Authors: Michael Moodie1, Todd McDonald1, Nigel Wilhelm2 and Ray Correll3
1Moodie Agronomy, Mildura; 2SARDI; 3Rho Environmetrics Pty Ltd, Adelaide
Funded By: SAGIT
Project Title: Adopting Profitable Crop Sequences in the South Australian Mallee
- The productivity of nine different break crop options across three seasons and four northern SA Mallee soil types was similar. Season and soil type had a greater impact on productivity than crop choice.
- Season had the greatest impact on break crop productivity with yields almost four times more in a high rainfall (decile 8-10) year than in a low (decile 2-4 varied) rainfall season.
- Break crop yields varied by up to 60 percent between soil types. Production on the deep sand was constantly poor with lentil, chickpea and faba bean yields approximately half of what was achieved on a nearby loam soil.
- The potential for high value pulses to be used by Mallee farmers was demonstrated by these trials, with average lentil and chickpea gross margins of more than $600/ha for the three seasons
- The high yield and price variability demonstrated in these trials highlights the need for a diversity of breaks crops to be available for northern SA Mallee farming systems.