Crop sequences in Western Australia: what are they and are they sustainable? Findings of a four-year survey

Martin Harries, Geoffrey C. Anderson, Daniel Huberli - Crop & Pasture Science Volume 66 pages 634-647

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

As another result of the survey, it should be noted that whichever sequence is used, management of biophysical variables is an ongoing challenge.

What is the problem?

This survey is conducted to determine the sustainability of Crop sequencing in a four-year course.

What did the research involve?

The survey is conducted in commercial broadacre paddocks in the south-west cropping zone of Western Australia between 2010 and 2013. A total of 687 paddock years of data were sampled from 184 paddocks.

Samples of soil,plants and weed seed as well as measurements of weed populations are factors in the survey as well.

What were the key findings?

Wheat was the most frequent land use with 60% paddock years, followed by Canola and pasture both at 12% ,lupins and lupins and barley at 6% each.

Weed density, soilborne pathogens and soil N were maintained at levels suitable for wheat production.

Final Comment

It is concluded in the survey that current WA farming systems continue to be dominated by wheat and that the break crop of choice has changed from legume to canola. This change in break-crop preference will likely alter paddock biology. Data shows that over the survey period, break crops were used to effectively manage common weeds and soil pathogens.

2015 - Martin Harries, Geoffrey C. Anderson, Daniel Huberli - Crop & Pasture Science Volume 66 pages 634-647
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