Riverine Plains Blog

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Pest Management (2)

Brown/green manuring pulses - is it an option for your crop this spring?

Brown manuring your pulse crop - is it an option this year?

Key Messages
  • Pulse crops are under pressure due to current wet conditions and disease
  • Brown or green manuring pulse crops may be an option this spring 
  • Brown/green manuring can increase soil nitrogen, provide weed control options, help conserve moisture & improve soil structure and improve subsequent crop gross margins.

Perhaps trafficability has created difficulties with fungicide application and disease management has become problematic in your pulse crop. Or maybe specific weed issues have recently come into focus?

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The Pros and Cons of Stubble Retention

Key Messages
  • Stubble retention has many benefits for soil health, can improve soil moisture and help maintain soil organic carbon levels
  • Different methods of sowing and equipment result in different thresholds for change in terms of maximum stubble load that can be retained
  • If full stubble retention is not feasible due to machinery, weeds or disease constraints, there are other options such as shallow incorporation, slashing straw or cutting short at harvest which can reduce the frequency of burning
Benefits of Stubble Retention

Retaining stubble can reduce the impacts of soil erosion. At least 70 per cent ground cover minimises water erosion risk and 50 per cent ground cover minimises wind erosion risk. Stubble height should be at least one-third of the width of crop rows. In general, the shelter provided by a barrier is approximately three times its height; 10 cm tall stubble will protect the adjacent 30 cm of topsoil. (Source: Managing stubble | General agronomy | Crop production | Grains, pulses and cereals | Crops and horticulture | Agriculture Victoria )

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Pesticide Resistance – Is It On Your Radar?

Key Points:
  • Use pesticides judiciously to prevent resistance developing 
  • Use a range of strategies to manage pest populations 
  • Consider resistance testing on suspect populations 

While we might defer a lot of our pesticide management decisions to our advisors, as farm business managers (and spray applicators), we ultimately have the final say in what goes onto our paddocks and when.  

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Slugs are again making their presence known across the Riverine Plains, especially in canola.

Have Slugs Slid Off Your To-Do List?

After two years of above-average rainfall, slugs are again making their presence known across the Riverine Plains, especially in canola. The moist conditions experienced in Spring (and, for that matter, harvest/Summer) have created ideal breeding conditions for slugs. Damage is being reported in previously unaffected areas and has been severe enough to require re-sowing in some canola paddocks. 

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