LEGUME

DEMONSTRATIONS PROJECT

DEMONSTRATION OF LEGUMES FOR RELIABLE PROFITABILITY IN THE WESTERN REGION

Commencement date

March 2018

Completion date

February 2021

Aim

The project aims to provide growers with access to agronomy packages for pulses/legumes and to whole farm modelling tools for their own farms to determine if particular legumes are profitable in their system

Funding Provider

GRDC

Project lead organisation

Liebe Group

Collaborators

West Midlands Group, Facey Group, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Mingenew Irwin Group, Farmanco, CSIRO and DPIRD

Project background

Loss (1996) noted that high value pulses are suitable for many fine-textured, neutral to alkaline soils where narrow leaf lupin is poorly adapted, however they may not be suited to all soil types and regions. The growth and seed yield of vetch, narbon bean, Lathyrus sativus, Lathyrus cicera and Lathyrus ochrus were compared to field pea and faba bean at 11 sites throughout the Western Australian wheatbelt in the dry 1994 season. These grain legumes showed considerable promise for farming systems. On average over all sites, field peas produced the greatest machine harvested seed yield (1.8 t/ha) followed by faba bean (1.4 t/ha), narbon bean (1.3 t/ha), vetch (1.2 t/ha) and the Lathyrus species (1.0 t/ha or less). The good biomass production of these species indicates their adaptation to fine-textured, neutral to alkaline soils, however, their late flowering time relative to faba bean and field pea is limiting their seed production. With further breeding and agronomic research, early flowering vetch, narbon bean, and Lathyrus spp. could find niches in farming systems, providing stockfeed, on and off-farm, and rotational benefits in situations where other grain legumes are not suitable. Pulse and legume work has since moved on considerably, however since inception of GRDCs Western Region Regional Cropping Solutions networks, growers have continually highlighted that there are no good or consistently profitable break crops/legume options for their farming systems.

In collaboration with grower groups in each port zone, the project will develop nine legume (crop) demonstration sites on a range of soil types (and include shallow clay soils, heavy soils, and duplex soil types) in the Kwinana West, Kwinana East, and Geraldton Port Zones. These will be sown to a combination of different legume break crops in 2018, and in 2019 will be sown to a cereal rotation. All sites will be monitored throughout the season and reported on at the conclusion of the year.

In partnership with Farmanco Consultants the project will deliver nine Crop Sequence workshops across the thee port zones on how to run simulations of different break crops, and what the impact on profits are from the different options. The aim of the workshops is to up-skill growers and advisors on the economics of different legume options for the port zone. These workshops should include appropriate presenters and include an analysis (financial and risk) of all rotations with information pertinent for the port zone.

The extension of agronomy packages for pulses/legumes that fit for growers in each port zone will be developed throughout the project and provided by the participating groups.

The Liebe Group will be hosting four legume demonstration sites at Kalannie, Koorda, Dalwallinu, and East Maya.

Results and Reports

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