Crop residues, or stubble, play an integral role in soil health and nutrient cycling in broadacre cropping and, particularly in the Mallee, can also improve rainfall infiltration and moisture retention. However, while the benefits of stubble retention are widely recongnised, growers are continually being challenged by significant issues that can arise when stubble is retained. These include problems with weed, pest and disease control, crop nutrition and the logistics of sowing the following years crop into heavy stubble loads.
To help broadacre farmers overcome these issues and improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their farm businesses, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is supporting Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), Southern Farming Systems (SFS), Irrigated Cropping Council (ICC) and the Victorian No Till Farmers Association (VNTFA) to undertake research, development and extension activities focused on stubble retained cropping systems.
The collaboration will investigate the interaction between retaining stubble and 17 other components that impact crop profitability. Leading growers, farm consultants, machinery specialists and researchers will also be involved in this project to ensure research is relevant and practical for industry to adopt. The initiative will provide growers with access to guidelines, and a wealth of other information, designed to help them navigate issues and maintain the profitability of their farming systems while retaining stubble.
GRDC project BWD00024 Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in Victoria and Tasmania is being undertaken by BCG, SFS, ICC and VNTFA, as part of the GRDC Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble initiative.
GRDC Project Codes: BWD00024, CWF00018, EPF00001, CSP00174, LEA00002, MFM00006, MFS00003, RPI00009, UNF00002, YCR00003, DAN00170.