The potential for increased pulse production in Western Australia will be the focus of a presentation at the 2019 Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update.
WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development senior research officer Mark Seymour has invited Victorian research agronomist Jason Brand, of Agriculture Victoria, to co-present at the Updates on the potential for pulses in Western Australia.
Mr Seymour said as leader of GRDC’s Southern Pulse Agronomy Program, Dr Brand delivered applied research that provides best management practices for new pulse varieties, such as lentil, field pea, chickpea and faba bean, in southern Australia.
“Pulse crops have been widely adopted in the Eastern States and recent innovations in agronomy and breeding could lead to further expansion onto sandier textured soils and soils with lower pH, such as in WA,” Mr Seymour said.
“Recent advances include soil amelioration to alter soil conditions, plant breeding for tolerance to lower pH and a wider range of herbicides, and selection of rhizobia with greater tolerance to lower pH.
“Dr Brand’s presentation will also discuss the implications of new traits on adaptation, crop physiology and management of pulses, and how they fit in WA.”
Mr Seymour would provide context from his experience as project leader of the Tactical break crop agronomy project, with co-investment from GRDC, and examples of improvements in pulse adaptation and management from a WA perspective.
A panel discussion will follow, facilitated by Mr Seymour and Dr Brand, featuring two Western Australian pulse growers who will talk about why they choose to grow pulses, which pulse crops they have grown and their experiences.
Ron Longbottom, of Cape Lagoon Farms at Grass Patch, has a long history growing field peas and in recent years has grown substantial areas of lentils, and Kojonup grower Ben Webb has included faba beans in his rotation.
The growers will be joined by Merredin-based department development officer Greg Shea who has helped many pulse growers over the past 30 years and will highlight the recent experiences and potential of WA’s chickpea industry.
Following brief presentations from each member of the panel, a question and answer session will allow members of the audience to ask questions from the floor.
Source: WA DPIRD