Key Agronomic Practices and Management to Maximise Profits From Dual-purpose Crops

GRDC - Author: Susie Sprague, John Kirkegaard, Julianne Lilley, Lindsay Bell and Tony Swan (CSIRO Agriculture and Food)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: “Dual-purpose crops provide a range of direct and indirect benefits at the farm scale, however, attention to detail is required to optimise profits. Preparation and planning is crucial for early establishment which will maximise forage production. Monitor animals to avoid health issues, particularly for canola, and consider both crop development and residual biomass at lock-up. Other considerations include the trade-offs between grazing and grain value, and seasonal legacies.”. Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The take home messages from this GRDC  funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.

  • Dual-purpose (DP) crops can increase farm profit across a range of environments. Learnings from experiences in southern NSW are presented as examples.
  • Higher whole-farm profit relies on attention to detail with crop and livestock management.  Establishing the right crop early and correct lock-up time are key to increasing profit and reducing risk.
  • Lock-up time is the critical decision to maximise profit. The time of lock-up in relation to crop growth stage and residual biomass, influences crop recovery and yield potential.
  • Good livestock prices have highlighted the profitable and flexible options for DP crops under different seasonal conditions.

Figure 3. (A) – Shows that for a 4.4t/ha target yield in wheat, around 8.0 to 9.0t/ha was required at anthesis, and treatments with less than this had reduced yield. (B) Shows that residual biomass after grazing of >0.5t/ha in late July was sufficient to reach the critical anthesis biomass for 4.4t/ha yield.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Author: Susie Sprague, John Kirkegaard, Julianne Lilley, Lindsay Bell and Tony Swan (CSIRO Agriculture and Food)
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