1 cwt. ..

11-5

4*1

Super., 1 cwt., Thomas’s phosphate, £ cwt. .. ..

14-1

4*0

Super., I cwt., lime 5 cwt. ..

17-1

4-7

Super., 1 cwt., lime 10 cwt. ..

18-4

6-4

Super., 1 cwt., lime 20 cwt. ..

17-8

6-9

Super., 1 cwt., pot. sulph., £ cwt.

16-7

5*0

Super., 1 cwt., pot. sulph., \ cwt., soda nit., £ cwt. ’ .. ..

16-0

4-4

Super., 1 cwt., soda nit., J cwt...

16-9

5-9

Super., 1 cwt., soda nit., J cwt. (in spring) .. .. ..

17-2

6-7

Farmyard manure, 10 tons ..

15-2

7-8

Farmyard Manure, 10 tons, lime 10 cwt. .. .. ..

15*0

8-0

Super., 1 cwt. (continuously cropped) .. .. ..

9-0

No manure continuously cropped)

4-7

Note.—On stubble land best results are obtained by the use of approximately 1 cwt. of superphosphate plus 1 cwt. sulphate of ammonia.

Superphosphate Tests on Normal Fallowed Land

These tests are situated on land which is of a volcanic clay character, and therefore typical of the bulk of the cereal growing soil in the district, and differ in several respects from those of the Permanent Manurial Field.    They    are of    the

replicated type, and, the site being changed each season, in fields farmed on a three-course rotation.    The results (Table 4)

include, not only the immediate effect of the manures applied in the tests, but also the residual effect of previous applications, comprising    1    cwt.    of

superphosphate in    each    two    years    out

of every three.    They show the lower

yields which follow reduced applications of superphosphate on    paddocks    farmed    in


a normal rotation, and from them calculations can be made to indicate the most profitable dressings of superphosphate to apply under current prices of wheat and fertilizer. The average results for three years are shown below and support the recommendation for the use of at least 1 cwt. of superphosphate per acre with wheat sown on normal fallow.

Table 4.—Manurial Trial on Fallow. Average Results, 3 years.

Treatment.

Average

Yields.

Increase

over

No Manure.

Net Extra Return per Acre over No Manure.

bus./acre.

bus./acre.

£ s. d.

No manure ..

14-6

Super., £ cwt. ..

20-8

6-2

1 7 9

Super., 1 cwt. ..

22-4

7-8

1 12 6

Super., 1| cwt. ..

22-7

8-1

1 10 9

The following values were used in compiling this table :—Wheat, 5s. per bushel; superphosphate, 6s. 6d. per cwt. (22 per cent, phosphoric acid).

“Minor” Elements Manurial Trial

Owing to the fact that the application of certain of the “ minor ” elements has been followed in the Wimmera and elsewhere in Australia by beneficial effects, a test of this character was carried out at Werribee in 1938. The elements used, and the results obtained, are shown in Table 5. It will be seen that, in this test, no beneficial effect followed their use at Werribee, as contrasted with the increased yields obtained from zinc in the Wimmera.

Table 5.—“ Minor ” Elements Trial, 1938.

Treatment

+ Super., lj cwt. per Acre.

Yield, Mean of Four Plots.

bushel per acre.

Super only .. .. ..

20-9

Zinc sulphate, 20 lb. .. ..

19-2

Magnesium sulphate, 30 lb. ..

19-2

Potassium sulphate, 1 cwt. ..

19-4

Manganese sulphate, 30 lb. ..

19-1

Copper sulphate, 15 lb. .. ..

11-8

Ferric sulphate, 56 lb. .. ..

15-3

Borax, 15 lb. .. .. ..

15-1

Significant difference required - ..

2-0

The low yields obtained with some of these elements are due to different causes, including low percentage germination of the seed and an injurious chemical reaction with the soil, which indicates that their indiscriminate use is attended with some degree of danger.

Manurial Tests on Stubble Land

Trials were begun at Werribee in 1933 to study the manurial requirements of stubble land. It is known that one of the main benefits from fallowing comes from an increase in the supply of soil nitrate. It was therefore a reasonable assumption that an application of nitrogenous fertilizer would increase yields on stubble. Using such a manure, in the form of sulphate of ammonia, in addition to superphosphate, the trials have resulted in marked responses being obtained with wheat, oats, and barley —responses, which were definitely profitable before the wartime increase in the cost of sulphate of ammonia from £11 to £18 10s. per ton.

For purposes of comparison, the yields of oats and barley as well as wheat are given in Table 6.

The relative yields from the three cereals in this test indicate what wheat, as is well known, is not as productive as either oats or barley as a stubble crop and cannot be recommended for sowing under such conditions.

Gypsum Trials

In certain parts of Victoria gypsum has proved effective in lightening the texture of heavy soils, and, following its use, the yield of wheat on such soils has been materially increased. This experiment was designed to test the efficacy of similar treatment on the heavy red-clay loam soils of the Werribee district. It was begun in 1930 and completed four years later.

Three treatments of gypsum, £, 1, and 2 tons per acre, were tested against a normal control plot. The plots were grown on two sites on a wheat-fallow rotation and treated with gypsum in the first year only. There was a material improvement in texture, and this was reflected in the yields of wheat obtained. An increase of 6 bushels per acre resulted from the use of 2 tons per acre of gypsum, but even this increase does not warrant its general use because of the high costs involved. An examination of the development of the plants showed that this increase was due in the main to the larger number of plants present on the gypsum-treated plots, i.e., a better germination in the lighter-textured soils treated with gypsum.

The yields of wheat and the percentage germination of the various plots are shown in the accompanying table.

Gypsum Trials.

Treatment—

+ Super., 1£ cwt. per Acre.

Germination

Percentage.

Average

Yield,

1930-34.

Gypsum—

2 tons per acre .. ..

0/

Bushel per acre.

62

29-7

1 ton per acre .. ..

60

28*1

I ton per acre .. ..

57

27-3

No gypsum .. ..

50

23-6

Seeding Trials (Wheat)

With such a wide range of seeding rates available to the farmer, he naturally seeks some information as to which one is likely to be the most profitable. The time to sow also is of great importance. Sometimes

Table 6.—Manurial Tests on Stubble.

Treatment.

Yield per Acre.

Financial Returns after Deducting Cost of Manure.

Wheat,

1933-35.

Oats,

1933-37.

Barley

Malting,

1933-37.

Wheat.

Oats.

Barley.

Bushel.

Bushel.

Bushel.

£ s. d.

£ s. d.

£ 9. d.

No manure .. .. .. ..

10-9

19-2

19-2

Super., £ cwt. per acre .. ..

11-3

21-0

20-4

-0 1 3

0 2 9

0 17

Super., 1 cwt. per acre .. ..

11-2

20-1

20-5

-0 5 0

-0 3 6

-0 14

Super., | cwt. + am. sulph., \ cwt. ..

13-8

26-2

25-1

0 1 0

0 9 10

0 10 1

Super., 1 cwt. + am. sulph., 1 cwt. ..

16-9

30-6

29-4

0 3 0

0 11 0

0 13 10

A — sign indicates a loss.

The following values were used in compiling this tableWheat, 5s. per bushel; Oats, 3s. 4d. per bushel; Barley, 4s. per bushel; "Super., 6s. 6d. per cwt.; Super, and Ammonia, 13s. 6d. per cwt.


there is no option, the weather or other circumstances being the deciding factor, but, given a choice, and always assuming that the soil is in suitable condition, should the early or late sowing be preferred ? Both problems can be conveniently studied together, and this has been done in trials conducted at the farm over a period of sixteen years. The following conclusions have been reached :—

(a)    When sown early the amount of seed may vary from 60 to 120 lb. per acre without greatly affecting the yield.

(b)    When sown late the best results are obtained from a heavier seeding of approximately 80 lb. per acre.

(o) An average increased yield of 4| bushels per acre can be expected from early seeding compared with that from late seeding.

The terms early and late, as used here, do not refer to any specific calendar date, but are purely relative. Early sowing on the average would take place about the beginning of May, and late sowing about the middle of June.

The tests were conducted in two series, the first for eleven years with 20 lb. as the lowest seeding rate, and the second for five years with 45 lb. as the lowest rate.

Rate and Time of Seeding Tests

Average Results with Wheat for Eleven Years (1915-1925).

Time of

Pounds of Seed per Acre.

Seeding.

20.

30.

45.

60.

80.

120.

bus.

bus.

bus.

bus.

bus.

bus.

Early ..

15-2

17-7

19-3

19-5

21-1

21 -4

Late ..

10-8

12-4

14-4

15-9

17-6

17-9

Average Results for Five Years (1926-1930).

Time of

Pounds of Seed per Acre.

Seeding.

45.

60.

75.

90.

105.

120

bus.

bus.

bus.

bus.

bus.

bus.

Early ..

18-5

20-1

19-7

19-8

20-0

20-3

Late ..

12-5

14-4

14-5

15-2

15-0

15-4

DISEASES OF WHEAT

The aggregate toll claimed by plant diseases in Victoria undoubtedly reaches an enormous sum. Furthermore, as some of these diseases are not readily apparent, many farmers no doubt are unaware of the inroads which are being made upon the return from their crops. It is of the greatest importance that the appearance and nature of these diseases should be studied, and due precautions taken to restrict their ravages as much as possible. These objects have received attention on the farm, and some of the work done is described below.

Bunt or Stinking Smut (Tilletia tritici and T. levis)

Treatment.—Pickle, with mercury or copper powders, at the rate of 1| oz. per bushel of seed.

Bunt was for many years one of the most troublesome and destructive diseases of wheat crops in Victoria, and the best control treatment consisted of wet pickling with bluestone or formalin. Due care was not always taken to use these at the proper strength, and, as a result, injurious effects on germination often occurred.

The tests made at Werribee were, in the first place, for the purpose of comparing the respective merits of the wet and dry methods of pickling, and were confined mainly to determining the effect of the pickling on the germination, growth, and subsequent yield of the treated seed.

Counts made upon the field germination of wet and dry pickled seed have shown the dry pickled seed to give regularly a better and more vigorous germination than that of the wet pickled seed. This improved germination and early growth usually are reflected in a small increase in yield, the average results over the six years having been as follow:—

Bluestone. — 1J per cent. — 3 mins.— 10*3 bushels per acre.

Formalin.—1-450—3 mins.—10*4 bushels per acre.

Copper carbonate.—2 oz. per bushel —11*3 bushels per acre.

Both wet and dry treatments give complete and effective control of the disease when applied to ordinary smut-infected seed.

Later, trials were conducted to determine the comparative efficacy of the various


brands of commercial dry powders and to determine also the value for bunt prevention of other copper compounds not generally used for this purpose.

The results indicated no significant difference in yield due to the various powders tested.

Loose Smut (Ustilago tritici)

Treatment.—Immersion of seed in hot water and the use of seed from clean crop.

Of the three common smuts affecting the wheat plant, loose smut is commonly considered the least injurious. Trustworthy reports, however, indicate that in individual cases losses have occurred to the extent of 2’5 per cent, of the crop, and it seems likely that this is not an uncommon occurrence in certain localities and in certain seasons. Owing to the fact that the fungus is enclosed within the grain, infection having taken place the previous year at flowering time, it is not reached by ordinary methods of pickling, and some other line of attack becomes necessary.

Treatment.

Total Smutty Heads per 1/20 Acre.

1927.

1928.

1929.

Average.

Untreated .. ..

1,603

585

75

754

1 hour, at 120° F. ..

64

155

37

85

1 hour 20 minutes,'at 120° F.

27

56

0

27

1 hour 40 minutes, at 120° F.

3

2

1

2

In 1927, apparatus was installed at Werribee for the purpose of testing the efficiency of a hot-water treatment devised by Dr. Tapke in America.

As the accompanying table indicates, immersion for 1 hour 40 minutes in water held at 120° F. has given satisfactory results in controlling the disease. The table gives, in a concise form, the results obtained to date.

As the tests have shown that the treatment of the seed for periods of 1 hour 40 minutes or longer has been effective in controlling the disease, steps are taken every year to treat the more important varieties at various stages as they are grown in the experimental fields.

Flag Smut (Urocystis tritici)

Flag smut is destructive and widespread. Owing to the fact that the soil becomes infected, it is impossible to control it by pickling the seed.

Measures of control include a good stubble burn, thorough working of the fallow, and a crop rotation which includes oats. The most satisfactory means of eradication, however, consists in the use of resistant varieties. G-hurka and the newer varieties—Quadrat and Pinnacle, serve this purpose admirably, being almost immune to the disease.

Flag Smut Infection.

Manurial Treatment.

Infection Percentage.

1927.

1928.

1929.

0/

/o

0/

/o

%

Super, 1 cwt. . • • •

0-9

3-7

2-1

Farmyard manure, 10 tons ..

6-9

17‘0

9-7

Farmyard manure, 10 tons +

lime 10 cwt. .. • •

14-7

28-8

18-5

No manure .. • •

1-9

4-4

2-2

Super, | cwt. .. • •

2-2

2-2

Super, 1| cwt. .. ..

2-2

1 *5

Super, 2 cwt. .. ..

2-7

1-0

Super, 1 cwt. + lime, 5 cwt.

7-6

10-9

10-4 '

Super, 1 cwt. + lime, 10 cwt.

13-4

14-4

11-9

Super, 1 cwt. + lime, 20 cwt.

13-2

11-3

10-0

Super, 1 cwt. .. . •

3-2

4-0

3-5

The development of this disease in the Permanent Manurial Field has apparently been favoured by the application of lime and farmyard manure, as indicated in the accompanying table, which shows the counts of infected plants. That superphosphate did not encourage the disease is also shown in the table.

OAT EXPERIMENTS

The oat is second in importance to wheat as an annual crop in Victoria, and occupies approximately 1,000,000 acres each year. The hardy nature of this plant enables it to thrive over a wide range of conditions, and often under very rough methods of cultivation.

Oats are grown for hay, grain, ensilage or grazing purposes. The grain has peculiarly valuable properties for milling or feeding, while as a grazing proposition the plant is    outstanding since    it

produces large    quantities of nutritious

feed, and exhibits remarkable powers of recovery. Oats are particularly useful in a rotation, not only as a change crop, but also as a means of control of plant disease.

Varieties

For many years Algerian has been the leading general    purpose variety of    the

State, being productive, hardy, and well suited to most districts. Its position is, however, now    being challenged    by

Algeribee, a new superior variety developed at the State Research Farm, and first distributed to farmers in 1939.

Algeribee, which is a selection from Algerian, bears a general resemblance to the parent, but comes away faster in the spring months. It is slightly taller, and earlier, and produces larger heads and grain than Algerian. Algeribee has demonstrated its superiority to Algerian in regard to both hay and grain yields in many tests throughout the State. It is recommended for general sowing in all districts.

A considerable amount of work has been done in an effort to produce an earlier-maturing    variety    which would be

more suited to the drier districts of Victoria, particularly the Mallee. Up to the present time    two    such    varieties,

Palestine and Dawn, have been developed on the farm. They may be described as follows :—•

Palestine.—A    very    early    maturing

drought-resisting variety, which is characterized by its short, strong straw. It has given exceptionally high yields of grain over a wide range of conditions, but is not recommended as a hay variety. It will probably be replaced by the crossbred, Palestine X Dawn, released in 1947 under the name “ Orient ”.

Dawn.—A midseason strain selected from the variety, Sunrise. Somewhat later in maturity than the parent, it is earlier than Algeribee. It is definitely stronger in the straw than Sunrise, and


gives good yields of hay and grain, particularly in the northern areas of the State. It produces a large bulk of green feed throughout the season and has proved to be very palatable to stock.

Table 1.—Yield of Oat Varieties on Fallow—Hay and Grain.

Average six years.

Variety.

Hay.

Grain.

Algeribee .. ..

cwt./ac.

40-2

bns./ac.

39-6

Dawn .. .. ..

39-3

34-0

Algerian .. ..

37-9

37-7

Orient .. .. ..

35-6

43-9

Belar .. .. ..

34-4

35-3

Mulga .. .. ..

31-5

32-6

It will be seen that the midseason varieties, Algeribee, Dawn, and Algerian, are generally superior to the earlier-maturing types in both hay and grain yield. Of the early oats, the new variety, Orient, is of interest because of its heavy yield of grain and its suitability for grazing. This oat produces a large amount of early green feed, and exhibits a high degree of recovery after grazing. It is particularly well-suited to the drier areas of the State.

Variety Trials (Oats on Stubble)

As a considerable area of the oat crop of Victoria is sown down on stubble, certain of the more popular oat varieties have been tested for several years under such conditions at Werribee. In order to make good the deficiency of nitrates which usually occur in stubble land, the plots have received an application of ammonia in addition to a dressing of 1 cwt. of superphosphate. The comparative varietal results are similar to those obtained on fallowed land.

Table 2.—Oat Variety Trials on Stubble Land.

Variety.

Yield per Acre (Average Pour Years),

Hay.

Grain.

cwt.

bus.

Algeribee .. ..

25-5

27-5

Dawn .. .. ..

23-4

23-0

Algerian ' .. ..

22-0

23-4

Orient .. .. ..

20-0

26-6

Mulga .. .. ..

19-8

24-7

Fulghum .. ..

18-9

20-8

Palestine .. ..

16-4

20-3

MAN U RIAL TESTS WITH OATS — SUMMARY OF RESULTS

On fallow land superphosphate is normally the only fertilizer required.

The quantity of superphosphate giving the best results is from 1{ to 2 cwt. per acre, the greater quantity being recommended when there are prospects of good returns from oaten hay or grain or where the previous crop was not liberally fertilized.

The use of potash, lime, and insoluble phosphate cannot be recommended.

On stubble land the most profitable results are obtained by the use of 1 cwt. of superphosphate with 1 cYft. of sulphate of ammonia.

PERMANENT MANURIAL FIELD (OATS)

A description of the layout of this field is given under the wheat section (page 12).

Residual Effects of Fertilizers

It is a matter of some interest to ascertain the residual effects of fertilizers on yield and, with this end in view, the usual applications were withheld in four seasons, viz., 1925,1926,1937 and 1938. The average of the resulting yields are given in Table 3, and, as with wheat, show that the previous regular applications of fertilizers were


considerable, but not sufficient to make unnecessary the annual dressings of superphosphate.

Farmyard manure and the heavier applications of superphosphate had very definite residual effects, but- those of bone fertilizer and Thomas’s phosphate were less marked. No residual effects of potassic and nitrogenous fertilizers, after excluding that of the superphosphate used with them, were evident.

Each of the four seasons in which this test was made* was exceptionally dry, a fact which may have had some influence on the comparative results.

Manurial Tests on Stubble (Oats)

It has already been mentioned, in the section dealing with wheat, that the manurial requirements of crops grown on fallow may differ essentially from those on stubble. In the latter case there is likely to be a shortage of nitrates and this must be made up before satisfactory growth can take place. In Table 4 it is shown that greatly increased, as well as more profitable, yields of oats follow on application of sulphate of ammonia in addition to that of superphosphate.

Table 3.—Effect of Fertilizers on the Yield of Oats Grown on Fallow.

Average per acre for 21 years (immediate effect), and four years 1925, 1926, 1937 and 1938 (residual effect).

Immediate

Effects.

Residual

Manurial Treatment.

Grain.

Hay.

Effects

(Grain).

bus.

cwt.

bus.

No manure .. .. ..

16-2

17-6

8-5

Super., \ cwt. .. ..

32-0

31 -3

13-6

Super., 1 cwt. .. ..

34-3

37-0

19-0

Super., 1J cwt. .. ..

38-6

38-0

22-8

Super., 2 cwt. .. ..

39-6

38-4

22-9

Bone fertilizer, 1 cwt. ..

33-2

32-4

17-4

Thomas’s phosphate, 1 cwt. .. Super., \ cwt., Thomas’s phos-

33-2

30-5

14-4

phate, \ cwt. .. ..

34-2

34-1

14-7

Super., 1 cwt., lime, 5 cwt. ..

37-3

35-8

17-5

Super., 1 cwt., lime, 10 cwt. ..

35-6

38-8

18-7

Super., 1 cwt., lime, 20'cwt. ..

35-3

39-7

16-5

Super., 1 cwt., pot. sulph., J cwt. Super., 1 cwt., pot. sulp., ^ cwt.,

37-3

35-7

16-5

soda nit., | cwt. .. ..

36-3

35 *5

15 -8

Super., 1 cwt., soda nit., ^ cwt. Super., 1 cwt., soda nit., 1 cwt.

37-7

33-6

16-6

(in spring) .. ..

37-4

36-5

18-1

Farmyard manure, 10 tons .. Farmyard manure, 10 tons, lime,

32-2

38-0

22-9

10 cwt. .. .. .. Super., 1 cwt. (continuously

32-6

37-2

20-4

cropped) .. .. .. No manure (continuously

18-2

21 -7

cropped) .. .. ..

15-2

14-7

Table 4.—Manurial Tests on Stubble Land with Oats.

Average per acre for five years 1933-37.

Treatment.

Yields.

Monetary Return after Deducting the Cost of Manure.

Grain.

Hay.

Grain.

Hay.

bus.

cwt.

s.

d.

s. d.

No manure .. ..

19-2

18-3

Super., | cwt. ..

21-0

19-5

2

9

1 7

Super., 1 cwt. .. Super., 1 cwt. + am.

29-1

19-2

—3

6

-2 11

sulph., i cwt. .. Super., 1 cwt. + am.

26-2

24-8

9

10

12 6

sulph., 1 cwt. ..

30-6

29-9

11

0

19 5

In this table the grain has been valued • at 3s. 4d. per bushel, hay at £4 per ton, superphosphate at 6s. 6d. per cwt., and

superphosphate and sulphate of ammonia at 13s. 6d. per cwt. A minus sign denotes a loss.

SEEDING TRIALS WITH OATS —SUMMARY OF RESULTS

(a) For early sowing use about 70 lb., and for late sowing from 80 to 90 lb. of seed per acre.

(.b) Whenever possible, sow early on well-prepared land.

Rate and time of seeding trials with oats were carried on for some years, but definite conclusions having been reached, they have been discontinued.

On the average, the early crop was sown about the middle of April, and the late crop about the end of May.

Rate and Time of Seeding Tests with Oats on Fallow. Results for 17 Years, 1917-33.

Time of Seeding.

Rate of Seeding in lb.

50.

70.

90.

bus./ac.

bus./ac.

bus./ac.

Early .. ..

36-2

39-8

39-3

Late .. ..

20-4

22-8

24-3

Diseases of Oats

The oat crop is not, under Werribee conditions, apparently susceptible to many diseases, but it may be attacked by smuts of several kinds. The most common are covered smut (Ustilago levis), and loose smut (Ustilago avenae). Coveted smut may be kept in check by ordinary pickling methods as used for wheat. The best means of dealing with loose smut is to use seed only from clean crops, but pickling with a mercurial powder is also advocated. Treatment with formalin is effective but inconvenient.

BARLEY EXPERIMENTS

Barley is next in importance to oats as a cereal crop in Victorian agriculture. The' average annual production exceeds 2,000,000 bushels, of which rather more than 80 per cent, is of the two-rowed or malting type, the remainder being six-rowed or feeding barley. Malting barleys are used for brewing and for the manufacture of foods, while the six-rowed type, apart from a small proportion required for brewing,, are used almost exclusively for feeding to' stock. In general, the yield per acre of feeding barley is from 10 to 15 per cent, in excess of that of the malting types, but the difference is more than offset by the fact that the malting barleys usually command a price of at least 25 per cent, more per bushel.

Barley is exceedingly hardy and adaptable, and will yield well under conditions which would be unsuited for wheat or oats. Under good conditions, it produces a large bulk of early green feed, and in this regard is particularly valuable under conditions of irrigation or high rainfall. The bulk of the Victorian crop is grown on stubble or ley land.

During recent years, a considerable amount of investigational work in regard to varieties, manuring, and other problems relating to barley growing has been conducted at the Werribee Research Farm.

Barley Varieties

Malting Types.—The choice of varieties of either malting or feeding barleys is strictly limited by the few suitable ones available.

Of the malting types only three varieties, Prior, Plumage Archer, and Research, are grown to any extent in Victoria.

Prior barley is the standard Australian malting type, and has formed the basis of the industry for many years. It is an early-maturing variety which yields Well, and produces a good quality grain over a wide range of conditions.    j ;

Plumage Archer is an introduction from England, and is characterized by the excellent malting quality of its grain. It is, however, rather late in maturity for local conditions, and for this reason is recommended only for the higher rainfall districts and for limited sowings.

Research is a new variety which was bred on the Eesearch Farm and distributed to growers in 1942. It was developed from a cross between Prior and Plumage Archer, and is an early midseason malting type, combining many of the good characteristics of both parents. The straw is strong, of medium height, and carries a large broad erect head, bearing a grain of excellent malting quality. Eesearch matures some three weeks in advance of Plumage Archer but is a few days later than Prior in this regard. Because of this it is recommended for sowing only in districts south of the Dividing Eange and in the North-east. Over a six-year period at Werribee, Eesearch has outyielded Prior by an average of 6 *8 bushels and Plumage Archer by 3‘5 bushels per acre.

Table 1.—Malting Barley Varieties.

Variety.

Yield per Acre Average Six Years.

Bushels.

Research .. .. ..

32-5

Plumage Archer .. .. ..

29-0

Prior .. .. .. ..

25-7

Feed Types.—The most popular six-rowed barley is the variety Cape, which is an early maturing, heavy-yielding type, particularly suited for local conditions if feed barley is required.

Manurial Trials (Barley)

Table 2 gives the results of manurial trials with Prior barley on fallow land.

It will be seen that, in the seasons 1932 and 1935, the response to superphosphate was small, while on the other hand, the application of sulphate of ammonia was responsible for a marked increase in yield. In these years, excessive rainfall was responsible for the washing out of nitrates from the soil, and, as a result, fallow-sown crops responded profitably to dressings of nitrogenous manures. Seasons of this nature are experienced once in every three or four years at Werribee. In the remaining seasons there was a marked response to superphosphate, but dressings of sulphate of ammonia proved definitely unprofitable. The results in this case are typical of those expected from fallow-manurial trials.

Table 2.—Manurial Trials on Fallow Land—Variety Prior.

Average Yield per Acre.

Treatment per Acre.

1932 and 1935.

1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938.

No manure .. ..

bus./ac.

bus./ac.

30-6

33-6

Super., 1 cwt. .. ..

33-7

42-8

Super., 1£ cwt. .. ..

33-9

45 -0

Super., 2 cwt. .. .. Super., 1 cwt. + am. sulph., 1

34-8

47-1

cwt. .. .. .. Difference in bushels required

43-3

44*2

for significance .. ..

2-5

2-5

The results from a series of manurial trials on stubble land are shown in Table 3.

Summary of Results on Stubble Land

On stubble land, the most profitable returns were obtained by the application of a mixture of 1 cwt. superphosphate in addition to 1 cwt. sulphate of ammonia. The use of the mixed manure has, in addition, improved the malting quality of the grain. Applications of superphosphate alone were not profitable.

Table 3.—Barley Manurial Trials— Stubble Land.

' Treatment.

Average Yield.

Prior

1933-37.

Cape

1935-37.

No manure .. ..

bus./ac.

19-2

bus./ac.

18-3

Super., I cwt./ac. .. ..

20-4

18-7

Super., 1 cwt./ac. .. ..

20-5

18-5

Super., £ cwt. am. sulph. I cwt./ac. .. .. ..

25-1

23-1

Super., 1 cwt. + am. sulph., 1 cwt./ac. .. .. ..

29-4

27-4

Difference in bushels required for significance .. ..

2-0

2*5

The results, with Prior for five years and Cape for three years, are characterized by the lack of response to superphosphate alone, and by the large increases in yield which are obtained from dressings of sulphate of ammonia in combination with superphosphate. The increase in yield with the application of 1 cwt. of superphosphate and 1 cwt. of sulphate of ammonia makes this dressing very profitable, and it is therefore to be recommended for stubble crops under local conditions.

A point which must be considered in all manurial trials with malting barley is the effect exerted by the manure on the malting quality of the grain, as indicated by its nitrogen content; the smaller the amount of nitrogen present, the better will be the grain quality. The results of this investigation are given in Table 4.

Contrary to what might have been anticipated, dressings of sulphate of ammonia have tended to decrease the nitrogen content of the grain and therefore to improve its malting quality.


Table 4.—Grain Nitrogen Content—Prior Barley—Stubble Sown.

Nitrogen Content of Grain.

Treatment.

1933.

1934.

1935.

1936.

1937.

%

0/

/o

%

0/

/o

V

/o

No manure .

1

•27

1-37

1

•72

1-28

1

•79

Super., £ cwt./ac.

1

•24

1 -23

1

•66

1-27

1

•77

Super., 1 cwt./ac.

1

•21

1-31

I

•66

1-28

1

•78

Super., | cwt./ac.,

am. sulph.,

1

cwt./ac. ..

1

•28

1 -19

1

•39

1-22

1

•60

Super., 1 cwt./ac.,

am. sulph.,

1

cwt./ac. ..

1

•27

1-15

1

•32

1-19

1

•52

Table 5.—Bate of Seeding Test— Average Yield—1932-33 and 1936— Prior Barley.

Treatment.

Yield per Acre.

Bushels.

50 lb./ac. . . . . ..

27-1

75 lb./ac. . . .. ..

27-9 '

100 lb./ac. .. .. • •

28-3

Difference in bushels required for

significance .. .. ..

2-2

It will be seen that the optimum amount of seed per acre ranges from 75 to 100 lb.

Diseases of Barley

Barley is subject to attack by two common smuts. One of these is covered smut (Ustilago hordei) and the other loose smut (Ustilago nuda). Covered smut may be controlled by sprinkling a heap of barley with a solution of formalin ; after covering to prevent the escape of gas it should be left for several hours. Dry pickling reduces infection, the mercurial powders being superior to copper dusts.

The loose smut is best handled by using seed from clean crops only, although the hot-water treatment as used for wheat, slightly modified, is effective.

CROP ROTATION TESTS

The early discovery that rotation of crops was essential to good farming has led to the development of different systems suited to the conditions of the area in which they were developed. The Permanent Eotation Field was designed to determine the rotation best suited to the conditions at Werribee, exclusive of those which necessitate turning the land into pasture for more than one year.

The outstanding lesson has been that, under local conditions, a fallow is necessary every second or third year, and that a pea crop is not a satisfactory substitute for a bare fallow.

The most, successful rotations up to the present have been :—fallow, hay ; fallow, hay, barley ; fallow, wheat, pasture ; fallow, wheat, oats, pasture.

PERMANENT ROTATION FIELD

In this field there is a series of ten different rotations. In four of them the principal crop is oaten hay, while in the remaining six it is wheat. The treatment given each crop is, as far as possible, that of normal, good, local farming practice. Grazing results are obtained by the use of sheep, which are enclosed by temporary fences erected around the required plots.

The various rotation systems undergoing trial, together with the average yields obtained, are shown in the table below.

One outstanding result has been the marked increase in yield when either wheat or oaten hay has been preceded by a fallow. In the case of wheat the average increase was 170 per cent., and with oaten hay 83 per cent., over the stubble-grown crop. To a large extent, the reason for “ wheat continuously ” failing so badly is that such a system is favourable to the growth of wild oats, which crowds out the wheat.

The yield of wheat in the three- and four-course rotation, which included a year out to pasture, is higher than that in the two-course rotation, fallow-wheat.

Another interesting feature is that the yield of hay in the “ fallow-hay-barley ” rotation is practically identical with that in the “ fallow-hay ” rotation. When grown in a three-course rotation with peas and barley, the average yield of hay was but little more than when hay was grown continuously. This suggests that the advantages secured by fallowing are of more

Table Showing the Various Rotations with Yields and Grazing Results.

Average Results : Ray, barley, peas, 33 years; wheat, 30 years.

Section

No.

Rotation.

Crop.

Average Yield Grain.

Average Yield Hay.

Sheep Days.

Live Weight Increase.

bus./ac.

cwt./ac.

No./ac.

Ib./ac.

1

Hay continuously .. .. ..

Hay !

23-2

2

Fallow, Hay .. .. ..

Hay ..

42-7

3

Fallow, Hay, Barley .. ..

fHay .. [Bariev ..

21-2

45-1

[ Peas ..

9-8

4

Peas, Hay, Barley .. .. ..

Hay .. Barley ..

20-5

29-1

Peas ..

10-7

5

Peas, Wheat, Rape, Barley .. ..

Wheat ..

14-5

-

Rape .. Barley . . f Wheat ..

28-1

158

65

18-7

6

Fallow, Wheat, Oats, Pasture ..

-

Oats .. Pasture • ..

20-6

282

124

7

Fallow, Wheat, Pasture .. ..

J

f Wheat ..

18-4

Pasture .. f Peas ..

8*9

316

156

8

Peas, Wheat, Rape .. .. ..

1

Wheat .. Rape ..

14-0

176

87

9

Fallow, Wheat .. .. ..

Wheat ..

16-7

10

Wheat continuously .. ..

Wheat ..

6-2



importance to the hay crop than the nitrogen gathered by the peas.

None of the rotations in which a crop is grown every year has been successful; indeed, the results generally indicate that fallowing cannot be dispensed with, but that a fallow must be included at least once in every three years.

GREEN MANURIAL TESTS

It is of the utmost importance to the farmer that his land should have an adequate supply of organic matter or “ humus ”. Without it, the land is hard, cloddy, and difficult to work, and its moisture-holding capacity very poor. The common practice of alternating crop and fallow over an indefinite period is wasteful of humus, and, if continued long enough, undoubtedly must seriously reduce the fertility of the land.

The problem then is to find a system of cropping which will be economically sound, and, at the same time, will maintain and, if possible, increase the store of organic matter in the soil. Apart from the application of farmyard manure (see Manurial Trials) and turning the paddock out to pasture, other possible solutions are the ploughing-in of a green crop, or the feeding-off of a forage crop and the ploughing-in of the residues, which methods are practised in some other countries, particularly where the rainfall is higher.

The last two alternatives are being investigated in the tests in the Green Manurial Field, where they are being compared with the narrow rotation, fallow-wheat, and fallow-oats.

Summary of Results

1.    When normal winter fallow is replaced by green forages grazed by sheep and the land short-fallowed in the spring, the grain yields are slightly reduced.

2.    This reduction is offset by the grazing returns from oats, barley (when following oats), and rape (when following wheat).

3.    The returns from the forage crops have been reduced by the following causes respectively, viz., rape, general unsuitability to local conditions and attacks by pea-mites ; peas, expense of seed; barley (in rotation with wheat), the presence of “ take-all ” in the crops. Oats have been the most satisfactory of the forage crops, providing the most feed during the winter and early spring.

4.    It is essential that the fed-off plots be ploughed immediately grazing is completed in September, in order to secure the longest possible period in fallow. If this is done, the practice may be economical under intensive farming conditions.

5.    The ploughing-in of green crops, under

Werribee    conditions is    economically

unsound, yields not being increased by this practice.

6. The    residual    trials, conducted

periodically, do not indicate any material up-lift in soil fertility due to the feeding-off of forages or the ploughing-in of green crops. The rotations will be continued to provide fundamental information on this important subject.

Green Manurial Tests—Wheat Yields.

Average results, 26 years.

Rotation.

Average Yield per Acre.

Wheat after fallow .. .. ..

Bushels.

19-2

Wheat after rape fed off .. ..

17-4

Wheat after barley fed off .. ..

10-9

Wheat after peas fed off .. ..

18-9

Wheat after oats fed off .. ..

16 *3

Wheat after rape ploughed in ..

17*6

Wheat after barley ploughed in ..

10-7

Wheat after peas ploughed in ..

19-6

Wheat after oats ploughed in ..

15-4

Green Manurial Tests—Oat Yields.

Average results—grain 19 years, hay 22 years.

Rotation.

Grain Average Yield per Acre.

Hay.

Bushels.

cwt.

Oats after fallow .. ..

40-8

49-8

Oats after rape fed off ..

35-1

42-8

Oats after barley fed off ..

38-7

43-2

Oats after peas fed off ..

34-6

48-8

Oats after oats fed off ..

37-4

41*5

Oats after rape ploughed in ..

36*3

44-7

Oats after barley ploughed in ..

37-6

40-3

Oats after peas ploughed in ..

36-8

47-4

Oats after oats ploughed in ..

35-3

39-6

It will be noted that barley makes a much better showing when grown in rotation with oats than with wheat. The grazing results in each case are not greatly dissimilar; the difference is to be found rather in the grain crops, as a reference to the grain tables will show. The cause of the relatively low yields in the wheat rotations is that barley, acting as a host plant to  take-all ”    (Ophiobolus graminis) carried

the disease over to the succeeding wheat crop with the result that this crop usually is badly infested with it.

Rape has not been a satisfactory crop at Werribee. Even under conditions which appear favourable, it does not thrive, and in addition, is very susceptible to injury by pea-mites, which frequently attack it in large numbers.

It may be pointed out that rotations such as these under consideration provide an opportunity for placing the land under a fairly long period in fallow prior to the sowing of the grain crop. If the ground is ploughed immediately feeding-off is completed, this period may easily extend to six or seven months, and there is little doubt that this fallow contributes very substantially to whatever success attends the method.

RESIDUAL EFFECTS OF GREEN MANURING

If the organic matter which is being added to the soil by the turning-in of these green crops actually does enrich the soil, this effect should be reflected in increased yields of grain, unless, of course, other factors have been introduced; for instance, the green crops might deplete the soil of moisture, or, as was seen in the case of barley, diseases might be encouraged. An attempt was made in 1925 and 1926, and again in 1937 and 1938, to inquire into this aspect of the question. In the season preceding each of these four years, the green crops were not sown, the whole of the land being laid down to fallow ; the succeeding grain crops were thus all sown under similar conditions. The results are given in the accompanying table.

Comparison Between Plots Normally Green Manured, but Fallowed on this Occasion with Plots Normally . Fallowed, Season 1925, 1926, 1937, and 1938.

Grain Crop.

Green Crop, or Fallow.

How Green Crop Utilized.

Average

Yields

(Four

Years).

Mean

Yields.

bushels

bushels

per acre.

per acre.

W heat ..

Fallow ..

21-2

21-2

Rape ..

Fed off ..

20-8

Barley ..

. . , .

20-5

V22-0

Peas ..

22-4

Oats ..

24-2

Rape ..

Ploughed in

18-6

Barley ..

17-2

>20‘2

Peas ..

21 -

Oats ..

23-9

j

Oats ..

Fallow ..

35-3

35-3

Rape . .

Fed off ..

34-1

Barley ..

37-9

[-33-5

Peas ..

32-0

Oats ..

30-1

Rape ..

Ploughed in

31-7

Barley ..

37-8

>35-1

Peas ..

. .

34-3

Oats ..

• • *•

36-6

J

A comparison of the mean yields, as shown in the table, does not suggest that any improvement has been effected in the cropping capacity of the soil as a whole. The best results have been obtained with wheat after oats fed-off, where there is a mean increase over the fallow of three bushels ; this was made up in the four seasons of the following differences, . all in favour of the green-manured plots, viz., 1*0, 3*8, 1*8, 5 *2 bushels per acre. These increases may be considered significant, and, taken in conjunction with the other results in this field, further demonstrate the value of oats for grazing purposes when grown in rotation with wheat.

FIELD PEAS

For several years attention has been given to the growing of field peas, and variety and rate of seeding tests have been combined in a series of replicated plots. The varieties tested were Dun and White Brunswick. Three rates of seeding have been tested, in which the number of seeds per foot of drill row have been respectively 3*5, 4*5, 5*75. The size of the grain, and, consequently, the quantity required for any desired seeding, vary considerably from year to year. For instance, the weight of Dun seed required per acre for the low rate of seeding has varied in different seasons from 104 lb. to 142 lb. and that of White Brunswick from 77 lb. to 106 lb.

Variety Test, Field Peas. Average results, three years.

Variety.

Yield.

Bushels per acre.

White Brunswick .. ..

21-9

Dun .. .. .. ..

21-1

Bate of Seeding Test. Average results, three years.

Rate of Seeding.

Yield.

Number of seeds per foot—■

Bushels per acre.

3-5 .. .. .. ..

20-1

4-5 .. .. .. ..

21-4

5-75.. .. .. ..

22-8

These tests, which have been carried out on stubble land, have brought to light several facts. It has been shown that seasonal conditions influence the relative yields of these two varieties to a very large extent because of the difference in their times of ripening. When the ripening period is dry, with, perhaps, hot winds, the later variety is handicapped, while, on the other hand, it is favoured by cool and moist conditions. The former type of season, though not in an extreme form, was experienced in the first two years of the tests and consequently the yields of Dun were exceeded by those of White Brunswick by several bushels per acre ; in the third year, with a wet spring, the conditions, and also the yields, were completely reversed. The net result, over the three years, is that White Brunswick shows a slight increase over Dun.

It has also been shown that a significant increase in yield is obtained when the rate of seeding is advanced from 3*5 to 5*75 seeds per foot of drill row. This means that, with grain of an average size, the best results are obtained by a seeding with Dun of approximately 170 lb. and with White Brunswick of 115 lb. per acre.

HOARY CRESS CONTROL

Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba), which is sometimes referred to as “ white ” or “ chalk ” weed, has invaded considerable areas of arable land in Victoria. The species is a member of the same botanical family as charlock and mustard, but is perennial, and owing to the nature of its root system is extremely difficult to eradicate. Plants have been found with the main root penetrating to a depth of 6 feet, while secondary roots may extend laterally for a distance of 4 feet and give rise to new shoots. Short lengths of the roots, which are broken by the cracking of the soil or carried by implements, may also produce new plants.

The investigation of the problem of eradication of hoary cress, which has been carried on at Werribee since 1926, has been along two distinct lines, viz :—•

(1)    Starvation of the plant by frequent cultivation.

(2)    Destruction of the plant by the application of herbicides which will penetrate the root system.

Under dry farming conditions the only method of cultivation which has proved effective has been the shallow working of the soil, continued over a period of two years, at intervals of not more than fourteen days. This resulted in the suppression of leaf growth, and combined with the precaution to remove pieces of root from the tynes of the implements used, before being moved to clean areas, has completely eradicated the weed.

In the second line of investigation, sprays and dry applications of a number of herbicides have been tested. At Werribee a 6 per cent, arsenic pentoxide solution applied at the rate of 120 gallons per acre has proved to be an efficient spray ; and a control of up to 93 per cent, of plants has been obtained for twelve months after the spraying. Maximum kill is obtained with this solution, when the plants are growing under conditions of low soil moisture, and after a week of hot dry weather. Calcium chlorate and sodium chlorate sprays have been disappointing in their herbicidal effect on hoary cress.

Applications of salt to individual plants on small areas having a permeable subsoil, give complete eradication ; however, this method is not so efficient where the subsoil consists of a relatively impervious clay, and lethal quantities of salt cannot penetrate to a sufficient depth to destroy the root system. As with the cultivation method, it is important to treat new plants immediately on appearance so as to prevent the storage of plant food in the roots.

Meanwhile the control of hoary cress in the cereal areas on the farm has been effected by regular and frequent salting. In irrigated areas, almost complete control has been effected by the growing of judiciously managed lucerne or pasture.

SELECTIVE WEEDICIDES

In recent years a new type of weedicide, capable of destroying weeds in growing crops without injury to the crop itself, has come into prominence. These are termed selective weedicides, because they exert a differential or selective action on plants of different types, their effect being determined by the structure of the plant concerned.

Selective weedicides fall into two classes— the dinitro - ortho - cresylate compounds, which exert a poisoning effect upon the plant, and the phenoxy-acetic compounds, plant growth substances or hormones, which in excess are fatal.

Investigations during the past four years at Werribee have shown that the dinitro-ortho - cresylates applied as a 1 per cent, spray at the rate of 100 gallons per acre, give complete control of a wide range of common weeds including mustard, wild radish, capeweed, fumitory and bathurst burr. Hoary cress was found to be extremely susceptible to this spray, and low concentrations resulted in a rapid and complete killing of the leaves. The root system however, is not affected, and the plant recovers within a few weeks. The spray does not injure cereal or flax crops.

Investigations with the second group of compounds, the hormone derivatives, have been in progress for only six months, and, as yet, can only be regarded as being of an exploratory nature. Nevertheless the results obtained to date indicate the potential value of these sprays as a means of weed control. A series of plots, heavily infested with hoary cress, were sprayed with a 0*1 per cent, solution of sodium 4 chloro 2 methyl phenoxyacetate at the rate of 100 gallons per acre. A complete kill of all aerial portions of the weed was obtained within three weeks of spraying, and the 'area remained free of hoary cress for four months. Six months after spraying, a few small plants have made their appearance on the sprayed areas. It has not yet been determined whether these are seedlings, or whether they have arisen from regenerated root tissue. Similar results were obtained with 2-4 Dichloro phenoxy acetic acid (2-4D), applied either as a spray or in powder form.

It must be stressed that because of the limited nature of the investigations, these results must be accepted with caution. On the other hand, however, there can be no doubt that these hormone derivatives represent a very definite advance in the development of a method of controlling hoary cress, and other weeds of a similar type. There has been no evidence that these sprays are injurious to cereal crops.

investigations

lit -w "**« • i

AN area of 33 acres is reserved for irrigation experiments as follow :—-(a) Watering and manurial tests on pasture ; (b) rotational grazing trials on old lucerne converted to pasture ; (c) frequency of grazing trials on old pasture. The earliest irrigation tests at the farm were almost entirely confined to the determination of the best methods of watering, cutting, manuring, and renovation of lucerne, and, at the same time, several imported strains of lucerne were subjected to trial by comparison with Hunter River lucerne.

LUCERNE

Lucerne thrives well under irrigation at Werribee, and yields up to 6J tons per acre have been obtained* in favourable seasons. Two hundred acres of land on the farm were sown to this crop. This area was graded, and divided into a series of “ bays ” by a system of parallel check banks running in the direction of the greatest slope of the land. The “ bays ” are from 5 to 10 chains long, and from two-thirds to 1 chain wide. The slope of the land averages 2 inches to the chain. The water used is derived by gravitation from the Exford Weir and Pyke’s Creek Reservoir.

The following results were obtained from the earlier lucerne experiments which were carried out from 1919 to 1924 :—•

I. Rate and Frequency of Watering Tests

Considering the results of two seasons, 1921-22 and 1922-23, there was an increased production as the amount of irrigation water applied was increased, but the increase was not proportional to the added amounts of water. The non-irrigated plot gave a yield of 29 ‘7 cwt. of hay per acre. The first 18 inches of irrigation water produced an increase of 90-3 cwt. ; the second 18 inches of water only 33*1 cwt. ; 24 inches of water increased the yield by 112-1 cwt. ; while an additional 24 inches of water gave a further yield of only 23-7 cwt.

All the evidence goes to show that 24 inches of water in six applications of 4 inches is the best rate of irrigation for lucerne, having regard to the economy of watering, yield, quality, and longevity of the lucerne stand.

The yield per acre-inch of water shows a successively diminishing return from the lighter to the heavier waterings. Eighteen inches of water was insufficient for full development of the lucerne even when applied in six lots of 3 inches.

To maintain favourable moisture conditions for lucerne at least 24 inches of water in addition to the average rainfall is required, although this amount does not set a limit to profitable irrigation. The efficiency of the 24 inches of water depends on the method of application. Six waterings of 4 inches (yield 141’8 cwt.) were better than four waterings of 6 inches (yield 134-4 cwt.) or eight waterings of 3 inches (yield 129*3 cwt.).

Generally, the results of the later lucerne tests (1925 to 1931) confirmed those of the earlier experiments. Although there had been a succession of dry seasons (as evidenced by the very low average yield, for four years, of 9-2 cwt. per acre from the No Irrigation Plot), six waterings of 4 inches again proved the best method of irrigating lucerne.

The soil in the irrigated section is not very porous and approximately only 2 inches of water is absorbed at an initial application. Hence, six ordinary waterings of 2 inches yielded only 45*2 cwt. of hay per acre over a four-years’ period, while an extra inch of water at each irrigation (six waterings of 3 inches) gave an average yield of 81-4 cwt. These results demonstrate that the more penetrating waterings are more efficacious in the proper development of lucerne than even a greater number of lighter waterings.

It was proved also that, on non-porons soils, increased absorption of water could be achieved more economically by the use of supplementary waterings one or two days after the original application, than by the use of heavy applications of a soil amendment such as gypsum, or by sub-soiling.

Waterings in excess of 4 inches gave heavier yields during the first two seasons, but the lucerne rapidly thinned out on these heavier-watered plots, with considerable diminution of yield in the ensuing seasons. The plot receiving six waterings of 4 inches yielded as heavily in the third and fourth seasons as it did in the second, 106 cwt. of hay per acre being the yield in each season.

In the watering tests, 2 cwt. of superphosphate per acre per annum was applied throughout.

2.    Spacing of Rows Test

This test, comprising four plots, was designed to test the influence on seed production of distances varying from 7 inches to 28 inches between the rows of lucerne. Each season the lucerne was allowed to go to seed, and the quantity of seed produced from each plot determined. However, the attempt to produce seed at Werribee was a failure.

3.    Time of Cutting Test

Three treatments were investigated, viz., {a) cut before blooming, (b) cut one-tenth in bloom, and (c) cut in full bloom. From the lucerne cut before blooming, six cuts were obtained in the season ; from that cut one-tenth in bloom, five cuts ; and from the cut in full bloom, four cuts. The heaviest yield, 121-7 cwt. of hay per acre, was obtained from the lucerne cut when one-tenth in bloom. The lucerne cut before blooming yielded 108-5 cwt. and that cut in full bloom 117-1 cwt.

The quality of the hay at the “ one-tenth in bloom ” stage is very good, though not quite as good as that obtained when cut before blooming. As the bloom develops, the lucerne deteriorates in quality, and, when in full bloom, the stems are coarse and woody, the leaves are dropping, and the shoots of the new crop are well forward. In the first and last cuts of the season, when the period of ripening is somewhat irregular, the percentage of bloom is not a very reliable guide as to the best time of cutting. At such times a much better indication is the appearance of the young shoots of the succeeding crop.

4.    The Renovation Tests

These tests were designed to demonstrate any benefits from the scarifying of lucerne. As well as control plot^ which received no cultivation, some plots received a winter cultivation while others received a winter and summer cultivation.

The results did not disclose any benefit from the scarifying. Irrigated lucerne, which is .liberally top-dressed with superphosphate

was a in the annual rasses in the first cut.


■■ •'


1 ■ i! ;


and consequently free from weeds, does not require cultivation, and the density of the lucerne will not be impaired. The only result from the scarifying reduction amount of

5. Variety Trials

To ascertain the variety best adapted to conditions similar to those at Werribee, some imported strains were tested in comparison with Hunter River lucerne, an acclimatized Australian variety which occupies the greater part of the lucerne areas of the State. Although there are no well-defined botanical differences between most of the cultivated varieties, they exhibit characters which differentiate them, and some are adapted for particular conditions. They show considerable variation in their powers of production

Generally, Hunter River lucerne is recommended on account of

its productivity, its longevity, and its ability to make moderate growth during the winter months.

In the earlier tests, all varieties failed by comparison with Hunter River lucerne. In the later tests, . Marlborough, a Rew Zealand strain resembling Hunter River, was the only one which compared favourably with that variety.

In respect of quality, Hunter River is somewhat inferior to some of the varieties tested, but when properly handled will produce first-class hay. The quality of French Provence, a leafy and finestemmed variety, compensates, to some extent, for its reduced yield as compared with Hunter River. Some lucernes, such . as the Japanese and lij Grimm varieties, are dorm ant duiing the winter months, and the absence of winter growth permits the


spread of weeds, which later restrict the development of the lucerne. Other strains such as Peruvian, Arabian, and Persian make relatively good growth during the cooler parts of the year, but in aggregate yield fall far behind Hunter Biver. Arabian lucerne appeared to be very short-lived, while the yield from Peruvian diminished considerably after the first season.

6. Fertilizer Tests on Lucerne

Judicious manuring of the lucerne stand plays an important part in the production of profitable yields. The use of fertilizer at seeding helps to ensure success, particularly if dry or unfavourable conditions for the young plants prevail, and the regular top-dressing of the older lucerne is profitable except on the most fertile soil.

Besides augmenting yields, manuring enriches the fodder, and has often a marked effect on thd health of stock. It reduces the mortality of flocks grazed on it. Such manuring invigorates the plants and enables them better to withstand grazing, and to compete with aggressive weeds ; the useful life of the stand is prolonged and the growing period extended by top-dressing.

The removal of big crops of lucerne makes a heavy draught on the plant food of the soil. Analyses of the hay produced at Werribee in the season 1921-22 under normal conditions as regards irrigation, time of cutting, &c., showed that a six-ton crop contained 320 lb. nitrogen, 150 lb. lime, 70 lb. phosphoric acid, and 335 lb. potash.

Lucerne, with its deep-rooting system is able to draw its plant food from considerable depths, and at Werribee very high yields have been obtained even without manure, but still the use of fertilizers has induced extra returns considerably in excess of the cost of application.

Experiments have been carried on at the Werribee Besearch Farm for several years to test the influence of fertilizers applied in varying quantities and in different combinations. The results have served to emphasize the value of the soluble phos-phatic manure, superphosphate, and the unprofitableness of using nitrogenous or potassic manures on lucerne.

Superphosphate is the most effective manure, and 2 cwt. per acre is advocated as an annual top-dressing. However, as much as 4 cwt. of superphosphate, which would replace all the phosphoric acid removed, may be profitably used.

Top-dressing with gypsum appears to be more advantageous than equivalent amounts of calcium in the form of ground limestone or burnt lime. Both potassium sulphate and sulphur fail to produce increased returns at Werribee. Insoluble phosphatic manures, rock phosphate, basic slag, and bone fertilizer fail to produce results comparable to those obtained with superphosphate.    #

IRRIGATED PASTURES

Prior to 1914, only 5 acres of irrigated grasses and clovers had been sown in the Werribee district, and that was on the Besearch Farm. To-day, in the Werribee district alone, there is a total of approximately 4,000 acres of irrigated pasture. On the Besearch Farm, 400 acres, the major part of the irrigated area, has been laid down in permanent mixed pastures which have been sown down to replace the lucerne as it thinned out. These pastures have proved suitable for irrigated conditions, and when looked after, are very productive, long-lived, and, at the same time, palatable to stock. Further, pastures have demonstrated that they are much better adapted for grazing than lucerne.

The mixture generally sown on the Besearch Farm is as follows :—Perennial rye grass, 12 to 14 lb. : cocksfoot, 3 to 5 lb. ; alsike clover, 1 to 2 lb. ; perennial red clover, 1 to 2 lb. ; white clover, 1 to 2 lb. ; strawberry clover, \ lb. ; subterranean clover, 1 to 2 lb. per acre. Totals, 20 to 27 lb. per acre.

The first mixture, i.e., 20 lb. per acre, is usually ample, provided the soil conditions at seeding are satisfactory. The mixture may be modified to include 2 lb. of prairie grass, a valuable wfnter-growing species, or 1 to 2 lb. of lucerne per acre.

Importance of Strain

It is recommended that only proved persistent strains of the above grasses and clovers be sown, particularly in the case of perennial rye grass, cocksfoot, and white clover.

Such strains are exemplified by certified perennial rye grass, by the Akaroa strain and the best strains of Yictorian-grown cocksfoot, by Yew Zealand certified white clover and certified Victorian irrigation white clover.

Variety and Strain Tests

A large number of species and strains of species have been grown and kept under observation in garden plots. The outstanding results have been the promise shown by acclimatized strains of grasses and clovers, which have become' adapted to the conditions under which they are growing. The Swan Hill strain of strawberry clover, and various strains of white clover from the irrigation districts of the State are examples.

EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUE

The rate and frequency of watering, manurial, and variety tests laid down in 1925 correspond to those conducted with lucerne, but, while hay yields are a suitable measure for the production of lucerne under varied treatments, the production from pasture is not so easily determined. Determination of sheep-carrying capacity together with yield-sampling of the pasture before and after grazing, and yields of herbage from close mowing at frequent intervals are the methods adopted and they give satisfactory results.

As far as possible, at each mowing or yielding-sampling, botanical analyses of the pasture are made to obtain a picture of the changing composition. The percentage estimation method is adopted. Results of the botanical analyses are applied to the results of the yields obtained by mowing or sampling, and thus the productive powers of the various pasture plants and their relative palatability are determined.

WATERING TESTS

Rate and Frequency of Watering Tests

In these tests the plots are | acre in area. During two seasons, 1929 to 1931, the plots were mowed, live sections of l/40th acre in each plot being cut. The manurial treatment was uniform for all plots, viz., 2 cwt. super, per acre. During the first season the herbage from each plot at each cut was sampled and chemically analysed.

A record of the yield of clippings from three sections of each plot, reduced to a dry basis, is given, but the yields must be considered in conjunction with the table summarizing the botanical composition of the herbage growing on the different plots.

Summary of Results *

(1)    Two acre-feet of irrigation water gave the highest yield.

(2)    This amount of water is best applied in six waterings, rather than in four or eight waterings.

(3)    Six waterings of 4 inches gave a higher yield per acre-inch of water applied than any other watering treatment when the manurial treatment was 2 cwt. super, per acre.

(4)    Seasonal distribution of growth was better in the case of the frequently-watered plots.

(5)    The preponderance of subterranean clover in the infrequently-watered plots limited production in the summer months.

(6)    The dominance of white clover on the frequently-watered plots gave sustained high production during the summer.

(7)    The pasture on the plot receiving six waterings of 4 inches was relatively well-balanced in respect of grasses and clovers, and white clover and subterranean clover.

(8)    Waterings in excess of 4 inches are not desirable on frequently-irrigated pasture when 2 cwt. super, per acre has been applied.


Irrigated Pasturf—Rate and Frequency of Watering Tests.

Summary of Results, Seasons 1929-30 and 1930-31 (■pounds of dry matter per 0*075 acre).

Watering Treatment.

Season,

1929-30.

Seastn,

1930-31.

6 waterings of 3 inches ..

504-4

634-1

6 waterings of 4 inches . .

690-2

741 -4

6 waterings of 5 inches ..

655 "3

734-1

6 waterings of 6 inches . .

684-4

701 -3

No irrigation .. ..

218-0

281-6

5 waterings of 6 inches ..

543-5

649-2

4 waterings of 8 inches ..

530-2

682-5

3 waterings of 6 inches ..

431-9

643-5

8 waterings of 3 inches ..

624-2

710-1

Table showing Botanical Composition of Herbage on Different Plots.

Waterings.

Average per cent. Rye grass.

Average per cent. Cocksfoot.

Average per cent. White Clover.

Average per cent. Subterranean Clover.

6 of 3 inches

7-9

26-7

38-2

14-2

6 of 4 inches

5-1

18-5

60-6

10-9

6 of 5 inches

6-4

17-4

55-9

16-6

6 of 6 inches

10-9

14-4

64-5

8-8

5 of 6 inches

7-8

21 -7

45-4

19-2

4 of 6 inches

9-4

18-7

27-7

31-4

3 of 6 inches

8-9

16-7

24-7

33-1

8 of 3 inches

7-5

15-3

62-5

11-0

An examination of the results of the chemical analyses showed that the herbage from all the irrigated plots was of a highly nutritious character.

During the season 1931-32, the plots were grazed intermittently by sheep. Yield samples were cut before and after grazing, dried, cleaned, and when weighed, were chemically analysed. Although the schedule of watering could not be completed during this season owing to heavy rainfall in the late summer and autumn, the results generally confirmed those obtained under mowing in the two previous seasons.

The fodder analyses showed that the nutritive value of the portion of the herbage eaten by the sheep was of a higher order than the herbage removed by the mower. During the season the total area carried nine sheep per acre per annum.

COMBINED WATERING AND MANURIAL TESTS

Manurial Tests with Superimposed Watering Tests

During the season 1933-34, differential waterings were given to the various bays of the Manurial Test, Field 2 S.W., as follow :—

S.W. Section :—

Bays 1, 6, and 8—watered fortnightly.

Bays 3, 5, and 7—watered three-weekly.

Bays 2, 4, and 9—watered monthly.


N.W. Section :—

Bays 3, 4, and 8—watered spring and autumn.

Bays 1, 5, and 9—watered as required.

Bays 2, 6, and 7—watered three-weekly with supplementaries.

The waterings were arranged as a Latin Square in each section. The S.W. section was grazed regularly during the seasons

1933-34, 1935-36, and 1937-38, and motor-mowed during 1934-35, 1936-37, and 193839. The yields of dry matter are given in the following table.

Mowing has now been discontinued, and the area is grazed in rotation with other sections of the paddock.

WATERED FORTNIGHTLY, THREEWEEKLY, AND MONTHLY

Summary of Results

(1)    Watering at fortnightly intervals gave the highest and best sustained production of the three treatments under review.

(2)    With an average absorption of 1’61 inches per watering, the total water applied each year approximated 2 acre-feet in the case of the “ watered fortnightly ” treatment, and this amount of water per annum proved to be the best in the previous Bate and Frequency of Watering tests.

(3)    Despite the much longer intervals between watering in the case of the other two treatments, the amount of water absorbed with each application was very little more than the amount absorbed on the plots “ watered fortnightly ”.

(4)    Under each watering treatment, superphosphate alone was the most efficient manurial treatment.

(5)    Combinations of other manures with superphosphate depressed production.

(6)    When about 2 acre-feet of water per annum is applied supplemental to an annual. rainfall of 20 inches, there is a good response from heavy applications of superphosphate, the 4 cwt. super, per acre plots in the “ watered fortnightly ” bays giving the highest yields.

(7)    When total water (rainfall plus irrigation) falls considerably below 44 inches per annum, as it does in the case of the plot watered every three or four weeks, the pasture does not take advantage of the heavier applications of superphosphate.

(8) A consideration of the results for each season has shown that high rainfall greatly increases the efficiency of the heavier applications of manure in the less frequently watered plots.

%

Irrigated Pasture—Manurial Plots with Superimposed Watering Treatments,

1934-35, 1936-37, and 1938-39.

S.W. Section.

Summary of Adjusted Yields of Dry Matter (pounds per 1 /66th acre).

Manurial Treatment per Acre.

Watered

Fort

nightly.

Watered

Three

weekly.

Watered

Monthly.

No manure ~.. ..

66-7

61-3

54-7

Super., 1 cwt. .. . .

106-7

104-1

97-0

Super., 2 cwt. .. . .

118-2

112-0

93-7

Super., 3 cwt. .. ..

134-4

117-5

88-5

Super., 4 cwt. .. ..

138-0

113-5

93-4

Basic slag, 2 cwt. ..

100-2

89-2

77-9

Rock phosphate, 2 cwt. ..

79-7

74-7

64-2

Nit. soda, 1 cwt. ..

74-4

69-3

57-8

Amm. Sulph., 1 cwt. ..

74-1

66-5

51-9

Super., 2 cwt. + Nit. soda, 1 cwt. . . . .

106-5

90-3

74-5

Super., 2 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. .. ..

107-2

97-2

75 -4'

Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. ..

66-8

61-2

52-1

Super., 2 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. .. ..

102-2

92-3

74-9

Super., 2 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. .. . .

107-0

96-9

74-9

Super., 2 cwt. + Lime, 30 cwt. .. . . ..

104-4

97-5

82-6

Super., 2 cwt. + gypsum, 30 cwt. .. ..

99-5

101-8

82-5

Note.—Average three seasons.

Watered fortnightly .. Total water applied 23'05 inches

(Average watering = 1 • 61 inches) Watered three-weekly .. Total water applied 16 *32 inches

(Average watering = 1 • 69 inches) Watered monthly .. Total water applied 13-20 inches

(Average watering = 1‘72 inches) Total rainfall for test period was 21 ■ 74 inches.

Botanical Composition.—The results of the surveys made at each cut on plots 1 to 6 show that frequent watering and adequate manuring with superphosphate produce :—

(1) a perfect grass-clover balance ;    (2) a

good development of the perennial clovers (white and strawberry) to the exclusion of the annual clover (subterranean) ;    (3) the

best conditions for the development of perennial rye grass ;    (4) a suppression of

weeds ; and (5) a dense sward as reflected in the relatively low percentage of bare space.

during 1935-36, 1937-38 and 1939-40. V The yields of dry matter are given in the table on the next page.


Summary of Results

(1)    Results from the “ watered spring and autumn ” plots support the view that infrequently-watered pasture does not take full advantage of the heavier dressings of superphosphate.

(2)    The “ watered as required ” system of irrigation is the most efficient, particularly when pastures are top-dressed liberally with superphosphate.

(3)    Where facilities for frequent irrigation are absent, the provision of more penetrating irrigations at wider intervals by a system of supplementary watering will compensate to a marked degree for the inability to irrigate frequently. This applies only when the soil is not very permeable.

WATERED THREE-WEEKLY WITH SUPPLEMENTARIES WATERED AS REQUIRED. WATERED SPRING AND AUTUMN

The N.W. section was grazed regularly during the seasons 1933-34,    1934-35,

1936-37, and 1938-39, and was mowed


Botanical Composition.—A feature of the botanical composition is the persistence of the perennial species on the “ watered spring and autumn ” bays despite the withholding of water during the summer months. Except for the “No Manure ” plot, the development of subterranean clover is no greater on these bays than on those which are regularly watered throughout the summer. The regularly-watered plots show a better grass-clover balance, and a much lower percentage of bare space than those watered “ spring and autumn

Manurial Tests with Superimposed Watering Treatments Field 2 S.W.

S.W. Section.

SUMMARY OF PERCENTAGE OF YIELD PRODUCED BY EACH SPECIES.

Average of Three Seasons 1934-35, 1936-37, and 1938-39.

Species.

Watered Fortnightly.

Watered Three-weekly

Watered Monthly.

No

Manure.

Super. 1 cwt.

Super. 2 cwt.

Super. 3 cwt.

Super. 4 cwt.

No ' Manure.

Super. 1 cwt.

Super. 2 cwt.

Super. 3 cwt.

Super. 4 cwt.

No

Manure.

Super. 1 cwt.

Super. 2 cwt.

Super. 3 cwt.

Super. 4 cwt.

%

%

%

%

0/

/o

%

0/

/o

o/

/o

0/

/o

%

0/

/o

%

0/

/o

0/

/o

0/

/o

Perennial rye grass ..

7-3

11-6

11-7

10-9

12-9

7-2

11-5

14-1

14-9

13-9

9-7

8-4

14-6

16-8

15-0

Cocksfoot .. ..

49-6

42-7

37-1

38-4

34-3

48-7

38-4

36-4

37-9

38-6

47-4

35-5

38-1

41-6

35-9

Miscellaneous grasses White and strawberry

4-8

4-1

2-9

1-8

2-1

4-3

3-4

3-8

2-6

2-2

5-8

3-5

5-3

4-5

5-6

clover .. ..

25-8

31-4

46-4

48-4

50-5

19-5

26-2

42-4

42-3

43-8

15-3

19-0

30-7

33-6

388-

Subterranean clover..

6-9

8-2

0-3

0-1

tr.

13-7

19-1

2-4

1 • 6

1-1

. 16-0

31-8

9-3

21

3-6

Weeds .. ..

5-6

2-0

1-6

0-4

0-2

6-6

1-4

0-9

0-7

0-4

5-8

1-8

2-0

1-4

11

Total grasses ..

61-7

58-4

51-7

51-1

49-3

60-2

53-3

54-3

55-4

54-7

62-9

47-4

58-0

62-9

56-5

Total clovers ..

32-7

39-6

46-7

48-5

50-5

33 2

45-3

44-8

43-9

44-9

31-3

50-8

40-0

35-7

42 • 4

Bare space ..

14*8

.

9'1

, 5-9

4-5

3-2

18-9

10-8

8-7

7-5

7*0

22*6

15-2

11-9

14-1

12-0

Manorial Plots with Superimposed Watering Treatments, 1935-36, 1937-38, 1939-40.—N.W. Section.

Summary of Adjusted Yields of Dry Matter {pounds per 1/66th acre) {average of three seasons).

Manurial Treatment per Acre.

Watered

Spring

and

Autumn.

Watered

as

Required.

Watered

Three

weekly

with

Supple-

mentaries.

No manure .. ..

62-2

68-6

68-4

Super., 1 cwt. .. ..

87-8

109-8

105-5

Super., 2 cwt. .. ..

107-6

132-5

130-9

Super., 3 cwt. .. ..

99-9

146-5

144-8

Super., 4 cwt. .. ..

111-0

156-4

143-8

Basic slag, 2 cwt. ..

88-9

107-5

101-0

Rock phosphate, 2 cwt. ..

78-5

78-0

80-9

Nit. soda, 1 cwt. ..

66-9

68-6

67-6

Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. ..

63-7

67-1

64-4

Super., 2 cwt. + Nit. soda, 1 cwt. .. ..

86-7

118-1

114-0

Super., 2 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. .. ..

80-5

113-3

111-1

Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. . .

58-5

63-2

70-0

Super., 2 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. .. . .

81-1

106-1

110-0

Super., 2 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. .. ..

70-6

102-8

99-7

Super., 2 cwt. + Lime, 30 cwt. .. .. ..

76-4

103-2

103-4

Super., 2 cwt. + Gypsum, 30 cwt. .. ..

71-9

97-6

100-0

Note.—Average three seasons.

Watered spring and Total water applied = 13 "16 inches autumn    (Average watering = 1 • 79 inches)

Watered as required .. Total water applie .    = 22'67 inches

(Average watering — l-45 inches) Watered three-weekly Total water applied = 23'31 inches with    “supple- (Average watering = 2*49 inches)

mentaries ”

Average annual rainfall for test period was 17'93 inches.

Prom the observations made on the “ watered spring and antnmn ” plots, it was possible to make a definite prediction that the pastures would make a good recovery from the drought conditions which obtained during the 1938-39 season.

MANURIAL TRIALS

Original Tests

This original section consists of duplicate sets of nineteen plots, including four “No Manure ” check plots, situated in adjacent fields. The manurial treatments under investigation comprise varying rates of application of superphosphate (from *1 cwt. to 4 cwt. per acre), other phosphatic manures, nitrogenous manures, and potassic manures, with and without the addition of superphosphate, and superphosphate in addition to soil amendments such as lime and gypsum. For convenience, and to test the consistency of the results, each plot is subdivided into nine sections.

One set of plots was closely mown during 1929-31, and the other set during 1931-33. In the seasons when either set was not being mown a meadow hay cut was taken off in late spring, and the plots were grazed by sheep for the remainder of the season.

Summary of Results

(1) The results for four seasons showed that superphosphate was superior to all other manures or combinations of manure.

Species.

Watered Spring and Autumn.

Watered as Required.

Watered Three-weekly with Supplementaries.

No

Manure.

Super. 1 cwt.

Super. 2 cwt.

Super. 3 cwt.

Super. 4 cwt.

No

Manure.

Super. 1 cwt.

Super. 2 cwt.

Super. 3 cwt.

Super. 4 cwt.

No

Manure.

Super. 1 cwt.

Super. 2 cwt.

Super. 3 cwt.

Super. 4 cwt.

Perennial rye grass .. Cocksfoot .. .. Miscellaneous grasses White and strawberry clover .. .. Subterranean clover.. Weeds .. ..

%

10-3

50-7'

8-8

6-4

21'4

2-4

0/

/o

7-5

48-3

6-5

19-9

15-7

2-1

%

8'3

45-5

6-8

37-1

1-2

1-1

0/

/o

8-6

47-6

6-0

34-1

2-7

1-0

%

7-7

43-8

5-7

39-1

3-2

0-5

%

9-2

40-7

14-7

8-6

13-4

13-4

%

9-1

46-5

6-8

19-0

13-9

4-7

0/

/o

9-9

43-4

4-1

37-6

3-7

1-3

/o

7-8

4-8

3-0

47-3

0-8

0-3

0/

/o

10-0

39-0

3-4

47-2

o-i

0-3

/o

11-8

47-8

8'9

12-9

9-1

9-5

0/

/o

8-1

47-1

3-9

22-5

13-4

5-0

%

12-5

43-1

3-1

38'3

1-8

1-2

%

11-6

37-0

1-9

48-6

0-1

0-8

0/

/o

12-1

35-8

2-4

49-3

0-1

0-3

Total grasses .. Total clovers ..

69-8

27*8

62-3

35-6

60-6

38-3

62-2

36-8

57-2

42-3

64-5

22-0

62-4

32-9

57-4

41-3

51-6

48-1

52-4

47-3

68-5

22-0

59'1

35-9

58-7

40-1

50-6

48-7

50-3

49-4

Bare space ..

27-0

19-3

14-4

16-7

14-2

19-7

12-2

7-4

4-9

3-7

23-3

13-3

7-4

5-0

4-0


Manurial Tests with Superimposed Waterings Field 2 S.W.

N.W. Section.

SUMMARY OF PERCENTAGE OF YIELD PRODUCED BY EACH SPECIES.


Average of Three Seasons 1935—36, 1937-38, and 1939—40.


(2)    Compared with the “No Manure ” plot which yielded Ilf tons of green clippings per acre :—

1    cwt. super, per acre gave an increase of 47 per cent.

2    cwt. super, per acre gave an increase of 77 per cent.

3    cwt. super, per acre gave an increase of 100 per cent.

4    cwt. super, per acre gave an increase of 110 per cent.

(3)    Irrigated pastures are extremely productive, the high average yield of 241 tons of green clippings per acre being obtained over four seasons from the “ 4 cwt. super.”* plot.

(4)    The limit of profitable application of super, has not been reached with 4 cwt. per acre.

(5)    Compared with the increase of 77 per cent, induced by a dressing of 2 cwt. of super, only :—

2 cwt. super, -f- ammonium sulphate, 1 cwt., gave an increase of 48 per cent.

2 cwt. super. -j- nitrate of soda, 1 cwt., gave an increase of 54 per cent.

2 cwt. super, -f- potassium sulphate, 1 cwt., gave an increase of 59 per cent.

2 cwt. super, -f lime, 30 cwt., gave an increase of 63 per cent.

2 cwt. super. -J- gypsum, 30 cwt., gave an increase of 60 per cent.

(6)    Other phosphatic fertilizers, such as basic slag, and particularly rock phosphate, were much inferior to super., 2 cwt. per acre, applications of these manures giving in-

creases of 54 per cent, and 18 per cent, respectively.

(7) Nitrogenous and potassic manures without super, gave no better results than no manure.

Chemical analyses have shown an enhanced feeding value from top-dressing these pastures with superphosphate, and the liberal use of this fertilizer permits sustained high production in the growing season, and ‘ promotes better growth in the winter period.

New Manurial Tests

Mowing tests are being carried out on manurial plots arranged in two Latin Squares. These tests are complementary to the earlier series, and are designed to measure the results with greater accuracy. The plots were mowed during 1933-34,

1935- 36, and 1937-38, and so far the results have confirmed to a degree the former findings. The fact that marked differences were not being obtained is attributed to the residual effect of years of liberal and uniform top-dressing of this area with superphosphate. Marked differences were apparent during the autumn of 1936. These differences became more marked during

1936- 37, while the plots were being grazed, and during the 1937-38 season the “ No Manure ” plots showed to greater disadvantage than during the first two years of mowing.

Time of Application of Superphosphate

A mowing trial was commenced in 1933 to determine the influence on yield of an annual dressing of superphosphate applied as one dressing, compared with applying the same amount of manure divided into two, three, or four dressings distributed throughout the year. The following four treatments—each replicated five times—were tried :—(1) super. 4 cwt. applied in April ; (2) super. 2 cwt. in April, plus super. 2 cwt. in October ; (3) super. 1 cwt. in April, plus 1 cwt. in July, plus 1 cwt. in October, plus 1 cwt. in January ; (4) super. 2 cwt. in April, plus 1 cwt. in July, plus 1 cwt. in October.    .

The plots were mowed during the seasons 1933-34, 1935-36, and 1937-38, and grazed diming the alternate years. The results from the mowing showed no significant difference between any of the treatments, indicating that the efficiency of an annual dressing of superphosphate is not increased

Irrigated    Pasture—Manurial    Plots.

(Latin Squares.) (1933-34, 1935-36, and 1937-38.)

Summary of Yields of Dry Matter (pounds per 9/200th acre).    Average for three seasons.

Manurial Treatment per Acre.

lb. Dry Matter.

Latin Square “ A.”

No manure .. .. .. ..

347 -5

Super., 1 cwt. .. .. .. . ■

374-6

Super., 2 cwt. .. .. .. ..

401-0

Super., 3 cwt. .. .. .. ..

413-4

Super., 4 cwt. .. .. .. ..

416-1

Super., 2 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. ..

400-4

Super., 2 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. ..

403-3

Basic slag, 2 cwt. .. .. ..

386-5

Rock phosphate, 2 c wt. .. .. ..

353-2

• Latin Square “ B.”

No manure .. .. .. . •

335-6

Super., 2 cwt. .. .. .. ..

382-5

Super., 4 cwt. .. ‘ .. .. ..

408-1

Super., 2 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. (April)

379-2

Super., 2 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. (July)

391-8

Super., 2 cwt. -j- Nit. soda, 1 cwt. (April) ..

384-6

Super.. 2 cwt. + Nit. soda, 1 cwt. (July) ..

384-2

Super., 2 cwt. + Amm. sulph., 1 cwt. + Pot.

sulph., 1 cwt. .. .. .. ..

388-6

Super., 2 cwt. + Nit. soda, 1 cwt. + Pot.

sulph., 1 cwt. .. .. .. ..

379-9

Average irrigation for seasons 1933-34, 1935-36, 1937-38 = 20-98 inches. (Average watering = 1'75 inches.)

Rainfall 1st July, to 30th June. Average for three seasons = 19-53 inches.

by dividing it into two or more lots. applied at intervals during the year. The cost of application can thus be minimized by giving the entire annual quota of superphosphate in one dressing.

Potassic Manuring Tests

Marked responses have been obtained from the application of potash, in conjunction with superphosphate, on pasture, in certain parts of the State, and it was decided to determine whether this combination of manures would give a similar result at Werribee, on irrigated pasture which had given a very high production for some years, as a result of liberal manuring and watering. As the site chosen for the test had been mowed continuously for three years as a nitrogenous manuring test, it was considered that the potash reserves of the soil might have been depleted to a greater extent than they would have been under the alternate mowing and grazing conditions obtaining in former tests.

On these plots a basal dressing of 4 cwt. super, was applied throughout, and of the 48 plots, four received extra 2 cwt. super. The plots which formerly received ammonium sulphate in 1 cwt. and 2 cwt. applications in addition to super, now received a dressing of 1 cwt. potassium sulphate each month from April to August inclusive (eight plots top-dressed per month).

From the accompanying table it will be seen that the average results for two years showed that the plots receiving potash, in addition to 4 cwt. pf super., did not give a significant increase in yield over those receiving 4 cwt. of super, alone. The plots which had the extra 2 cwt. of super, showed a response during the 1937-38 season, when moisture was not the limiting factor, but during the following year, when dry conditions prevailed, this response was not obtained. This test is now concluded.

Potash Manurial Trial—Field 5d, S.W.

Treatment per Acre.

Rounds of Dry Matter per Plot (3/400 acre).

1937-38.

1938-39.

Average.

Super., 4 cwt. .. ..

73-9

45-3

59-6

Super., 6 cwt. .. ..

79-9

46-5

63-2

Super., 4 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. in April .. ..

75-4

45-8

60-6

Super., 4 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. in May .. ..

73-0

47-5

60-2

Super., 4 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. in June* ..

73-5

47-6

60-5

Super., 4 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. in July .. ..

75 -4

46-9

61-1

Super., 4 cwt. + Pot. sulph., 1 cwt. in August ..

74-4

44-8

59-6

* Only one annual application given during period covered by results shown.

FREQUENCY OF CUTTING TESTS]

This trial was designed to determine the yields from pasture cut at varying intervals. Total yield of herbage is not the only measure of excellence, but chemical analyses of the herbage being carried out at each cut, due cognizance is taken of the yield of protein, fibre, silica-free ash, and carbohydrate plus fat. There were seven treatments, replicated six times in randomized blocks and the average yield of mown herbage reduced to dry matter from each

plot (area, -045 acres) over the four seasons, .1933-37, were as follow :—    -

Cut weekly, 332-9 lb. ; cut fortnightly, 368-7 lb. ; cut three - weekly, 391-6 lb.; . cut monthly, 401-6 lb.; cut five-weekly, 437*9 lb. ; cut eightweekly, 503-4 lb. ; cut for meadow . hay, then three-weekly, 444*7 lb.

There are progressive increases in yield from the weekly to the eight-weekly cuts, and those cut for hay in November and then cut every three weeks show a decrease in yield, as compared with the eight-weekly Cut plots.

The tables for yield, botanical composition, and chemical composition show that a system of monthly cuts or five-weekly cuts will give a well-balanced herbage, in respect of botanical and chemical composition, and at the same time allow of a high yield of dry matter, although not the highest yield obtainable.

ROTATIONAL GRAZING TESTS

In 1929, a series of tests was commenced, a 10-acre paddock being subdivided to test the influence of two different systems of grazing on carrying capacity and condition of the pasture.

In one portion, 5 acres was divided into two, and each half was grazed alternately for ten days. The other portion of 5 acres was subdivided into ten |-acre lots, and each of these was grazed for two days in rotation.

The pasture on the area was established in 1916. Perennial rye grass and Kentucky Blue grass were spread throughout, while Cocksfoot was fairly well represented. White clover, strawberry clover, and subterranean clover were well distributed. The manurial treatment was an autumn dressing of 2 cwt. of superphosphate. Before commencing the tests the whole area was grazed short.

Percentage Botanical Composition of the Herbage, Average of Four Seasons,

1933-34 to 1936-37.

. Botanical Composition.

Treatment.

Rye

Grass.

Cocks

foot.

Prairie

Grass.

Miscel

laneous

Grasses.

White and Strawberry Clover.

Weeds.

Miscel

laneous

Legumes.

Cut weekly .. .. ..

0/

/o

4-6

o/

/o

25-4

0/

/o

2-7

0/

/o

4-3

0/

/o

61-1

0/

/o

1-4

0/

/o

•5

Cut fortnightly .. .. ..

4-8

37-0

• 2-0

4-2

49-2

2-3

•5

Cut three-weekly .. ..

3-9

43-4

1-8

2-7

46-2

1-4

•6

Cut monthly .. ..

5-2

40-0

2-2

3-7

45-3

2-9

•7

Cut five-weekly .. .. ..

3-2

54-6

1-1

2-2

35-6

1-8

1-5

Cut eight-weekly .. . . ..

3-3

60-4

0-9

2-4

28-5

1-8

2-7

Cut for meadow-hay, then three-weekly

9-6

58-6

2-2

3-5

22-0

2-7

1-4


Percentage Chemical Composition of the Herbage, Average of Two Seasons,

1933-34 and 1934-35.

Treatment.

Chemic

Ash.

al Composition Protein.

Silica-free Dry Fibre.

Hatter).

‘‘Mtrogen-free’* + Fat.

Cut weekly .. .. ,.

0/

/o

8-6

0/

/o

31-8

0/

/o

15-0

0/

/o

44*6

Cut fortnightly .. ..

8-8

28-9

16-9

45-4

Cut three-weekly .. ..

8-6

25-7

18-7

47-0

Cut monthly .. .. ..

8-8

23-2

19-5

48-5

Cut five-weekly .. ..

8-4

21-2

21-7

48-7

Cut eight-weekly .. ..

7-9

17-0

23-5

51-6

Cut for meadow-hay, then three-weekly .. ..

7-3

16-9

25-5

50-3


From the commencement of the test the plots have been grazed by sheep, which are weighed at 10-day intervals.

Year.

Sheep per Acre per Annum.

Type of Sheep.

2 J-acre Plots.

l -acre Plots.

1930

10-8

13-3

2-tooth Comeback wethers

1931

13-1

14-1

2-tooth Lincoln x Merino wethers (3 months), then crossbred ewe weaners

1932

13-1

13-8 + 18 lambs for 2 months

Rising 4-tooth Lincoln x Merino dry

ewes

1933

11-4 +8

lambs for 160 days '

12-4 + 9-3 lambs for 160 days

4-tooth Lincoln x Merino lambing ewes

1934

11-13 +6-56' lambs for 154 days

11 -13 +7-90 lambs for 154 days

Ewes carried over from 1933

1935

11-62 + 12-16

lambs for 130 days

12-61 + 12-69 lambs for 130 days

Ewes carried over from 1934

1936

10-53 + 12-60 lambs for 140 days

12-04 + 10-64 lambs for 140 days

Ewes carried over from 1935

For extended periods some plots have been yield-sampled and botanically surveyed before and after grazing, with a, view to; measuring the growth of herbage, the seasonal variation, the amount eaten by the sheep, and the preference of the sheep for particular species. The outstanding results have been—

(1)    The extraordinarily high-carrying capacity of the pasture under both systems of rotational grazing, the |-acre system having the advantage.

(2)    There was a sustained high production of live-weight increase by the sheep throughout the duration of the tests as indicated in the following table :—

Year.

Lb. Live Weight Increase per Acre

2|-acre Plots.

J-acre Plots.

1930 . . . .

680

856

1931 .. ..

721

595*

1932 .. ..

436

550*

1933 .. ..

879

926

1934 .. ..

820

954

1935 .. ..

926

843f

1936 .. ..

892

966

* During these years, live-weight increases were reduced considerably through the incidence of pizzle-rot in the wethers and black disease and entero-toxaemia in the ewes. . Also the \-acre plots were severely punished by the adoption of a 10-day instead of a 20-day rotation during the greater part of these two seasons.

t During 1935, the high live-weight increase on the 2i-acre plots was due to the higher percentage of twin lambs.

(3) Very good fleeces of clean, good quality crossbred wool were produced. The average


fleece weights for the seven years for both sections were :—

lb. from the rising 4-tooth wethers in

1930.

5 lb. from the rising 2-tooth ewes in

1931.

10| lb. from the rising 4-tooth ewes in

1932.

10J lb. from the 4-tooth ewes in 1933.

11'7 lb. from the 6-tooth ewes in 1934.

10J lb. from the full-mouthed ewes in

1935.

101 lb. from the full-mouthed ewes in

1936.

(4)    There was a surprisingly high winter carrying capacity, never less than eight sheep per acre being carried on the f-acre plots at this period. In the winter of 1933, eight ewes with lambs at foot were carried, and this performance was repeated during 1934, 1935, and 1936.

(5)    Wethers or dry ewes do not make live weight increases for a period of 2\ months in the winter on this type of irrigated pasture, but maintain their body weights or, at the worst, make slight losses. Pregnant ewes continue to make gains through the winter until they lamb.

(6)    Fat lambs can be bred and reared to prime condition under intensive grazing on this type of irrigated pasture. The lambs were an average age of 140 days when removed for sale, and were approximately 75 lb. in live weight at that age.

(7)    Except for the period when a 10-day rotation period was adopted on the 1-acre plots, the pasture itself did not deteriorate, and this is confirmed by the fact that, from 1933 onwards, a higher carrying capacity was attained and that more live weight per acre was produced than during 1930.

These tests are now concluded.

Frequency of Grazing Trials

These test plots are on the site of the old Kotational Grazing Trials.    They    are

designed to test out under grazing conditions the results which were obtained in the Frequency of Cutting Tests (q.v.).    In

March, 1937, the 10 acres of old pasture was modified as regards sub-division.

There are four main sections of 2 acres as follows :—

A. 10-day rotation. Pasture grazed 5

days, rested 5 days.

B.    20-day rotation. Pasture grazed 5 days, rested 15 days.

C.    30-day rotation. Pasture grazed 5 days, rested 25 days.

D.    40-day rotation. Pasture grazed 5 days, rested 35 days.

For three months during the 1938-39 summer, there was practically no rain, and no irrigation water was available. During this period, carrying capacity was reduced to three ewes per acre, and these maintained their live weight on the dry feed. After rain at the end of February, and the resumption of irrigation, the pasture in these plots made a remarkable recovery, and it was found possible to lamb down eight ewes per acre in each section during the late winter.

Further restrictions in water supply, were imposed during the 1943-44, 1944-45, and 1945-46 seasons, when the plots received eight waterings, four waterings and three waterings in each respective year instead of the normal ten to twelve irrigations. The uncertainty of the water supply has given rise to conditions which would not be encountered normally, and wide variations in rates of stocking have been necessary from time to time. The use of lambing ewes for the first five years of the test, and the retention of all surviving lambs on the sections on which they were dropped, meant that varying lambing percentages gave rise to variations in live-weight increase which may not necessarily have been a reflection of the differential grazing treatments. For example, in 1941-42, there were 23 lambs on the “ B ” section and thirteen on the “ D ” section ; although extra ewes were carried on the “ D ” section to keep the total rates of stocking much the same, the greater number of lambs on the “ B ” section was largely responsible for the big differences in live-weight gains.

A summary of the results for the nine years, 1937-38 to 1945-46, is shown in the accompanying table. It will be seen that no one section has been consistently better than the others, and the average of all seasons reveals no essential difference between the “ A,” “ B,” or “ C ” sections with the “ D ” section showing to a slight disadvantage from the point of view of live-weight increase. Some of this is explained by the very low figure for 1941-42, to which reference has been made already. However, the average of the results for the last four years, when no lambs were carried also shows no material difference between the “ A,” “ B,” and “ C ” sections and a lower production from the “ D ” section. In general, the results to date indicate that, under the conditions imposed, the length of the rotation period has made no difference to the carrying capacity ; and increase in live weight is not affected unless the length of the rotation period exceeds 30 days, when a reduced production may be expected.

An interesting feature of the results is the fact that the highest live-weight increase on all sections was recorded in 1943-44, when water restrictions were imposed and no irrigation was possible after the middle of February. The plots were stocked with unmated four-toothed crossbred ewes during this season.

Botanical surveys have been carried out every five days on the plots about to be grazed. Marked changes have been recorded in the relative dominance of the different species in various plots, but there has been no evidence up to date to show that the frequency of grazing exerts a lasting influence on the balance of the main elements in the sward as revealed by the grass-clover ratio. Cocksfoot is the only major species which has been influenced permanently by the grazing treatments ; it has progressively thinned out on the frequently-grazed plots while it has continued to thrive on the less-frequently grazed areas.

Seasonal conditions have exerted a much greater influence generally on the botanical composition than have any of the grazing treatments. Subsequent to the dry conditions experienced in 1945-46, the pasture on all sections was grass dominant, but more recently white and strawberry clover have been gradually recovering.

Rotational Grazing Tests on Old Lucerne Converted to Pasture

A 10-acre field which formerly was reserved for lucerne experiments was scarified in 1931 and converted to pasture. This field was subdivided subsequently into four paddocks, and has been rotationally grazed in conjunction with the rotational grazing test field proper. A portion of this field was used for carrying out experiments with supplementary feeding of sheep grazing on short herbage during the winter months. The supplementary ration used was chaffed meadow hay in 1935, and chaff in 1936.

It was found that the ewes ate about § lb. of chaff per head per day over the winter period, although at no time was there an absolute shortage of pasture. Ho difference in live weight was recorded between the ewes and lambs receiving the supplementary ration and those on the pasture only.

This 10 acres, consisting of four 2|-acre paddocks, is now being run as a practical demonstration of rotational grazing. Each paddock is grazed for one week and rested for three weeks.

The object is to carry the same number of ewes throughout the year.

Surplus feed in the flush periods of growth is cut for meadow hay, which is fed out to the lambing ewes during the winter

Frequency of Grazing Trials 1937—38 to 1945-46.

Summary of Results for Nine Seasons.

Year.

Carrying Capacity Sheep per Acre per Annum.

Live Weight Increase Lb. per Acre per Annum.

“A”

Section.

“ B ” Section.

“C”

Section.

“ D ” Section.

“ A ” Section.

“ B ” Section.

“ c ”

Section.

“ D ” Section.

1937-38 (369 days) .. .. •.

14-3

15*3

15-8

14-7

689-5 •

904-5

871-0

746-0

1938-39 (364 days) . . • • ••

9-2

9-2

10-1

10-4

553-0

514-5

591-5

671-5

1939-40 (364 days) .. .. • •

10-8

10-5

10-9

10-3

715-5

585-5

648-0

679-5

1940-41 (371 days) .. .. ••

13-2

12-4

13-1

12-6

782-5

785-0

796-5

813-5

1941-42 (350 days) .. •. • •

15-2

15-1

15-5

15-3

710-0

805-5

579-5

373-5

1942-43 (346 days) .. .. • •

16-2

16-4

16-4

16-9

780-0

902-0

852-0

679-5

1943-44 (365 days) .. .. • •

12-0

12-8

13-5

14-7

1001-5

1005-5

1107-0

999-5

1944-45 (365 days) .. •. ••

8-3

8-3

8-9

9-0

516-5

495-5

535-5

504 -0

1945-46 (353 days) .. . • • •

5-2

4-8

4-6

4-7

465-0

368-5

370 -5

357-5

Average nine seasons • • • •

11-6

11-6

12-1

12-1

690-5

707-4

705-7

647-2


months. In the first year two cuts of hay were made, one in April, which was fed out during the winter of that year, and one in November, for use during the following year.    •

During the first year, the only withdrawals were caused through death, and approximately ten sheep per acre were carried throughout the year.

The flock was increased to eleven ewes per acre at the beginning of the second year, and this number lambed down and was carried through the winter to early spring, but had to be reduced drastically when the irrigation supply failed. During the succeeding years the stocking of the paddock has depended on the water supply, and when this has been adequate it has been possible to maintain a flock of breeding ewes throughout the year. The paddock is stocked at the rate of ten ewes per acre at the present time.

The results generally, indicate that, by breeding lambs instead of buying stores for fattening, and by a proper system of fodder conservation, it is possible to carry the same number of ewes throughout the year on good irrigated pastures. This obviates the necessity for reducing the number of sheep carried, perhaps at a time when prices are declining.

DRY PASTURE TRIALS

The investigation of means of improvement of the natural pastures of the district was initiated in 1924 when a top-dressing trial was laid down. The results over a period of nine years showed no improvement in the productivity of the pasture from an annual top-dressing of 2 cwt. of superphosphate per acre.

It is evident, therefore, that the particular strain of wallaby grass, which is the major pasture grass on the Werribee plains, does not respond to superphosphate under these climatic conditions. This pasture, further, does not permit the natural invasion of annual clovers as a result of top-dressing, an important feature which has been observed elsewhere.

It was apparent that the pasture improvement programme should progress along the lines of the introduction of drought resistant species of grasses and clovers which were known to respond to superphosphate.

Such a further trial was initiated in 1930, and of the various plant associations studied since that time the most productive has been that of Wimmera rye grass and subterranean clover. This mixture may be cheaply established—for about 12s. per acre—by drilling direct into the natural wallaby grass pasture in the autumn without any preliminary cultivation. Dates of seeding of 3 lb. of grass and 2 lb. of clover per acre have been found quite sufficient, with 1 cwt. superphosphate in the year of establishment and subsequent top-dressings of a similar amount every second year. With careful grazing management no difficulty has been experienced in carrying over two ewes and lambs per acre on such a pasture, a considerable improvement on the natural pasture which carries only one sheep or less per acre as a wool-growing proposition.

Good as this improved pasture is, it has the weaknesses of one constituted mainly of annuals, namely a late start in the autumn, a comparatively early finish in the spring, and no response to summer rains. It is possible to overcome these by the use of perennial grasses, and of recent years the following species have been under test: Phalaris tuberosa, cocksfoot, perennial rye grass, kikuyu grass, and Paspalum dilatatum.

Perennial rye grass and kikuyu grass were the most persistent, but the former received a serious setback during the drought conditions in 1938. Kikuyu grass not only persists but also spreads remarkably well. Phalaris tuberosa has not stooled out as well as it is known to do under more favourable soil conditions, but the plants have demonstrated a very high drought resistance. The heavy, tight nature of the clay loam has reacted unfortunately on its development, and also on that of Paspalum dilatatum, which entirely disappeared from the sward. Cocksfoot was one of the first grasses to die out, but, as this grass was known to be most susceptible to severe defoliation, it was hoped that, in new trials, a policy of lenient grazing might ensure its persistence. Accordingly, in the autumn of 1938, new test plots were sown with cocksfoot. The succeeding dry spring and summer prevented the young plants from developing properly, no inflorescences being formed. Only a few plants survived. A further sowing of cocksfoot was carried out in the autumn of 1939, but this again failed to persist.

Autumn renovation with pasture harrows of the Wimmera rye grass and subterranean clover pasture prior to germination has been tested during ten seasons. The results have been very satisfactory, a more uniform germination of both species and a reduction of onion grass and pepper cress being obtained. The harrowing has been responsible for the thinning out of . inferior annual grasses, particularly barley grass, and there is a marked contrast between the harrowed and the unharrowed sections. Recently, a dividing fence was erected between these two sections, since it was considered that selective grazing by the sheep might have accentuated any difference originally caused by the harrowing.

PREVENTION OF COMMON COMPLAINTS OF SHEEP

On intensively grazed irrigated pasture, where sheep are concentrated in large numbers on small areas, it may be expected that various complaints, which are only incidental to flocks in less favoured circumstances as regards feed, will be aggravated. Members of the veterinary staff of the Department have availed themselves of the opportunity provided by the grazing tests on the farm to study closely the effects of preventive medicine. By attention to drenching, parasitic worms and liver fluke infestation have been kept in check. Foot-rot has been successfully checked by severely trimming the feet of affected sheep every two or three days and running all sheep through a foot-bath containing a fairly strong solution of formalin or copper sulphate. The regularity of the foot-bath treatment was assisted by the fact that' the sheep were changed to fresh pasture every two days thus minimizing the risk of reinfection. Vaccination for' black disease and entero-toxaemia in both sheep and lambs has given very satisfactory results.

The occurrence of pregnancy toxaemia has yielded an opportunity of correlating environmental factors with the relative incidence of this complaint. Toxaemic jaundice has been responsible for a considerable mortality among the ewes. Investigations into this disease have been carried out as a co-operative effort of the Animal Health Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Veterinary Research Institute, and the Department of Agriculture.

The time occupied and the relatively small expense incurred in the administering of preventive medicine were more than compensated for by the few losses of sheep and lambs sustained, when, with less attention, very considerable losses might be expected under intensive grazing on this type of pasture.


THE SCHOOL OF DAIRY TECHNOLOGY

The School of Dairy Technology, which is situated on the State Research Farm, was officially opened on June 23rd, 1939. The school is a two-storied brick building of modern design, and includes a model dairy factory and dairy laboratories. The offices, a spacious lecture room, a staff room, a common room for students, and a library are situated on the ground floor. On the first floor are located two laboratories, bacteriological and chemical, together with smaller preparation rooms. These laboratories, which are fitted for teaching as well as research work, contain modern electrically-controlled equipment, such as incubators, refrigerators, thermostats, and precision instruments in the nature of chemical balances, microscopes, and potentiometers. The gas used in the laboratories is manufactured by a petrol-air gas-generating plant. A feature of the building is the excellent lighting produced by the liberal use of clear glass windows.

The dairy factory consists of butter and cheese manufacturing sections, with cold chambers, boiler room, test-room, and office. There is no overhead shafting, and pulleys and belting are absent ; each unit being driven by an electric motor of adequate power. This set-np makes for good sanitation, safety, and an attractive appearance. The metal equipment is largely of stainless steel, is all welded and representative of that used in many commercial factories today. The factory is indeed a small-scale commercial factory, and is used for the production of butter and cheese for the purpose of securing essential manufacturing data in regard to the many and varied problems which beset the manufacturer and the technologist.

The school has already performed a useful service to the dairying industry. During the years 1939-41, long courses were held for the training of dairy-factory operatives. Each of these courses extended over two successive years and was conducted during the winter period May to August of each year. The students were selected and were required to have extensive knowledge of practical dairying before entering the course. Subjects included in this course which led to a diploma in competency in dairy manufacture were chemistry, "bacteriology, engineering, dairying, and book-keeping, in addition to practical laboratory and factory work.

The intervention of war resulted in a curtailment of activities, and from 1942 the “ long course ” was discontinued and “ short courses ” were introduced. The purpose of the short courses was to train men quickly so that they could take their place in the dairy factories ; a move which was vitally essential as trained personnel were in short supply.

Research work has been carried out in the laboratories and dairy factory since the school was established, and projects that have been investigated have included (a) curd content of butter ;    (b) oxidation of

butterfat during cold storage of butter;

(c) a new technique for the detection of Ps* putrefaciens in water supplies and dairy products ; (d) selection of strains of lactic acid streptococci for use in cheese starters ;

(e) methods of propagating starter cultures ;    (/) bacteriophages responsible for

starter failures ;    (g) treatment of mould

growth on the surfaces of cheese ;    (h)

starter cultures for the manufacture of lactic casein. An investigation at present is being carried out on the composition of milk, to find out more about the factors associated with variation in the fat and solids-not-fat content of milk.

The school laboratories throughout the war sent out numerous lactic-cultures to cheese-makers and still forward these cultures regularly to many Victorian cheese factories.

The school will become increasingly important as the years go by, and it is anticipated that it will become the centre of dairy education in Victoria and a research station to which producers and dairy-factory managers will continue to bring their problems.



Live Stock breeding has always been an important part of the farm’s activities. Studs of Clydesdale horses, Red Poll and Friesian cattle, and Suffolk sheep, Black Orpington and White Leghorn poultry, have been bred and maintained on the farm since its inception. These studs are serving the twofold purpose of supplying the farm needs and producing each year a number of sound, healthy, pedigreed stock for distribution to farmers at reasonable prices. The Clydesdales are all active, staunch workers and are bred from workers, while the cattle, sheep, and poultry studs have been bred from selected stock with production and type as the main considerations. A flock of approximately 500 crossbred ewes produces fat lambs and is used in various experimental projects. Suffolk rams drawn from the farm studs are used as sires.

At June 30th 1947, the farm livestock comprised : — Clydesdale horses, 75 ; Red Poll cattle, 197 ;

Friesian cattle, 63 ; Suffolk sheep,

400 : Black Orpington fowls, 600 ;

White Leghorn fowls, 850; chickens,

3,600; crossbred ewes, 520.

With the exception of some small quantities of special foods purchased for poultry and the dairy herd, all the livestock kept are maintained on pastures, fodders, and grain produced on the farm.

CLYDESDALES

The Clydesdale stud, whose prefix is “ Victoria ”, is well known throughout the Commonwealth. The high-class sires, “ Major Oates,” C.C.S.B. 285,    “ Baron

Wigton,” C.S.B. 13884,    “ Kitchener,”

C.C.S.B. 248, and “ Widgiewa Korval,” C.C.S.B. 956, “ Flash Bute,” C.C.S.B. 857, by “ Flashdale,” (imp.) ex “ Silver Bute,” by “ Baron Bute,” (imp.), have all in turn been used at the head of the stud for the past 32 years. “ Baron Belmont,”

■ s ^    ■■ 4-s ■    '■    " i:v .■ ■ : ■    ‘

Victoria Maid Marion—445 lb. butterfat.



Craigie Masterstroke,”

“Flashdale,” and “Baron’s Favourite” also feature in the pedigrees of the stud.

“ Gold Digger” 22298 C.S.B., by “Golden Charm,” ex “ Silver Jewell ” by “ Footprint Benown,” was imported from Scotland in May, 1934, and was purchased by the Department of Agriculture on the 6th September, 1937.    “ Gold

Digger ” gained championship honours at the Royal Sydney Show in 1937 and was also champion of the Wagga Show in 1936 and 1937. This high-class Clydesdale is particularly active and virile, and his addition to the State Research Farm has proved of great advantage.

For many years special attention has been given to raising good-class pedigreed Clydesdale colts for sale, and farmers in many parts of Victoria and in other States are now using certified Clydesdale stallions bred at the Research Farm.

SHEEP

The farm flock of stud Suffolk sheep (Flock No. 1, Vol. 13 of the A.S.B.B.S.) now totals 400. The chief features of this breed as borne out by experience on the farm are :—(a) mutton-producing qualities ; (b) early maturity ;    (c) fat lamb raising

qualities ;    (d) prolificacy. The farm has

been successful in gaining many championships and reserve championships with both ewes and rams at the Sheep-breeders’ and Melbourne Royal Shows since the establishment of the flock in 1914.

CATTLE

Red Polls

Red Poll cattle are recognized as the ideal dual-purpose breed, combining heavy-producing dairy qualities with excellent beef qualities. - The breed, generally, is very contented, and does well under most conditions. The cows are quiet and easy to milk, and usually have shapely udders with teats of convenient size. The all-red colour, absence of horns, the small fine-quality bone, and the readiness with which the individuals fatten have made Red Polls very prominent in Australian beef markets. When prime, top prices are obtained for them. The above characters have been borne out at the Research Farm, where the “Victoria” Red Poll stud has been developed by 38 years of linebreeding, the use of production-bred bulls, and the selection of high - quality and high-producing females as breeding stock. The results obtained have been highly satisfactory, for not only are the production records of the cows well np amongst those of cows belonging to one or other of the dairy breeds, but high prices are obtained for cast-for-age cows sold for beef. The demand for stud stock— young bulls and females—is always keen and usually exceeds the supply.

With the exception of the herds owned by Messrs. P. E. and A. G. Evans, Lima East, from whose father the foundation stock of the “ Victoria ” stud was obtained, the “ Victoria' ” stud is now the oldest pnre-bred Eed Poll herd in Victoria.

During the Standard Herd Test season for 1946-47, “ Victoria Electricity ” was the highest producer in the herd with 16,103 lb. of milk, 4-82 per cent, test, 777 lb. of butterfat for 273 days’ test. With this yield, a world record for butterfat was created for a test of 273 days, and earned “ Victoria Electricity ” the position of reserve champion cow of all breeds in this year’s Standard Herd Test.

World records recall the performance of “ Muria ”, one of the foundation cows of the Victoria Stud, which created world’s records in 1914-15 by producing 12,298 lb. of milk, 5 *74 per cent, test, 706 lb. of butterfat in 273 days, and 14,972 lb. of milk, 5'90 per cent, test, 884 lb. of butterfat in 365 days.

“ Victoria Electricity ” belongs to a line of heavy and consistent producers. Her dam, “ Victoria Volt,” produced 537 lb. of butterfat and has an average of 10,144 lb. of milk, 4*39 per cent, test, 443 lb. of butterfat for eleven lactations of 273 days. “ Victoria War Ghost,” the paternal grand-dam of " Victoria Volt , was also a valuable member of the stud, producing 521 lb. of butterfat and an average of 459 lb. of butterfat for five lactations of 273 days. “ Victoria Electricity’s ” sire, “ Victoria Eobin Hood,” is a son of “ Victoria Maid Marion ”, which produced 445 lb. of butterfat in 273 days, and, along with “ Victoria Volt ”, has been a consistent prize winner at the Melbourne Eoyal Shows. The extended pedigree of “ Victoria Electricity” is shown on the next page.

The former herd sire, “ Woodburn Peter Pan ” (imp. in utero), recently destroyed, proved to be of great value to the stud. He was purchased as a yearling in 1933, and remained in the stud for the rest of his life. His first 72 daughters to be tested, on the property, have an average butterfat production of 401 lb. (mature equivalent) for 273 days’ test. The dams of these daughters have an average butterfat production of 374*4 (mature equivalent) for 273 days’ test.

The senior herd sire, “ Burnwood Masterpiece,” has already proved worthy of his place as leading sire. His 38 daughters so far tested have an average butterfat yield of 411*4 lb. (mature equivalent), while their dams have averaged 391*7 lb. (mature equivalent) for 273 days. “ Peadown’s Pierrot,” the sire of “ Woodburn Peter Pan ”, is a grandsire of “ Burnwood Masterpiece ”.

Line breeding will be continued with the main sire, “ Earanghi Master,” which is also a grandson of “ Peadown’s Pierrot ”.

The junior herd sire, “ Victoria Design,” is by “ Burwood Masterpiece ”, and from “ Victoria Pan Velvet ” which produced 409 lb. of butterfat in 273 days test as a junior two-year-old.

The average production of the herd for the past twelve years is shown in the accompanying table :—

Production Eed Poll Herd 1934-1947.

Year.

Number

of

Cows in Test.

Milk.

Test.

Butterfat.

Butterfat with Allowances for Junior Stock.

1934-35

47

lb.

6,702

0/

/o

4-38

lb.

294*11

lb.

381*86

1935-36

54

6,814

4*37

298*46

378*42

1936-37

60

6,983

4-13

288 *22

370*05

1937-38

55

7,668

4-26

325*74

404*15

1938-39

49

7,615

4*34

325*12

388*42

1939-40

56

7,806

4-28

334*40

408*10

1940-41

53

7,977

4-21

336*00

415*00

1941-42

54

8,286

4-48

368*50

441*00

1942-43

65

7,173

4*30 •

308*90

393*30

1943-44

56

7,923

4-29

340*20

420*30

1944-45

58

7,906

4-41

338 *42

415*80

1945-46

66

7,019

4*17

298*90

382*60

1946-47

66

8,146

4'37

356*30

421*80

Average

for

13 years

739

7,535

4*31

324*40

400*10

PEDIGREE OF “VICTORIA ELECTRICITY ”

Longford Major

(Imp.) (55aa)

Primrose League

(Imp.) (Iaa) Beet record—


Chandpara Valentine .. <


Earl of Beaconsfield

(35AA)

13 daughters—average—

Milk.

Test.

Fat.

Milk.

Test.

Fat.

lb.

%

lb.

lb.

%

lb.

6,381 ;

4-34 ;

296

7,960 ;

4-42 ;

352

Average (2 lactations)

7,023;    4-17; 293


(762AA)

25 daughters—average—

Milk.

Test.

Fat.

lb.

%

lb.

8,510 ;

4-36 ;

376


Victoria Robin Hood ..

(2846AA)

3 daughters—average—

Milk.

Test.

Fat.

lb.

0/

/o

lb.

10,000;

4*45 ;

445


Victoria Maid Marion ..

(5690AA)

Best record—

9,719;    4-58; 445

Average (7 lactations)— „ 8,447; 4-41; 380


g g qd on e-i


Electricity (9141a)    .

Victoiia

Age.

2

3

4

Milk.

Test.

Fat.

lb.

0/

/o

lb.

8,304

4-39

365

9,975

4-58

457

10,358

4-25

440

10,248

4-53

465

16,103

4-82

777


Sudbourne Marjorie

(Imp.)    (9aa)

Best record—

4,809;    4-6;    218

Average (3 lactations)-4,61°;    4*4;    204

Woodburn Peter Pan .

(Imp. in utero) (1504AA)

72 daughters—average-8,850 ;    4-49;    401

Victoria Village Belle .

(1522AA)

Best record—

11,454; 4'19    480

Average (6 lactations)-10,113 ; 4-15 ; 419


Peadowns Pierrot

Marsden Mindful

(Imp.) (3424AA)

Belligerent

(Imp.) (8 a A)

| 45 daughters—average— 8,700; 4-41; 382


Victoria Veloutine ..

(561AA)

Best record—

9,772 ;    3-44;    337

Average (4 lactations)— ,    8,002;    3-53; 283


Victoria Vice Captain ..

(1267a)    ■

5 daughters—average— 9,170; 4-20; 386


Victoria Volt ..    ..

(4049b)

Best record-

12,853; 4-18; 537 Average (11 lactations)— l 10,144; 4-39; 443


Victoria Eructation

(Twin) (3226c)

Best record—

8,915; 4-43; 395    *

Average (8 lactations)—

^ 8,057; 4-43; 357


Vice Regal ..

(95aa)

56 daughters—average-8,290 ; 4-47; 370


r Nicotine \ Velveteen


Belligerent


Nicotine

(69AA)

41 daughters—average— Milk.    Test.    Fat

lb.    %    lb.

8,850; 4-26; 376

Victoria Velour    ..

(6aa)

Best record—

6,153;    4-05;    249

Average (4 lactations)— . 5,319; 4-09; 218


Longford Major

(Imp.) (55aa)

18 daughters—average— Milk. Test. Fat.

lb. % lb. 8,600; 4-10; 354 ■J

Velveteen

(Imp.) (2aa)

Best record—

8,593; 3-52; 303 Average (4 lactations)— „    7,576;    3-84; 287


Victoria War Ghost

(2347a)

Best record—

11,622; 4-48; 521 Average (5 lactations)— 10,401; 4-40; 459


Victoria Volcano ..

(322a)

7 daughters—average—< 9,530;    4-18; 403


Cutty    ..    ..

(490D)

Best record—

9,668;    4-69;    454

Average (8 lactations)— 8,843; 4-49; 396


Victoria Ghenta ..

(793b)

Best record—

11,879; 4-18; 496 Average (5 lactations)— 8,299; 4*11;    342


Nicotine


Tonga

(253a)

Best record—

12,306; 4-16; 513 Average (8 lactations)— 8,952; 4-18; 373


rNicotine


Connecticut

Best record—

7,204;    4-75;    342

Average (3 lactations)— 7,030; 4-62; 325


Longford Major


Flandrina ..    ..

(386c)

Best record—

5,911;    4-14; 245

Average (2 lactation )— 5,568; 4-16; 232


Nicotine


Netherland

-<    (492d)

Best record-10,373; 3-89; 404 Average (9 lactations)— l 7,941; 4-08; 323



Friesians

The “ Victoria ” Friesian Stud was founded 29 years ago with stock obtained from New Zealand, and has been established much longer than any other pnre-bred Friesian herd in Victoria.

The average production of the herd has always been well placed in the averages of the Standard Herd Test and some outstanding individual yields have been obtained.

“ Victoria Eita ” has proved a high and most consistent producer. During 1944-15 she produced 19,417 lb. of milk, 3-10 per cent, test, 602*3 lb. of bntterfat in 273 days, and has followed this with a yield of 604 lb. of bntterfat. She was top Friesian cow in the Advanced Register of Merit during both seasons.

A former herd sire, “ Victoria Joyous Mercedes,” had a marked influence on the stud, siring many high-producing, good-type females. He, himself, was of outstanding type, having been judged champion at the Melbourne Royal Show.

The present proven sire, “ Terlipg Hypothesis ”    (imp.), was obtained from

England in 1940. Several of his progeny have produced over 400 lb. bntterfat in 273 days on their first lactations, the best being “ Victoria Olga ” with a yield of 433 lb. bntterfat as a junior two-year-old, followed by a yield of 507 lb. butterfat on her second lactation. The fourteen daughters of “ Terling Hypothesis ”, tested on the property, have an average

bntterfat yield of 475*5 lb. (mature equivalent), while their dams have an average of 451 lb. (mature equivalent).

The junior herd sire, “ Victoria Piebe King,” is by “ Terling Hypothesis ” and from “ Victoria Sonorous Piebe ”, which produced 17,706 lb. milk, 3*29 per cent, test, 583 lb. butterfat in 273 days’ test. Her average for nine lactations is 15,225 lb. milk and 502 lb. butterfat.

The average production of the herd during the past thirteen years is set out in the following table :—

Average Production of Friesian Herd 1934-1947.

Year.

Number

of

Cows in Test.

Milk.

Test.

Butterfat.

Butterfat with Allowances for Junior Stock.

lb.

%

lb.

lb.

1934-35

13

11,309

3-79

426-22

483-49

1935-36

18

11,022

3-47

383-35

456-79

1936-37

15

11,423

3-52

401 -17

446 -50

1937-38

15

11,441

3-57

405-99

461-99

1938-39

18

12,023

3*56

420 -04

458-21

1939-40

21

10,498

3-57

375-20

440-10

1940-41

20

9,884

3-48

344-50

408-00

1941-42

21

10,657

3-59

383-50

436-00

1942-43

15

9,887

3-54

350 -00

420-50

1943-44

19

10,602

3-34

372-90

434-90

1944-45

21

11,774

3*34

398-60

475-90

1945-46

21

11,417

3-41

390-30

457-10

1946-47

14

12,476

3*49

435-00

453-60

Average

for

13 years

231

11,120

3*50

389-20

447-70


The increased production obtained during 1946-47 for both herds is attributed largely to the excellent season and partly to the control of streptococcic mastitis by the use of penicillin.

It is customary to sell the bull calves of both breeds at prices based on the butterfat production records of their dams and the ages of the calves. One of the main purposes of the two studs is to make young bulls and females from tested stock available to dairy farmers at reasonable prices.

Herd Management and Feeding

Eotational grazing is carried out on 90 acres subdivided into ten paddocks of top-dressed irrigated pasture surrounding the dairy buildings. The best rotation has been found to be one that is completed in 28 to 30 days. The milking cows are grazed in two herds. The first herd, comprising the 50 heaviest milking cows, grazes the paddocks ahead of the second herd of 30 to 40 cows, which act as followers. Paddocks grazed by the first herd are rested for two days before being grazed by the second herd.

The pastures in the various milking-cow paddocks have been sown down for periods varying from 15 to 25 years and are still improving. Eye grass, cocksfoot, prairie grass, and white and strawberry clovers are well established and provide the bulk of the grazing. They are top-dressed with up to three cwt. of superphosphate

'""1 and irrigated with two acre-feet of water in six to eight waterings in the season. To control the spring growth, improve the grazing, and provide some grass hay, the surplus grass on a number (last year two) of the paddocks is cut for hay.

In addition to the grazing, the milking cows are fed rations of cereal chaff, bran, pollard, crushed grain, linseed meal, and, if procurable, meat meal.

During the period when irrigation water was not available, much ground-wheat was fed when the earlier experiences with its feeding were of valuable assistance. Drinking water from the Melbourne and Metropolitan supply is laid on in troughs to each paddock.

During March, 1942, milking operations were commenced in the present buildings, and milking machines were used for the first time. The changes to the new buildings and to machine milking were undertaken without an appreciable change in milk production. Milking commences at 4.30 a.m. and 2.45 p.m. Employees are engaged under the Dairy Industry Award, and it is difficult to arrange for milkings at twelve-hour intervals.

During the war period, much of the work was performed by members and trainees of the Women’s Land Army. Many of the trainees subsequently obtained positions on dairy farms and positions as herd testers.

The milking herd has been used for investigations into the value of penicillin, and satisfactory results have been obtained with it in controlling streptococcic mastitis. The treatment consists of infusing each infected quarter with three doses, each of 25,000 units of penicillin, at 24-hour intervals.

Three Friesian bulls have been used in connexion with experimental work on artificial insemination. This involved the artificial insemination of cows in a number of large herds in the surrounding district. Many stud cows are also being bred by artificial insemination.

Red Poll Records, 1939-47.

Name.

Milk.

Test.

Butterfat.

1

lb.

0/

/o

lb.

[Leading Twenty Mature Cows from 1939-40 to —Standard required 350 lb. butterfat.

1946-47

Victoria Electricity ..

16,103

4-82

776-8

Victoria Kinetica ..

12,078

4-35

525-1

Victoria Volt ..

11,975

4*28

511-9

Victoria Rosely ..

11,390

4-40

500-6

Victoria Gratification. .

12,069

4-12

497-3

Victoria Wendy ..

10,958

4-47

490-1

Victoria Mary Rose ..

11,043

4*29

473-8

Victoria Gwendy . .

10,223

4-61

471-1

Victoria Marsupalia ..

10,581

4-40

465-8

Victoria Bodikin ..

10,530

4-42

464-9

Victoria Bull Finch . .

10,458

4-26

445-3

Victoria Lady Velvet..

10,602

4-19

444-6

Victoria Johanna ..

9,614

4-60

442-6

Victoria Prune ..

10,121

4-35

440-0

Victoria Philopena ..

10,982

4-00

439-8

Victoria Reliance ..

10,011

4-35

435-6

Victoria Marjorie ..

10,718

4-02

430-7

Victoria Separation . .

10,952

3-93

429-9

Victoria Agrestis ..

10,869

3-94

428-7

Victoria Pepita ..

9,203

4-66

428-6

Leading six Senior Four-year-old 330 lb. butterfat

Cows—Standard

Victoria Whirlwind ..

12,309

4-17

513-4

Victoria Mary Rose ..

10,679

4-28

457-1

Victoria Bessie . .

11,468

3’93

450-4

Victoria Electricity ..

10,358

4-2'5

440-0

Victoria Marionette ..

10,001

4-39

438-7

Victoria Lady Petrina

10,020

4-11

412-1

Leading Six Junior Four-year-old Cows—Standard 310 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Mistress B ..

11,432

4-53

517-5

Victoria Vitamine . .

10,302

4-36

448-4

Victoria Grate ..

9,218

4-82

444-6

Victoria Maid Marion

9,719

4-58

444-8

Victoria Chest ..

9,558

4-51

430-7

Victoria Hop ..

10,344

4-12

425-9

Leading Six Senior Three-year-old Heifers— 290 lb. butterfat.

Standard

Victoria Maderia ..

10,794

4-66

502-5

Victoria Welcome ..

11,246

4-25

478-4

Victoria Tambar ..

9,696

4-85

470-1

Victoria Electricity ..

9,975

4-58

456-8

Victoria Pan Velvet ..

9,899

4-42

437-8

Victoria Pepper ..

11,829

3*69

437-0

Leading Six Junior Three-year-old Heifers270 lb. butterfat.

Standard

Victoria Mountain ..

9,489

4-55

] 447-9

Victoria Rosely ..

9,288

4-65

429-3

Victoria Glorious ..

9,299

4-40

409-1

Victoria Whirlwind ..

9,717

4*20

407-6

Victoria Altar ..

8.988

4-50

404-9

Victoria Bluebird ..

7,820

4-98

389-3

Leading Six Senior Two-year-old Heifers—Standard 250 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Mistress B ..

9,110

4-19

382-0

Victoria Storm ..

8,522

4-26

363-1

Victoria Trojah ..

8,490

4-25

360-8

Victoria Temple ..

8,151

4-32

352-4

Victoria Anvil ..

7,463

4-63

345*9

Victoria Demand ..

7,557

4-57

345-5

Leading Six Junior Two-year-old

Heifers—Standard

230 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Energy ..

7,826

5-32

416-2

Victoria Persephone ..

8,661

4-75

411-6

Victoria Tambar ..

9,159

4-47

409-9

Victoria Pan Velvet ..

8,645

4-73

408-8

Victoria Reliance ..

8,481

4-76

403-3

Victoria Insurgent ..

8,921

4-47

398-9

Friesian Records,

1939-47.

Name.

Milk.

Test.

Butterfat.

lb.

0/

/o

lb.

Leading Ten Mature Cows—Standard 350 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Belfry ..

18,458

3-60

664-4

Victoria Rita ..

17,541

3-45

604-3

Victoria Madeline ..

15,059

3-92

590-1

V ictoria W oodcrest Daisy .. ..

16,026

3-53

565-5

Victoria Belle ..

15,450

3-63

561-5

Victoria Sonorous Piebe

16,707

3-32

555-2

Victoria Geisha . .

14,583

3-74

547-7

Victoria Jostle ..

14,711

3-63

534-0

Victoria Double Piebe

15,174

3-24

491-98

Victoria Sonorita ..

13,149

3-45

453-2

Leading Six Senior Four-year-old Cows—Standard 330 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Domino Josie

11,703

3-69

431-5

Victoria Madrigal ..

11,850

3-59

425-3

Victoria Roma ..

11,507

3-68

422*9

Victoria Geisha ..

11,123

3-71

412-5

Victoria Ballerina . .

8,962

3-87

346-8

Victoria Amaza ..

9,827

3-29

323-7

Leading Six Junior Four-year-old Cows—Standard 310 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Rita ..

16,657

3-45

574-5

Victoria Madeline ..

16,512

3-31

546-1

Victoria Belle ..

14,475

3-15

456-6

Victoria Sonata ..

12,600

3-52

444-0

Victoria Prima Donna

11,924

3-64

434-6

Victoria Woodcrest Josie .. • •

11,105

3-63

402-6

Leading Six Senior Three-year-old Heifers—Standard 290 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Olga ..

14,853

3-41

506-3

Victoria Dutch Domino

9,956

4-01

399-0

Victoria Amaza ..

11,325

3-34

378-2

Victoria Sonnet ..

12,101

3-06

370-7

Victoria Roma ..

8,370

3-94

329-5

Victoria Inka Patch ..

8,684

3-74

325-02

Friesian Recordscontinued.

Name.

Milk.

Test.

Butterfat.

lb.

0/

/o

lb. .

Leading Six Junior Three-year-old, Heifers—Standard 270 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Rita ..

13,727

3-41

468*0

Victoria Madeline ..

13,790

3*37

465*1

Victoria Jostle ..

11,999

3-87

464*8

Victoria Terling Daisy

13,821

3-35

462*6

Victoria Sonata ..

12,835

3-49

448*1

Victoria Geisha ..

10,937

3-86

422*6

Leading Six. Senior Two-year-old Heifers—Standard 250 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Choir ..

9,863

3-76

370*7

Victoria Tear ..

8,856

3-92

347*0

Victoria Ilkaling ..

8,830

3-74

330*3

Victoria Inka Domino

8,016

4*04

323*7

Victoria Roma ..

8,856

4-12

316*5

Victoria Lyric ..

9,843

3-21

31*58

Leading Six Junior Two-year-old Heifers—Standard 230 lb. butterfat.

Victoria Olga ..

13,758

3-15

433*2

Victoria Belfris ..

12,056

3-58

432*2

Victoria Jostling . .

13,018

3-18

414*2

Victoria Havigal ..

10,716

3-74

400*5

Victoria Gretna ..

10,381

3-76

390*0

Victoria Terling Daisy

12,261

3-13

384*1

ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION OF CATTLE

After preliminary trials of the techniques of artificial insemination had been successfully completed, an investigational insemination “ unit ” commenced operations from the farm in June, 1945. The main purpose of the establishment of this unit was that of determining the type of organization and facilities most suitable for the practice of artificial insemination of cattle on a field scale.

In this unit, two “ Victoria ” Friesian bulls, located on the Research Farm, have been used to maintain a daily insemination service for twelve commercial herds of grade cows in the Werribee Irrigation District.

Semen is collected twice each week, so that each of the two bulls is used at weekly intervals. The semen is examined, and, if of satisfactory quality, is immediately diluted with a mixture of equal parts of fresh egg-yolk and phosphate solution. It is then slowly cooled to about 40° F., and stored at that temperature in a refrigerator. Semen stored in this manner has been regularly used after a storage period of up to four days with excellent results. The semen to lie used on each day is first examined microscopically to ensure that its activity has been maintained at a suitable level.

The rate of dilution has been varied, up to a maximum of one part of semen to twenty-four parts of diluent, at which rate each ejaculate from the bull provides on the average sufficient diluted semen to inseminate 100 cows. As satisfactory results of inseminations have been obtained at all rates of dilution used, it appears likely that still greater rates of dilution may be used with success.

The system of operation of the unit is based on a daily service, calls being received by telephone at the farm each morning, notifying cows to be inseminated, i.e., those which have been seen to come in season in the previous twenty-four hours. The inseminator then makes a round of the farms from which calls have been received, and all cows have been inseminated between 9 a.m. and 12 noon each day.

Insemination of the cow is best performed in the latter half of the heat period, or within twelve hours of its termination. Though cows have been inseminated at different times within this range, there has been no apparent variation in the results obtained.

At the 30th June, 1947, over 1,200 cows had been inseminated. Approximately 60 per cent, held to the first insemination, 24 per cent, more to the second, and a further 10 per cent, to the third. These results compare favorably with overseas figures, and show that the techniques of artificial insemination have been successfully established on a field scale in Victoria.

In addition to investigations in the local unit, various methods of packing semen for transport over long distances have been tested by consigning test packages by post and by air freight. A simple method, in which the tube of semen is packed in close contact with a rubber balloon in which a pint of water has been frozen, and protected and insulated by packing the whole in straw, has been successfully used for journeys of up to twenty-four hours’ duration.

POULTRY


The Poultry Section at the State Research Farm,

Werribee, has, as its main objectives, the breeding of pedigreed male stud stock and the conduct of feeding tests each year to determine the values of various foodstuffs of commercial interest to the industry.

The present housing accommodation at Werribee consists of 24 breeding pens,

130 pens for single testing and experimental work, a brooder house (60 feet x 15 feet) heated with hot-water pipes, a chicken house (60 feet x 15 feet), a laying shed to accommodate 450 hens, shed to accommodate 500 pullets for feed experiments, feed-room and grain silos, store-room, work-shop, egg-room, offices and incubator room with hot-water type, still-air incubator, capacity 1,800 eggs.

Arrangements are in hand for the reconstruction of the poultry section. A modern brooder house and chicken house are nearing completion, and laying houses, breeding pens, single mating and single testing pens will be constructed on similar lines. A central administrative building containing office, incubator-room and egg-room will complete the unit.

Approximately 1,000 White Leghorns and Australorps are being used for breeding experiments, feeding tests, and for egg production. The White Leghorn and Aus-tralorp stud flocks each consist of 150 birds, all of which have been bred from tested stock. Careful records of the performances of these birds have been kept for many years.

Poultry feeding tests are conducted each year, extending over a period of twelve months from the 1st April to the 31st March. For the purpose, 500 pullets are used, consisting of five pens of Australorps with 50 birds in each pen, and five pens of White Leghorns with 50 birds in each. All the birds are kept confined, that is to say, there is no outside run. Shell grit is always available and an automatic water supply is attached to all sheds.

The following is a summary of interesting results obtained in some of the past feeding tests.

Owing to an acute shortage of bran and pollard, tests were carried out during 1942-43, and repeated in 1943-44 to ascertain whether free-choice whole grain and meat meal fed in separate hoppers were a suitable substitute for the ordinary bran, pollard and meat meal ration.

The tests proved that highly satisfactory production results can be obtained by feeding only whole grain and meat meal provided that the necessary amount of meat meal is consumed to balance the ration. In the pens where crushed and whole grains were fed with a limited amount of meat meal, the results were not so satisfactory. In some pens the grain was fed in the litter, and some in the hoppers. The average production was highest when fed in the litter.

In. 1941-42, tests were carried out to gain more information on the value of feeding greenstuffs. The difference in egg production between the birds receiving the varying amounts of greenstuff was not as great as expected, although the birds which received no green feed during the tests laid the lowest number of eggs. The absence of green feed, however, had a marked effect on the general health of the birds. Sixty-six birds died—18 in the pens receiving no greenfeed, 15 in the pens receiving greenfeed for six months only, 12 in the pens receiving a half ration of greenfeed, 11 in the pens receiving a full ration of greenfeed, and 10 in the pen receiving greenfeed in the mash as well as in the trough, but only in eleven cases was death diagnosed as being caused by avitaminosis, a nutritional deficiency disease brought about by the absence of vitamin A. Ten of the deaths caused by avitaminosis were in the “ no greenfeed ” pens, and the other death was in a pen which had received greenfeed for the first six months of the tests.

From tests carried out during 1939-40, it was found that dried brewers’ grains and crushed grain can be supplemented for bran and pollard respectively, and could be used to replace them wholly or in part when prices permit, or when bran and pollard are unprocurable.

An interesting test was carried out during 1938-39, the object being to determine if possible the amount of meat meal (60 per cent, protein) which, when added to the dry mash- and greenfeed, would give the best results for egg production. The following percentage was added to the mash :—Nil, 5 per cent., 7\ per cent., 10 per cent., and 15 per cent. Notwithstanding the fact that the rations varied so much in analysis, the egg production was consistently good throughout the test, showing an average of 195-2 eggs per bird for the 500 birds.

The highest production, and also the highest profit over food costs was in the pen fed with 7\ per cent, meat meal (197-6 eggs per bird), followed by the pen fed with 15 per cent. (192-8 eggs).

Comparative tests have been made with meat meal and dried buttermilk, and the results showed that both were equally suitable as a protein constituent to the ration.

It was found in free-choice feeding, that birds always consume much more grain than meal, and experiments have proved that unless a large amount of animal food —meat meal or dried buttermilk—is taken, the balance of the ration is upset and production may be affected. If birds are to lay a large number of eggs, they must eat a large amount of food, and to induce consumption, the food must be palatable.

The 1946-47 tests were conducted to ascertain the value of vitaminized oil in poultry rations as a substitute for greenfeed. It was proved that vitaminized oil is a reliable substitute for greenfeed. No avitaminosis was reported.

To compare the difference in the colour of the yolks, a number of eggs were collected from each pen and broken into separate dishes. The eggs laid by the birds given vitaminized oil only had very pale yolks. Those that were given greenfeed only had deep rich-coloured yolks, and the yolks of the eggs from the birds that were given both oil and greenfeed were similar in colour to those fed greenfeed only.

PRODUCTION STATISTICS

The following table gives a comprehensive review of comparative production and feed costs at the State Eesearch Farm from 1931-32, and is interesting in that it shows the changes from year to year. The return over food cost is jiigher than that obtained on most commercial poultry farms, owing to the fact that the cost of food was arrived at by taking the average wholesale prices published in the daily press during the year. Delivery charges were not added. The eggs laid were valued at the gross wholesale hen-egg price without deducting any marketing or grading charges. These charges would probably average approximately fourpence per dozen which, with an average production of 14 dozen eggs, would amount to 4s. 8d. per bird per year. The cost of rearing the birds was not taken into account, as all those used in the tests were reared on free-range and kept there until they were drafted into the pens just prior to the commencement of the test. The factors involved such as deaths at various ages, culling of unthrifty birds, accidents, &c., make it very difficult to assess the exact amount.

CONCLUSIONS

In reviewing the tests since their inception, the most striking feature is that, with the many different methods that have been tried and rations that vary considerably in composition and analysis, the egg production has been consistently good. Many contradictions have been noticed, but that is to be expected in experimental work.

Although satisfactory production has been obtained from many different rations, it is not advisable to continually change the ration. Slight changes may be made from

Werribee Poultry Feeding Tests, Period 1931-47.

Year.

Average

Production.

Return over Rood Cost (gross).

Average

Price

of

Eggs.

Food

Cost

per

Dozen.

Food

Used

per

Egg.

Food Consumed per Bird per Day.

Food

Cost

per

Week.

Mortality.

£

s.

d.

s.

d.

d.

oz.

oz.

d.

0/

/o

1931-32 ..

157

0

10

8

1

1

3*4

7*5

3*54

•95

10

1932-33 ..

182

0

10

5

1

oi

4*1

7*6

3*8

1*2

6

1933-34 ..

163

0

9

7

1

01

3*7

7*1

3*5

1*1

8*4

1934-35 ..

189

0

11

5

1

0i

3*8

7*5

3*9

1*2

8*8

1935-36 ..

171

0

10

8

1

0i

3*6

6*8

3*2

1*0

8*6

1936-37 ..

188

0

12

6

1

2f

5*2

7*3

3*7

1*6

5

1937-38 ..

171

0

13

7

1

5

5*6

7*3

3*4

1*5

4*6

1938-39 ..

195

0

16

6

1

■ 4f

4*6

7*5

4*0

1*4

7

1939-40 ..

194

0

15

9

1

3i

4*0

7*4

3*9

1*2

9*4

1940-41 ..

185

0

12

0

1

4

6*6

8*6

4*4

2*0

10*2 -

1941-42 ..

183

0

14

5

1

4

4*5

7*5

3*8

1*4

13*0

1942M3 ..

171

0

16

8

1

8

6*2

9*0

4*3

1*7

1943M4 ..

178*2

1

0

4

1

10

5*5

8*2

4*0

1*6

1944-45 ..

181*5

1

1

8

1

10

5*0

8*0

4*0

1*5

8*4

1945-46 ..

163*9

0

19

1

1

9i

4*75

7*6

3*4

1*25

12*25

1946-47 ..

168*2

0

18

5

1

94

5*75

9*0

4*2

1*5

14*0


time to time as the price of the different food varies, bnt any change should he made gradually.

Quality, quantity, and variety are three essentials in feeding poultry for egg production. The old idea that if poultry were given plenty of food they would become fat and lazy and fail to lay has been disproved ; in fact, if the birds are bred on production lines, the more food they eat the more eggs they are likely to produce.

It has also been found that variety can be more economically provided in the grain than in the mash, therefore if several of the different grains—wheat, oats, maize, barley—are used, the mash may be very plain, consisting chiefly of bran, pollard and meat meal or dried buttermilk, and this is the ration recommended.

AVERAGE EGG PRODUCTION

The table sets out the monthly and yearly average production of both Australorps and

White Leghorns (pullets) over a period of 22 years, and also for seven years :—

Australorps and White Leghorns.

Monthly

Average

Production

for

Twenty-two

Years.

Australorps.

Monthly

Average

Production

for

Seven

Years.

White

Leghorns.

Monthly

Average

Production

for

Seven

Years.

Eggs per

Eggs per

Eggs per

bird.

bird.

bird.

April .. ..

12*5

14*1

13*9

May .. ..

12*6

14*7

14*0

June .. *• •

11*9

14*2

12*8

July .. • •

12*7

14*6

13*1

August .. ..

16*3

16*9

15*6

September ..

19*1

19*4

18*7

October .. ..

19*7

19*5

19*7

November. . ..

17*8

17*3

18*5

December ..

16*1

15*8

17*2

January .. ..

15*1

14*8

15*8

February .. ..

12*4

12*4

12*6

March .. ..

10*9

11*7

10*7

Yearly average..

177*1

185*4

182*6

, Department of Agriculture


STATE RESEARCH FARM

WERRIBEE