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Viable crop and/or pasture legumes for alkaline soils in the high rainfall zone

 

Reportedly there are few robust legume options for incorporation into cropping systems on alkaline soils in the high rainfall zone (HRZ) of southern Australia. The potential of this zone to significantly increase its contribution to the Australian cropping industry is restricted by this lack of adapted legume, which results in growers being reliant on fertiliser nitrogen to achieve high grain yield and quality.
Although this zone has a more reliable rainfall pattern it has diverse issues such as soil constraints, waterlogging, soil borne diseases, plant diseases, weed management issues, false breaks, poor spring finishes, topography limitations and the complexity of the management of mixed farming systems. These factors often preclude direct transfer of crop sequence knowledge and technology from lower rainfall zones.
Legumes currently exist as part of the farming system in the HRZ, however their use is often limited by soil and climatic characteristics. To further develop the viable expansion of cropping in the HRZ, more reliable legume options that are supported with specific agronomic packages to enable them to meet market requirements are required.
 

MFM0007: Viable crop and/or pasture legumes for alkaline soils in the high rainfall zone

 


Felicity Turner (Mackillop Farm Management Group) and
Amanda Pearce (South Australian Research and Development Institute)