Pulse Management in Low Rainfall – Member day held at Minnipa
Pulse management was the focus of the member day held at the Minnipa Agricultural Centre, with nearly 100 people attending. High quality speakers presented information relevant to growing pulses and break crops in low rainfall farming systems.
Larn McMurray presented agronomic considerations for growing pulses in low rainfall regions, emphasizing the need to seek correct ‘local’ advice, and the importance for sound planning and preparation in crop choice; paddock selection; disease impact; timely insect control; and market awareness.
Liz Farquharson from SARDI, spoke about optimising inoculation in pulse production. Inoculation necessity; formulations; effectiveness; chemical additives and rhizobia compatibility, encouraging growers to check the ‘Back Pocket’ guide on inoculating legumes.
Jenny Davidson, also from SARDI delivered research information on major diseases found in field peas, chickpeas, lentils, faba beans, vetch and lupins; and addressed new fungicides a disease management strategies.
Sam Holmes presented very practical important messages to growers on growing lentils. Good management; paddock selection; and predominately timing is the success in growing lentils, they take priority over every other crop for importance of timing.
The last speaker, Michael Moodie presented research results on the productivity and profitability of break crop options for low rainfall farming systems. Results on break crop selection; management; yields; and gross margins were shown; with long term gross margins for field peas, lupins, chickpeas, lentils, beans, vetch and canola.
This was followed by a panel session facilitated by Andy Bates where plenty of questions were asked of the speakers.
Naomi Scholz concluded the day with evaluation, where the majority of participants indicated they had gained a better understanding of how to increase pulse production and better manage pulse crops.
A BBQ dinner and drinks were enjoyed by all.