Legume row spacings trialled at Meckering

27 Aug, 2003 10:00 PM
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LEGUME row spacings are under scrutiny at WANTFA's Meckering trial site this season.

Lupins, field peas, chickpeas and faba beans have been sown at a range of spacings from 25cm, 50cm, 75cm and 1m.

Geoff Fosbery, of Farm Focus Consultants, said in the majority of cases, lupins sown on 40-60cm spacings and chickpeas on 50cm spacings were fine, but the jury is still out on faba beans and field peas.

"There has been more incidence of viral disease on wider row lupins in the south of the state," he said.

"But wider rows have allowed farmers to sow lupins into 5t/ha wheat stubbles without burning.

"Emergence has been variable where the lupins were sown with a Cultitrash on these stubbles, owing to variable sowing depth."

Mr Fosbery suggested where farmers opted to sow at wider spacings, they remove the tine rather than stimulate weeds in the inter-row.

"Simazine and atrazine have been active in most lupin crops, with some incidences of damage," he said.

"If the inter-row is tilled, you run the risk of throwing the chemical into the lupin row.

"Cutting edge work involving pulse crops and shielded (or hooded) sprayers is in its infancy but presents exciting prospects."

He said while canola spacing work that was done several years ago showed that wider rows resulted in lower yields, it was being reassessed on the WANTFA site.

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