Bean an efficient option
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