Stuart Nagel1 and Gregg Kirby1
1South Australian Research and Development Intitstute, Waite Campus
Funding: SAGIT Project S914
Peer review: Rade Matic
- SAGIT funded trials across low rainfall areas of South Australia have shown the line SA 34876 has the potential to be released as a new variety focusing on areas like the Upper mid north and Eyre Peninsula.
- This line has not excelled in the Mallee/Riverland, being consistently out yielded by the variety Volga.
- Vetch can perform well in the Mallee, providing a good source of fodder for livestock and having a significant impact on the yield and quality of subsequent cereal crops.
- Herbicide choices for vetch are very dependent on local conditions so talk to your local agronomist about the best options for your conditions.
Why was the trial done?
The aim of this project (SAGIT S914) was to
- Provide a genuine legume break crop option for cereal and mixed farmers in the marginal cropping areas of South Australia. Focusing on Western Eyre Peninsular, the Upper North and the Murray lands/ Mallee
- Trial advanced common vetch lines with specific targeted traits in replicated trials in these regions of South Australia for assessment as potential new releases.
- Validate the benefits and potential of common vetch in the targeted areas
- Provide farmers with high yielding alternative vetch varieties that are well adapted to sandy-alkaline soils in low rainfall environments
How was the trial done?
The Vetch trial at Loxton in 2016 was disappointing. It was sown dry on 5-May-2016 and it did not receive significant rainfall until 26-May. There was then no significant follow up rain until 24-June. This meant emergence and initial vigour was poor and development of the crop delayed resulting in low fodder yields when cut on 6-September.Yields were lower than previous years (only averaging 1.2t/ha compared to 2.5t/ha in 2015) Over the course of this project (2014-16) the variety Volga has been the best performing line for fodder production at Loxton.
The National Vetch Breeding Program would like to thank SAGIT, GRDC, RIRDC and SARDI for funding this program and acknowledge the ongoing support and interest provided by Australian farmers. Farmers, not for profit farmer groups and organisations, provide trial sites, feedback, advice, recommendations and their wish lists for future varieties to the program, all of which are gratefully received and appreciated.