Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
Table of Contents
Crop and Pasture Science

Crop and Pasture Science

Volume 67 Number 12 2016


Assessment of plant height is an important factor for agronomic and breeder decisions. Visual scoring is time consuming, labour intensive, costly and subjective, therefore, objective and expedient methods to assess the plant height are required. We developed a reference method and showed that distance sensors represent a powerful and economical high-throughput phenotyping tool for breeders and plant scientists to estimate plant height.

CP16300Assessment of phenotypic diversity in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] germplasm of Indian origin and identification of trait-specific germplasm

Jyoti Kumari, Manas K. Bag, S. Pandey, S. K. Jha, S. S. Chauhan, Girish K. Jha, N. K. Gautam and M. Dutta
pp. 1223-1234

Pearl millet is a highly cross-pollinated, hardy and nutrient rich crop which is grown in harsher climate with poor soil fertility. It possesses enormous natural variability for agronomic, disease resistance and quality traits. The evaluation of pearl millet germplasm of Indian origin led to identification of trait specific germplasm that will serve as a storehouse in future for pearl millet breeding programme.


The Australian wild mungbean is part of the primary gene pool of cultivated mungbean. In this study, we describe the behaviour, in the early-generation progeny from crosses with cultivars, of wild traits that were polygenic (i.e. conditioned by multiple genes). The study confirms that the wild germplasm represents a source of novel genetic diversity and as such may be potentially useful for mungbean improvement.

CP16211Prospects to utilise intercrops and crop variety mixtures in mechanised, rain-fed, temperate cropping systems

Andrew L. Fletcher, John A. Kirkegaard, Mark B. Peoples, Michael J. Robertson, Jeremy Whish and Antony D. Swan
pp. 1252-1267

This review examined the opportunities to include intercrops in mechanised rain-fed farming systems. Intercrops were reviewed based on their biological basis of production and the potential benefit to a farming system. The paper shows that there are prospects to include intercrops in these farming systems and that there are a number of important research issues.


Dry and early sowing have become important practices in Australian cropping. We tested the extent of these practices in WA and found that the mean first crop sowing date was 29 April and half the farms used dry sowing. Early and dry sowing will continue to expand, and research to understand how other agronomic management interacts with this change should be a priority.

CP16135UAV remote sensing of spatial variation in banana production

Brian L. Machovina, Kenneth J. Feeley and Brett J. Machovina
pp. 1281-1287

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are emerging tools for monitoring agricultural productivity. Spatial variation in photosynthetic productivity measured by a UAV over a banana plantation was correlated to hand-recorded fruit production variables. This suggests an ability to predict and map spatial variation in fruit production over large areas from UAV flights, enhancing the ability to identify and potentially address areas with lower yields.

CP16270Organisms with potential to assist in the control of Helicoverpa armigera in Australian cotton production systems

Oliver G. G. Knox, Chris M. T. Anderson, Jenna L. Ross, Colin C. R. Tann and Vadakattu V. S. R. Gupta
pp. 1288-1296

Agriculture relies on pesticides, but fewer products are being developed, attitudes toward their use have changed and resistance is a constant threat. We examined dead and live caterpillars of the pest moth Helicoverpa armigera and identified both known and new organisms that could provide control of this pest. The work implies that there are still non-pesticide control options in our agricultural systems, but our understanding of them needs development.


Organic amendments can alter soil physicochemical and microbial properties; how it effects on soil nutrient cycling via roots is yet to be answered. This study examined the effects of straw and manure amendments on soil and root characteristics. Organic amendments promoted soil microbial activity, soil N transformation and fine root proliferation, finally improved the acquisition efficiency of inorganic fertilizer. The results are very important to better understand the belowground processes.


Highly-pigmented potatoes are a great source of bioactive compounds, such as phenolics and carotenoids. In spite of the complex genetic control underlying their biosynthesis, the genetic variation is known to be important for this characters. Thus, an experiment was conducted with the aim of evaluating how growing environments may affect phytochemical content and antioxidant capacity. High broad-sense heritability estimates suggest that genetic improvements could be made in order to increase the concentrations of health promoting bioactive compounds and antioxidnt capacity.

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