Profitable farming systems with retained stubble on Lower EP

Profitable farming systems with retained stubble on Lower EP

Project Manager
Mr Andrew Ware
Funding Source
GRDC Project Code
Start Date
1 July 2013
Finish Date
30 June 2018


The project ‘Profitable farming systems with retained stubble on Lower Eyre Peninsula’ (South Australia) aims to create a development and extension program through this project that will assist lower Eyre Peninsula growers and advisors to best manage stubble retention within their farming systems. This project will create options to manage the constraints of retaining stubble and showcase this to the broader farming community of lower Eyre Peninsula.

Also see: Stubble Extravaganza

The project will establish two focus sites to develop solutions and extension messages to deliver eight outputs the LEADA group has identified as being critical to address in stubble retention systems on lower Eyre Peninsula:

  • Specific guidelines for the tools/technologies to manage stubble characteristics during fallow period: selection of appropriate tool/technology, set up and operation to achieve desired stubble characteristics;
  • Specific guidelines for monitoring stubbles during fallow period: assessment of stubble loads and timing of actions to manage stubble loads to fit within limitations of seeding equipment;
  • Locally specific guidelines and support for a proactive approach to weed management within retained stubble systems
  • Locally specific guidelines and support to address issues with herbicide application in retained stubble systems, especially: overage issues for fallow herbicides in standing stubble and interaction of pre-emergent herbicides with stubble
  • Locally specific guidelines and support for a proactive approach to pest management within retained stubble systems;
  • Locally specific guidelines and support for a proactive approach to disease management within retained stubble systems;
  • Locally specific guidelines and support for crop nutrition within stubble retention systems
  • Locally specific guidelines that detail benchmarks for stubble load which suggest action is required to reduce or remove stubble to reduce the risk of adverse impacts on crop profitability.

Through this it is expected that the following outcome will be achieved on Lower Eyre Peninsula:

  • Crop establishment in farm systems with retained stubble equivalent to systems where stubble is not retained;
  • Profitable and sustainable farming system delivered by maximising capture and retention of soil moisture, reducing energy inputs (fuel useage) and minimising nutrient loss (stubble burning and soil erosion);
  • Ability to manage weeds, pests and disease in such a way that they do not unduly affect crop yield and input costs compared to crop systems where stubble is not retained;
  • Timely seeding opportunities created by retained soil moisture and absence of significant sowing machinery issues (i.e blockages, ‘hair pinning’ etc)’
  • Agility to integrate stubble retention in mixed farming systems; agility to accommodate judicious grazing of stubble by livestock with the cropping cycle.

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