Harvest. It’s upon us again. But as that big machine gets a dusting over, have you thought about how you will manage your stubble this season?
In the latest Crop Disease Podcast, CCDM’s farming systems economist Amir Abadi once again joins Megan Jones as they discuss how to best manage stubble in different parts of the country.
Cassandra Schefe, research coordinator from the Riverine Plains Farming Group, is a guest on the podcast and talks about the group’s five-year research trial into stubble retention.
“What was really interesting was that there were very few differences in yield between any of the treatments that we applied,” Cassandra said.
“What this means is we can look at stubble management as a tool in our larger agronomy system and use stubble management strategically for things such as to incorporate lime, manage weeds, manage disease risk and conserve moisture.”
Garren Knell, WA consultant from ConsultAg based in Narrogin, is also a guest on the show and talks about his research looking at barley-on-barley rotations in the mid-rainfall zone, and how burning stubble can help reduce disease load going into the following season.
“On other parts of the landscape where you can support a better rotation, there’s no need to remove the stubble, but where there is a barley-on-barley rotation, removing the stubble can reduce early disease infection, reduce pressure on fungicides and ultimately lead to less pressure on fungicide resistance,” Garren said.
“Of course the best strategy would be to not have a barley-on-barley on rotation, but where there is no alternative rotation that is profitable, growers should consider removing stubble providing the paddocks don’t blow away.”
Garren also talks about the importance of integrated disease management, and Amir finishes off with a roundup of how growers can economically reduce their disease risk – simply by protecting the flag leaf.
“In our recent work, one of the best ways to maximise return on investment to your chemicals during the growing season, is to wait until you see the flag leaf emerge, and if you are expecting high rainfall and high yield and the price is good, then have a go at protecting that flag leaf as soon you can because that is the canopy asset that is filling the grain and contributing most to profitability,” Amir said.
“So protect your most valuable assets at the right time, in the right season, in the right region. It doesn’t always pay to spend lots of money on your crop.”
Click here to listen to the podcast on SoundCloud, or download on any podcast player such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spodify, TuneIn or Pocketcasts.