Role of break crops: establishing beans in stubble

Key messages:

  • TrialsBookCoverBeans can be established from depth by either deep direct drilling or ‘discing’ in.
  • There were no significant differences in establishment for any method.
  • Some seed remained unburied in the disced in treatment but emerged anyway.
  • Weed control was compromised by dry conditions resistant populations of ARG.
  • The trial was not harvested.

In the western districts the fallow period in cereal stubbles can provide an opportunity to grow biomass for forage and growers regularly plant millet or forage rapes to supplement livestock. Work done by Annieka Paridaen, SFS, has demonstrated that sowing long season canola varieties in late spring can provide up to 4t/ha of dry matter over the autumn period. The crops are then carried through to harvest the following summer with yields equal to or above traditional autumn sown canola crops.

The aim of this scoping study was to explore the potential of Faba beans, established into grazed unburnt stubble at an early and a traditional sowing date, to establish and produce a productive grain crop.

Beans were sown using three methods:

  1. Direct drill into existing stubble at 100mm – SFS Southern seeder, 26th March 2014
  2. Broadcast and turned in at 100mm with Vaderstaad Rapid disc seeder, 26th March 2014. The disc treatment allowed establishment of the crop by cultivation to assist in the breakdown of existing stubble.
  3. Direct drill into existing stubble 45mm deep, 14th May 2014 – SFS Southern seeder.

Design

report 2 image 1

Figure 1: Trial plan 14 GRDC STUB 01 BEA LB.

Table 1: Agronomic information 14 GRDC STUB 01 BEA LB.

Crop PBA Rana
Seed treatment Inoculated with Nodulaid NT Group F
Sowing rate kg/ha 235
Target plants/m2 27
Fertilizer MAP 100kg/ha
Herbicide Round up Power max 1.5l/ha PE
Herbicide Burst 1kg/ha PE
Herbicide Simazine 800ml/ha PE
Herbicide Verdict 200ml/ha Post E
Molluscicide Meterex 10kg/ha
Fungicide Echo 2l/ha + Carbendazim 500ml/ha

Table 2: Stubble height & DM 14 GRDC STUB 01 BEA LB.

Stubble height 19cm
Stubble load post grazing 2T/ha

Results

Table 3: Plant counts & NDVI 14 GRDC STUB 01 BEA LB. * 5/8/14

Treatment Plants/m2* NDVI
Spread, disc in, Mar 22.33 a 0.72 a
Stub rem, knife point, Mar 20 a 0.74 a
Stub rem, knife point, Apr/May 19.67 a 0.46 b

Discussion

From the establishment data there is no significant difference in the establishment of any methods. NDVI, in the early sowing date, is not significantly different regardless of the methods used.SFS gratefully acknowledge the generous co-operation of Neil Vallance and family at this site. Many thanks to Swayne & McCabe for use of the Rapid disc seeder.

Figure 2: Growth stage direct drilled Faba beans 100mm deep on  26 March 2014. Photo taken on 15 April 2014. Note dry soil conditions.

Figure 2:  Growth stage of direct drilled Faba beans that were sown 100 mm deep on 26 March 2014. Photo was taken on 15 April 2014.  Note the dry soil conditions.

Figure 2: Growth stage of disced in Faba beans sown 100mm deep on 26 March 2014. Photo taken on 15 April 2014. Emergence counts taken on 5 October revealed a lot of these seeds had established.

Figure 3: Growth stage of disced in Fabas sown 100mm deep 26 March. Photo taken on 15 April. Emergence counts on 5 October revealed a lot of these seeds had established.

The aim of this study was to test the ability of beans to be established early with a delay of emergence as a result of the 100mm seeding depth. Establishing beans too early can result in increases in disease pressure with a subsequent increase in use of fungicides. Pre-emergent herbicide efficacy was detrimentally impacted by dry conditions resulting in strong competition from volunteer barley. This was treated with Verdict post emergent.

The study has shown there is potential to broadcast and cultivate beans into standing stubble as a method of establishing beans and treating stubble in the same pass. Getting the agronomy right for this system will need further investigation. Beans also established well with the 100mm deep direct drill method in stubble load of 2t/ha. If this is possible in high stubble loads (>than 5t/ha) this should be preferred as it will improve herbicide activity and weed control.

Figure 4: Growth stage early establishment (background) versus later establishment (foreground), 27 August 2014.

Figure 4: Growth stage early establishment (background) versus later establishment (foreground), 27 August 2014.

GRDCLogoStacked_TM_CMYKSFS gratefully acknowledge the generous co-operation of Neil Vallance and family at this site. Many thanks to Swayne & McCabe for use of the Rapid disc seeder.

The stubble project – maintaining profitable farming systems in Victoria and Tasmania with retained stubble (project number BWD00024) is funded by the GRDC.

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About BCG

Birchip Cropping Group Inc. (BCG) is a not-for-profit agricultural research and extension organisation led by farmers in the Victorian Wimmera and Mallee.
This entry was posted in Break crops in retained stubble systems, Research results and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Role of break crops: establishing beans in stubble

  1. Pingback: 2014 field trials | The stubble project: Victoria and Tasmania

  2. Pingback: Break crops in retained stubble systems in south west Victoria | The stubble project: Victoria and Tasmania

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