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STUBBLE HEIGHT PROJECT

IMPACT OF STUBBLE HEIGHT ON CROPPING SYSTEMS IN THE WESTERN REGION

Commencement date

18th October 2021

Completion date

30 June 2025

Aim

by March 2025, growers have the knowledge and understanding of how differing stubble architectures contribute value to their farming system, understand the differing costs involved, can acknowledge the risk/reward profile and use this knowledge to apply the step changes required for profitability.

Funding Provider

GRDC

Project lead organisation

Liebe Group

Project background

Currently in the Western Region, there is a lot of interest in the 'Strip and Disc' system (high residue system) and Western growers are looking to understand the benefits in water use efficiencies, reduced wind erosion and increased yields, and the fit within the WA landscape. 

The investment will compare both tall and short harvested stubble and the fit within the current farming system. The following aspects in regard to harvest will be explored:

- Soil moisture - increased water infiltration and decreased evaporation

- Lower weed germination due to less disturbance

- Improving soil structure

- Disease carryover

- Hair punning of stubble and seeding

- Herbicide tie up in stubble

- HWSC options

- Lack of cultivation below seed, if moving to disc seeding

- Increased fire risk over summer

- Pre-emergent herbicide efficacy

- Nitrogen inefficiency when top spreading into straw

- Frost risk 

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