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Crop variety decisions can make or break

A good crowd of farmers and agronomists attended the Cowra Cropping and Livestock Update last week to hear the latest results from local cropping trials.

Phil Cranney, Senior Land Services Officer Pastures, Central Tablelands Local Land Services said “it is vitally important that we help extend this local research to the producers, as they are in the driver’s seat to make decisions on what variety or crop type gets planted where and when.”

“We did promote this update as a chance to fine tune cropping and livestock operations. The biggest take home message for farmers, was the importance of understanding the sowing window for each variety”, added Mr Cranney.

Mitch Small, Elders agronomist based at Cowra, said “while there is research out there saying burning stubble can reduce frost damage, the benefits of stubble retention in dry years cannot be underestimated”.

“Summer fallow management and variety selection are still the two biggest influences on crop yield and gross margin and it was good to hear the presenters reinforce this key message”, commented Mr Small.

“Whatever you can do to reduce risk of a high input cropping enterprise, is a good thing. Disciplined fallow management and choosing the right variety for the planting window can go a low way to reducing the downside of that risk profile”, added Mr Small.

Phil Bowden from Pulse Australia also presented at the update. Mr Bowden said that “for 2017 there is still a lot of interest in these pulse crops, but growers need to be aware of the volatility of these markets.

The prices are reasonable at the moment for both chickpeas and lentils, but this could change depending on the current crop being harvested in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan”, added Mr Bowden.

Funding from the NSW Government enables Central Tablelands Local Land Services to deliver agricultural advisory services for landholders across the region.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services are committed to delivering evidence based information events. If you feel you need a similar event in your region, please contact your local office to discuss the possibilities.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439 608370