The Risks And Rewards Of Growing Pulse Crops

GRDC - Michael Moodie and Todd McDonald (Frontier Farming Systems), Nigel Wilhelm (South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)) and Ray Correll (RHO Environmentrics)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: "Overall, most pulse crops had similar productivity potential, however the yields achieved in any one season were highly influenced by seasonal conditions (including the amount and distribution of seasonal rainfall, frost and heat events) and soil type. Season had the greatest impact on productivity, with yields almost four times greater in a high rainfall year (decile 8-10), than in a low rainfall season (decile 2-4). Pulse crop yields also varied by up to 60% between soil types. The highest and least variable pulse crop grain yield were achieved on sandy loam – loam soil types, with lower productivity and high yield variability obtained on both the heavy and sandy soils. As each of these soil types are encountered within a typical Mallee paddock, management options to improve pulse productivity and reliability on these constrained soils are required."   Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The Risks And Rewards Of Growing Pulse Crops In The Low Rainfall Mallee Cropping Region

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.

Take home messages from the paper include:

  • Season has the greatest impact on productivity with yields almost four times greater in a high rainfall year (decile 8-10), than in a low rainfall season (decile 2-4).
  • The highest, and least variable grain yields were achieved on sandy loam – loam soil types, with up to 60% lower productivity, and high yield variability obtained on both heavy and sandy soils.
  • Monte Carlo simulation using @Risk showed that lentils had both the greatest profit potential and lowest financial risk of all pulse crops over the long term.
  • Chickpea and field pea are expected to have a negative gross margin in more than 30% of years but a high gross margin (>$500/ha) is expected in nearly one in five seasons.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Michael Moodie and Todd McDonald (Frontier Farming Systems), Nigel Wilhelm (South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)) and Ray Correll (RHO Environmentrics)
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