Agriculture Victoria, DEDJTR, PB260, Horsham, Vic, 3401
Peer review: Reviewer, Affiliation/Organisation
The Southern Pulse Agronomy program conducts a wide range of agronomic and variety pulse trials across all rainfall zones of south-eastern Australia. Its primary aim is to improve yield and yield stability, ultimately leading to increased profitability and adoption of new varieties by growers. In this report, key results from selected trials conducted in the southern (Curyo) and central (Kulwin) Mallee 2015 are highlighted.
• Prices for all pulse crops were very high, ensuring profitable returns for many crops. Lentils, in particular have traded at record levels around $1400/t in some cases. Growers always need to be aware of possible price swings in all pulse crops, for example the long term price for lentils is between $500 and $600/t.
• A new isolate of ascochyta blight was discovered at Curyo in 2015 which has virulence on previously resistant chickpea varieties. Growers are encouraged to closely monitor all chickpea crops in 2016 and use a preventative fungicide strategy to minimise the risk of disease.
• Based on 2015, seeding rate of lentils in the Mallee could be lowered from 120 to 80 plants/m2, particularly with new disease resistant varieties sown early. Results for faba beans in the Mallee and south west indicate maintaining densities above 20 plants/m2.
• The yield stability of a variety like PBA Jumbo2 was highlighted in 2015 as it was the highest yielding commercial variety in all southern pulse agronomy trials. In lentils it is important to choose a variety that minimise disease risks and can be sown early to maximize yield potential.
• The performance of several new faba bean lines identified for improvements in drought resistance was excellent at Curyo in 2015, with a line achieving yields of 0.75t/ha, 50% higher than Farah and PBA Samira.
• Dry conditions in 2015 will again mean residual herbicides are more likely to persist into 2016. Growers may need to take this into consideration when selecting paddocks and varieties for 2016.