Given low-fertility of Australian soils and high fertiliser prices, it is clear that sustainable, low-input grain production requires cultivars that are efficient in acquisition and utilisation of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus as the most critical nutrients in most paddocks... Potential for increasing nutrient efficiency in Australian wheat and barley germplasm will be assessed in this project via large-scale field screening of promising genotypes for nitrogen-use efficiency at a number of locations spanning a range in climate and soil conditions..... Plant pre-breeders are laying the foundation for more nitrogen-efficient varieties of wheat and barley..
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The pilot project was motivated by severe outbreaks of powdery mildew of barley in Western Australia (WA) and widespread fungicide resistance... The project made contact with leading researchers, undertook a WA pathotype survey to determine the race structure of the pathogen, and enabled an overview of which resistance genes remain effective against powdery mildew isolates... The results from the project underline the importance of conducting variety trials across multiple locations to better predict their performance when grown over a wide area...