Bean an ef­fi­cient op­tion

Central and North Burnett Times - - FENCE POST - Tessa Map­stone tessa.map­stone @south­bur­nett­times.com.au

FABA beans are a good ro­ta­tional break crop for win­ter ce­re­als.

They de­crease the oc­cur­rence of crown rot and some ne­ma­todes and are an al­ter­na­tive to chick­pea, with a shorter crop cy­cle.

The pulse tol­er­ates wa­ter­log­ging and thrives in black clays and al­lu­vial loams, which com­prise a large part of Monto’s crop­ping land. An­other ad­van­tage is their high ni­tro­gen fix­ing abil­ity.

A GRDC study found well grown chick­peas and faba beans in­creased soil ni­trate lev­els by 30-40kg N/ha and boosted the yield of the fol­low­ing wheat crop by 0.5-1/5 ton/Ha.

Faba beans are more ef­fi­cient at fix­ing ni­tro­gen than chick­peas, prin­ci­pally be­cause of their ni­trate tol­er­ance. Egypt is Australia’s big­gest buyer of faba beans, tak­ing on 60–70% of Aus­tralian ex­ports. AF­TER floods wiped out the Bur­nett Catch­ment Care As­so­ci­a­tion’s crops at the Makadu trial site near Monto, the group came up with a new idea to sal­vage the sites.

Tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer Jenny Voigt said the group would put in an ex­per­i­men­tal plant­ing of faba beans, a rel­a­tively new crop to the North Bur­nett.

“We could have just thrown our hands in the air and waited for next year,” she said.

“But you never know, it could be a new in­dus­try for the area.

“I went to a GRDC faba bean course in Dalby re­cently and they’ve had a lot of suc­cess with them last year over that way.”

The chal­lenges will come with find­ing the right mod­i­fi­ca­tions to meet lo­cal con­di­tions but Ms Voigt has con­fi­dence.

“This will be a bit of an

NEWIDEA: Bur­nett Catch­ment Care's crop­ping tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer Jenny Voigt has con­fi­dence in the faba bean crop. ex­per­i­ment as they have not been grown in the North Bur­nett much be­fore and we will have to adapt sow­ing times to suit lo­cal con­di­tions,” she said.

“I think they should be pretty suit­able to our re­gion.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s ex­per­i­men­tal ni­tro­gen fix­ing crop of mung­beans and adzuki beans were wiped out in the flood­ing brought on by Cy­clone Mar­cia in Fe­bru­ary.

Close to 200mm of rain was recorded at the weather sta­tion at the Makadu trial site of the Ac­tion on the Ground

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