Grower Solutions Group research – Coastal and Hinterlands
The GRDC Grower Solutions Groups – Coastal and Hinterland conduct a range of activities aimed at overcoming constraints and making the most of opportunities for grain and pulse production in these higher rainfall zones. Two case studies have been published so far:
- Developing a robust irrigated mungbean cropping system – Burdekin Case Study
- Managing heavy clay soils to improve grain cropping in a high rainfall environment using hilling and raised beds – North Coast NSW Case Study
Burdekin mungbean irrigation
Developing A Robust Irrigated Mungbean Cropping System Case Study
Mungbean has a good fit into sugar cane rotations in the Burdekin's irrigated farming systems. This project looked at row configurations that supported the highest yield.
- In a single experiment planting three rows of mungbean on a furrow irrigated sugar cane bed configuration (1.52m wide, 38cm row width on top of bed) increased grain yield by 20% in the machine harvested plots compared with the established spacing of two rows per bed (76cm row width on top of bed).
- Greater canopy light interception during pod growth with three rows per bed explained the yield increase.
- Three rows per bed can only be adopted in soils that will infiltrate water to the centre of the bed. Difficult on silt texture soils.
In suitable soils, the 3-rows per bed configuration is the clear winner.
The risk of insecticide resistance needs to be managed carefully by avoiding multiple applications of the same mode of action throughout the year.
North Coast NSW heavy clays
Managing heavy clay soils to improve grain cropping in a high rainfall environment HILLING or RAISED BEDS Case Study
The NSW North Coast can experience very heavy rainfall events during summer, often when grain crops are ready to be harvested. Fred Faulkner and Paul Fleming have made changes to their farming practices to manage their heavy clay soils.
- used existing machinery to create permanent single row hills renovated after harvest
- reduces tillage and limits traffic in the crop growing zone
- adds organic matter via poultry manure; and
- retains stubble and utilises green manure crops
- laser levelled and implemented a well designed drainage plan to remove excess water
- created permanent raised beds (two or four rows on top of the beds) that accommodate a range of crops and machinery
- uses GPS guidance for controlled traffic
- maintains groundcover on the beds to keep soil covered
- hilling and raised beds
GRDC Project Code: DAQ00204