The University of Adelaide
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Optimising Plant Establishment 2018-2019 Narraport Lentil Experiment

posted on 2023-12-11, 07:24 authored by Glenn McDonaldGlenn McDonald, Jacky Desbiolles, Sarah Noack, Stefan Schmitt, Claire Pickles, Genevieve Clarke, Rebekah Allen, Ashley Amourgis, Jon Midwood, David Minkey

Data from the 2018-2019 crop establishment trial at Narraport, VIC. The trial compared the establishment of Hurricane variety lentil at different densities, under a conventional cone seeder and under a precision seeder, and at two row spacings (a narrow row spacing of 22.9cm, and a wide row spacing of 30.5cm). The experiment was run under the UOA1803-009RTX GRDC project led by the University of Adelaide, with the experiment management and data collection handled locally in Narraport by the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG).

Files:2018 Birchip Lentils.xlsx, 2019 Birchip Lentil.xlsx

Experiment setup:The experiment was managed locally by the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG). The trial was organised as a split split plot with 6 treatments of target plant densities (40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140 plants/m2), with 2 different row spacings (narrow 22.9cm row vs wide 30.5cm row), and two different seeders used (cone seeder vs precision seeder). The design was embedded in a spatial grid with 16 rows (not including the two bordering buffer plots on either side), 6 ranges, and 4 replicates, for 96 plots total. The variety used for these Narraport trials was Hurricane variety lentil. The trial randomisation differed between 2018 and 2019, with the design staying mostly the same, but with the spatial structure changing in 2019 to accommodate an extra filler row.

Variables recorded:

  • 2018:establishment count (plants/m2), interplant distance (cm), seed bed moisture (%), NDVI, Anthesis dry matter (t/ha and also per-plant), yield (t/ha, and also corrected to 12% moisture), harvest weight (kg), 100 grain weight (g), 1000 grain weight (g).
  • 2019:establishment count (plants/m2), interplant distance (cm), NDVI, flowering biomass (t/ha), harvest biomass (t/ha), yield (t/ha), 1000 grain weight (g).

Data collection and assessment:

  • 2018:The paddock was sown to lentil on 15/05/2018. Fertiliser and chemical application was applied between 15/05/2018 and 2/12/2018 according to the schedule provided in the '2018 Birchip Lentils.xlsx' spreadsheet. Date of seedling emergence was 31/05/2018. The lentil establishment was recorded on six occasions between 31/05/2018 and 20/06/2018, counting all of the plants emerging in two rows within a 3m pinned section. During the emergence, soil moisture probes were used to take five measurements of the soil moisture between 31/05/2018 and 15/06/2018. Sowing depth was recorded by paddock survey after maximum establishment. Interplant distances were also measured by survey after maximum establishment was reached. NDVI measurements were recorded four times between 26/06/2018 and 09/08/2018, using the handheld GreenSeeker held 50cm above the crop canopy and held horizontally over the two middle crop rows. Biomass cuts were made at anthesis, with 2 cuts/plot minimum using a ruler, and the anthesis dry mass was measured. Harvest and grain assessments were recorded at lentil harvest on 07/12/2018, with the yield, 100-grain weight and 1000-grain weight recorded.
  • 2019:The '2019 Birchip Lentil.xlsx' spreadsheet contains the recorded values for the variables measured during the second year of the experiment. NDVI were recorded for each plot 6 times between 20/06/2019 and 26/08/2019. The interplant distance (cm), plant establishment, flowering biomass, harvest biomass, yield and thousand-grain weight were also recorded.


GRDC contract code


GRDC project title

Optimising plant establishment, density and spacings to maximise crop yield and profit in the southern and western regions

Contact email address

Start date for this data collection


End date for this data collection


Spatial coverage

Narraport experiment site, VIC.

Access rights type

  • Open

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