Flowering Calculator: Parameters for predicting flowering dates of new wheat varieties in Western Australia

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Conference Title

Australian Society of Agronomy 15th Annual Conference 2010: Food Security from Sustainable Agriculture

Place of Publication

Lincoln, New Zealand


Phenology, vernalisation, photoperiod, maturity group, frost, screenings, time of sowing


Agricultural Science | Agronomy and Crop Sciences


Wheat varieties need to be matched to sowing date so that flowering occurs at an optimum period when the risks of occurrence of damaging low temperature (frost), and high temperature and water stress are minimised. The Flowering Calculator, a computer program previously developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia has been available for predictions but is not calibrated for current and new cultivars. Field experiments were conducted with about 50 current varieties over four years (2006-2009) at Geraldton (28.79 ?S), Northam (31.64?S), and Katanning (33.40?S) in Western Australia and parameters for different models in this program are presented. Comparison with observed flowering dates revealed that predictions for early sowing dates in southern latitudes were invariably earlier than actual flowering dates with all models – the inability of the model to perform at southern latitudes is the major limitation of this package. However, flowering time in the warmer, northern locations of the wheatbelt could be reasonably predicted and as such, we expect these parameters will be applicable within this region. We have tabulated in this paper the parameters of important varieties that can be used in the Flowering Calculator in the public domain. With these coefficients of parameters and the inbuilt daily average temperatures and photoperiods of the locations predictions of flowering dates can be produced for all these varieties.