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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have so e predicaments for 2015. My lease block will be wheat that's an easy one.

My Portland block I was planning to do faba beans, problem is weeds, I haven't been able to keep crop clean this year, I am spraying this Wednesday, I have to use associate for the loosestrife, it has 9 month plant back for faba. If I don't try and snot the loose strife I'm not confident to grow beans as it will choke the crop? However the simazine has done a good job in the trial plot. It's had 2 wheats now so really needs a legume. Other option is a spring barley with under sown Lucerne or clover for hay/silage, could ask dairy guys if I could grow on contract?

My block at lake toolondo, this is 150km from me, it's due for legume as well, I don't mind seeding it but spraying is a drama as I have no water there so even getting contractor is hard work. I might just put to clover for nitrogen build but seems a waste...if I put to faba beans it will cost a few grand as I don't have any seed.

Any suggestions much appreciated...

Ant....
 

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Ant,
Lucerne can be a wonderfully productive option which would give you great rotational benefits, but don't forget that it requires free draining soils. A wet period the like of which inflicted so much damage on your wheat this year would be intolerable for Lucerne. There are other pasture legumes which show tolerance of water-logging; your agronomist would be aware of your local options. While rainfall at Toolondo is significantly less generally, it too can lay very wet in some years depending on topography and soil types of particular paddocks. It certainly can be difficult to find a range of crops which provide the required rotational benefits while performing economically.
Dave
 

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Why do you think it needs a legume? If this widened your rotational choice. Unfortunately canola doesn't like wet feet much but I have paddocks that would not have had a legume in them for over a decade even perhaps fifteen years. Faba beans I don't think are for the faint hearted they do have nicknames like failure beans and has beans. I do have a neighbor here though much lower rainfall (450) loves them. Grown on wide spacings helps with disease control but he still does two sprays of fungicide with 100L water rate for control. I have seen the grow 2m tall.
 

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I'm involved in a farming system group and have some full paddock scale trials looking at rotation and crop sequencing. Had a very interesting meeting with a small group last week that have trails, the farming systems agro and a bloke form CSIRO. The aim was crunching numbers on break crops with there value for N, weed load and soil health weighted into the system for following wheat or barley crop.

For a take home message from the day I got was if you don't have the ability to grow a clean weed free break crop don't.

If simazine works for you would a clover based pasture be a good fit for silage? Or a spring planted barley?

Madsnake
 

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If it's been so wet you'd have to have some stored moisture why can you grow a spring forage sorghum for hay crop.
Got to be heaps of hay contractors down there.
Forage will go great even if it gets a bit dry though the middle of summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cheers for the answers!

David, once we are past July / August most of the big rains are gone, so there is a chance Lucerne would survive in Portland, I have a trial in at the moment, barley and Lucerne but of course we are in a dry spring thus far!...I do get a bit of summer rain so I'm after something that could be possibly cut twice etc, even though that may not happen.

Nig, I'm only use to failure so far!! I will be lost when I make some moment so I think I can handle the faba's, once again will see how the trial goes and if I can snot these weeds?? I know what your saying but, I really need safe options at this point financially.

MS, I'm hearin ya, maybe barley undersown to clover, get some N fixed over summer, maybe cut or graze??

Roger I would love to grow a spring sown summer forage crop but I have to see what market is for it, with hay down here it seems to be a bit district orientated, I.e. gippsland loves vetch, colas loves Lucerne or often hay? I have no idea what hey chase here! I will ask about. Definaelty an option but for swizzle...is it cheap to grow ? What is important management with the stuff?

Ant...
 

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Roger I would love to grow a spring sown summer forage crop but I have to see what market is for it, with hay down here it seems to be a bit district orientated, I.e. gippsland loves vetch, colas loves Lucerne or often hay? I have no idea what hey chase here! I will ask about. Definaelty an option but for swizzle...is it cheap to grow ? What is important management with the stuff?

Ant...
Ant pretty cheap to plant 150 bucks a bag plant a bag to about 3-4acs bit of N other than that pray for rain.
Make good quality hay if baled at the right times get a feed test done and you sell it to any dairy farm that knows his nutrition.
Up here forage sorghum hay is something you won't get rich out of in one year but it is easy enough to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ant pretty cheap to plant 150 bucks a bag plant a bag to about 3-4acs bit of N other than that pray for rain.
Make good quality hay if baled at the right times get a feed test done and you sell it to any dairy farm that knows his nutrition.
Up here forage sorghum hay is something you won't get rich out of in one year but it is easy enough to sell.
Cheers Roger, a dairy farmer who knows his nutrition....hmmm I'm in the wrong district for that. Soil temp? What's the minimum I can get away with? How long from plant to cutting? It's cold here so will be slower than up your way, just need t do some research.

I was wondering if I can plant faba beans and broadcast a highly winter active clover and perhaps a rye grass, intention being to smother weeds, once spring comes I can spray the grass out (can i so this when beans are flowering?) then desiccate the whole lot for harvest? Dead clover wilts away to stuff all so no drama to run through header. And if the beans fail early I have something to bale or graze....have I gone crazy?

Ant...
 

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If you are having trouble with weeds in straight crop forget about multi species plantings. To plant rye grass with faba beans to then try and nock the rye grass out is nuts and putting Hugh pressure on chem. what are you going to achieve with clover and rye grass under faba beans? I can understand how multi species cropping has merit but I think you need to be in a well tuned system to get to that point. Rye grass and clover makes hay and is multi species.

to grow a legume because its due is also nuts unless you have the crop sorted and know that it can be managed. You can buy N in at about $1.20 a unit.

Far chance most dairy farmers have more idea of nutrition than you give them credit for.

Madsnake
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Legume is for disease break, paddock has been grass for 100 years and just had two wheat crops, trying to keep the soil bare with crops is the biggest chemical pressure in my books, maybe the ryegrass is a bit out there but I am trying to crowd out weeds until faba canopy has established after that if establishment is good it should stop germination of loose strife. I know N is cheap, I buy it like most people and I get it cheaper than a $1.20. As for the DF having ideas on nutrition of course all aren't the same but talking to some local hay producers say it's hard work to get them to work out benefits etc, they now just grow bulk and sell cheap, they won't pay for quality.

The point I'm trying to highlight is I do not struggle for moisture for the first 3-4 months of the crops life so I can grow whatever with the crop as long as it's not robbing to many nutrients etc...alot of guys in UK are now moving towards this due to chemical pressures. This is not new thinking.

Ant...
 

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A question that comes to my mind is if you have very high rainfall, what is its distribution like? Are you in a winter only pattern or do you have a reasonable if unreliable summer percentage fall? I find having at the moment 20-30% summer predominance helps get an early start plant over getting my quota all in the middle of the year. Faba beans although having a reputation for waterlogging tolerance are not rice. They are probably marginally better than oats. My rating of tolerance from bests to worst of what I grow is wheat barley then canola. Nutrition helps a lot as does extensive surface drainage and clayspreading.

Unfortunately the notion of growing clover for nitrogen (recommend balensia clover as it grows underwater) and then haying it to make money is probably nutritionally counterproductive. Good weed control though. Maybe to grow fat lambs out on though.

I am looking to try Brazil canola that you can plant in February to try and use out of season water as an option. Fatten store lambs to make extra money and make the canola yield by branching it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
STO, I sowed the trial faba's on June 1st, I'd say that is close maybe need a few days earlier, so yes there is the chance to spray the rubbish out, that's what I did in the trial. Problem is with this bloody loosestrife it dont germinate until July August along with buttercup and some others hence the need for some control method..

MS, yep fallow being considered for shizzle!!

Oats...never thought of oats...hmmm

Nig the guy I deal with from seed net was on a about a canola that you plant in November, graze then lock up to grow and harvest...I believe they had a trial in down at inverleigh near Geelong.

A bit of thinking by having clover in the mix is that I will probably be able to pick up some money agisting lambs over the summer...


I will see if the spray we put on yesterday killed any weeds when I get home next, and how well the beans pod up...then make a decision from there.

Thanks for the discussion always helps...
Ant...
 

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We are planting leucern and canola mixed to use some moisture up as some of our sand hills are developing water soaks on the midslope. We are trying to keep something sucking moisture over the summer and just before seeding we will slash or bale it to sow wheat into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We are planting leucern and canola mixed to use some moisture up as some of our sand hills are developing water soaks on the midslope. We are trying to keep something sucking moisture over the summer and just before seeding we will slash or bale it to sow wheat into.
Thats interesting stew, please post pics if u get a chance!! I now in the uk they are planting canola with field peas as it helps them stand up so it's easy harvesting...they harvest the lot and separate of the canola through the cleaner...if I get a chance I might trial this as a spring crop next year...also want to do lupins...

Ant...
 

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Ant... Your not seriously thinking of trying to grow another crop are you?? I thought farming was all about returning a profit, not having your mining job prop up loss making venture!! Get into fat lambs & let your rainfall work for you, stop trying to fight it.
Sorry if this sounds harsh but sooner or later you need to take a reality check.
 
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