Stub­ble guide­lines re­leased

Shepparton News - Country News - - WOMEN IN AG FORUM -

While stub­ble loads in 2018 are gen­er­ally much lighter than usual due to the im­pact of the dry con­di­tions and the sal­vaging of frost-dam­aged crops, stub­ble man­age­ment re­mains an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion head­ing into next sea­son.

And that’s why River­ine Plains has de­vel­oped a series of stub­ble man­age­ment guide­lines specif­i­cally for grain grow­ers.

‘‘River­ine Plains un­der­took a sig­nif­i­cant amount of re­search into the ef­fec­tive­ness of stub­ble man­age­ment tech­niques as part of the GRDC in­vest­ment Main­tain­ing Prof­itable Farm­ing Sys­tems in the River­ine Plains project,’’ River­ine Plains re­search and ex­ten­sion of­fi­cer Dr Cas­san­dra Schefe said.

The project, which ran from 2013 to 2018, de­liv­ered a num­ber of key find­ings, in­clud­ing that notill stub­ble re­tained sys­tems gen­er­ally yielded as well, or bet­ter, than stub­ble man­age­ment sys­tems which in­volved burn­ing, cul­ti­va­tion or ad­di­tional ni­tro­gen at sow­ing with cul­ti­va­tion, ex­cept where stub­ble loads were ex­tremely high at some lo­ca­tions (as oc­curred 2016).

To sup­port the out­comes of the project, River­ine Plains de­vel­oped a series of stub­ble man­age­ment guide­lines specif­i­cally for grain grow­ers.

The guide­lines cover top­ics such as how to man­age stub­ble at har­vest, tech­niques for suc­cess­fully sow­ing into stub­ble, the strate­gic man­age­ment of crops grown in stub­ble-re­tained sys­tems, as well as the im­pacts of stub­ble on soil car­bon.

The guide­lines also re­fer to re­sults of the tri­als un­der­taken through­out the life of the project, Help for grow­ers . . . Faba beans grow­ing in ce­real crop stub­ble. The River­ine Plains group has de­vel­oped a series of stub­ble man­age­ment guide­lines for grain grow­ers. which makes them es­pe­cially rel­e­vant for farm­ers in the River­ine Plains re­gion.

Dr Schefe said manag­ing the stub­ble left over from ce­real crops was a peren­nial prob­lem for grain grow­ers in the River­ine Plains re­gion and de­spite the ben­e­fits of stub­ble re­ten­tion, it could also af­fect the sow­ing of the next crop in the cy­cle.

‘‘Farm­ers know that stub­ble re­ten­tion has many ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing rain­fall cap­ture and stor­age over the sum­mer fal­low, pro­tec­tion from wind and water ero­sion and the im­prove­ment of soil struc­ture,’’ she said.

‘‘But on the other hand, high stub­ble loads can also in­crease the fre­quency of block­ages at sow­ing, af­fect es­tab­lish­ment and in­crease dis­ease car­ry­over be­tween crops.’’ ■ The guide­lines are avail­able to down­load from: www.river­ine­plains.org.au ■ A lim­ited num­ber of hard copies are avail­able from the River­ine Plains of­fice. Phone 5744 1713 or email: [email protected]­ine­plains.org.au

Com­ing up . . . Canola emerg­ing through long stub­ble.

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