Partnering with a range of leading research and extension organisations.
This project was led by CSIRO with support from Vic DPI, I&I NSW, Riverine Plains Inc, MacKillop Farm Management group, Central West Farming Systems, Birchip Cropping Group, FarmLink Research, Southern Farming Systems and Irrigated Cropping Forum.
2012 – 2014
Most grain-growers recognise the need to include broadleaf species in their cropping program to reduce disease incidence for cereals, control weeds, and to improve soil nitrogen fertility. However, at the time of project inception, it was noted that the area sown to pulse legume crops or canola had dramatically declined over the previous 8-10 years. It was also observed that while 65-70% of grain produced in the southern region are grown in rotation with pastures, many of these pastures tend to have low legume contents and therefore provide little benefit to subsequent crops.
There had been many good reasons why growers had reduced the frequency of use of broadleaf species in recent years: this was mostly related to late starts to the growing season, drought and risk aversion. Yet much of the decline was also attributed to the wide-spread perception that broadleaf options were not as profitable as cereals.
This project examined the productivity and financial implications of growing legumes or brassicas in various genotype x environment x management (GxExM) combinations in cereal-based systems and re-evaluated the full value of integrating broadleaf species in a cropping sequence.
The project aimed to:
The results for this project can be found here as an excerpt from “Research for the Riverine Plains, 2015”.