AS part of the Liebe Group's project 'Demonstrations of legume crops for reliable profitability in the western region project', with investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), several grower field walks were held in September.
Grower field walks provide farmers with the opportunity to see first-hand what research and development activities are taking place within their region.
With visual demonstrations and interactive discussions alongside fellow growers and researchers, these forums enable great networking and learning.
Liebe Group members gathered at Harry and Ian Hyde's properties at Dalwallinu on September 14 to view several trials focusing on chickpea and field pea management, herbicide and fungicide options as well as the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and National Variety Trials (NVTs) located on the farm.
Premium Grain Handlers operations manager Mal Bennett was on hand to discuss the economics and market conditions of pulses this year, including how national and international events have affected pulse prices.
The removal of India's lentil tariff has kept lentil prices high, whilst the east coast's large chickpea crop has led to a lower than average chickpea price.
Marketing strategies for legumes and the complications that arise due to their poor storability, were key points of discussion.
DPIRD researcher Harmohinder Dhammu compared various herbicide options for chickpeas and their effect on different weeds, including the crop damage potential as an important consideration when selecting herbicide treatments.
With several new herbicide options becoming available for use in 2021, grower understanding of these factors for their farm businesses is very important.
DPIRD research agronomist Martin Harries delved into managing ascochyta in chickpeas.
Risk in the Liebe region is low due to the dry conditions, but the strategic use of fungicides and seed pickle was emphasised to avoid developing fungicide resistant strains.
The chickpea NVT displayed some promising varieties coming through, showing taller, more erect traits that growers in the region have been seeking for some years.
DPIRD senior research scientist Mark Seymour presented on this trial, along with the lentil and field pea NVTs, which grabbed many growers' attention.
The Liebe Group demonstrations implemented by the host growers showcased fungicide options in field peas.
Results to date from this trial have been insignificant, however some visual differences between treatments where evident.
It is anticipated there will be significant differences observed between treatments at harvest.
At the second site, a grower scale demonstration of herbicide options in chickpeas has shown significant results at all stages so far, with clear visual differences present between the treatments.
Growers visited the third demonstration site at Chris Kirby's property at Beacon on September 22.
With a turnout of eager growers and knowledgeable researchers, there were enthusiastic discussions throughout the morning.
Industry experts Mr Seymour and Nutrien Ag Solutions senior agronomist Darren Marquis discussed Liebe Group's grower-scale demonstration of herbicide options in chickpeas.
With no significant results seen to date, it provided a great opportunity to discuss general chickpea agronomy and their potential for the region.
To add to the field walk's agenda, DPIRD pest expert and research officer Christian Valentine gave insight into pests in the area, including his current Diamondback Moth project.
Results were shared from his automated pest trap.
Liebe Group thanked all contributors to the successful field walks including the GRDC, the various DPIRD researchers, the Hyde and Kirby families, Premium Grain Handlers and Nutrien Ag Solutions.