Legumes and pulses for profits in the west

Project aims to expand crop options in WA systems

Legumes & Pulses
Faba beans may be an option for western region growers in expanding crop rotations to take in more pulses and legumes. PHOTO GRDC

Faba beans may be an option for western region growers in expanding crop rotations to take in more pulses and legumes. PHOTO GRDC

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Western growers encouraged to look beyond cereals and oilseeds in rotations.

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A new research project with GRDC investment, launched in 2018, aims to have 20 per cent of growers across Western Australias five grain receival port zones actively using agronomy packages for pulses and legumes to assess the risks and rewards in growing a legume for a break crop on their property by 2021.

GRDC urges growers to apply whole-farm modelling tools for their own farms to determine if particular legumes are profitable in their system.

Researchers working as part of this project will develop three legume demonstration sites on a range of soils, including shallow clay; heavy, and duplex soil types, in each of the western region port zones.

Crop sequencing workshops will be held to help educate growers about their rotation options and other extension activities will ensure the agronomy packages are a good fit for growers in individual zones.

The project is also creating links with the GRDC-funded Tactical break crop agronomy project, led by Mark Seymour, of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

This project aims to boost the profitability of growing break crops by up to 10 per cent.

The need for a project of this scope was identified by research suggesting high value pulses are suitable for many fine-textured, neutral to alkaline soils where narrow leaf lupin crops are poorly adapted. However, they may not be suited to all soil types and regions.

Pulse and legume research work has advanced considerably since this research.

However, growers have continually highlighted there are no good or consistently profitable break crops/legume options for their farming systems.

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