Opportunistic use of break crop vs fallow, second season

2011 - 2012

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) N/A
Year(s) 2011 - 2012
Contributor North East Farming Futures
Trial location(s) Ardingly South, WA
Opportunistic use of break crop vs fallow, second season locations
Aims

To compare an opportunistic break crop against fallow and wheat to better define the pros and cons of fallowing.

Key messages

In this instance the opportunistic crop of canola in 2011 has proven the more successful rotation. At the beginning of the season, given the rainfall during harvest, the soil had comparable moisture at depth irrespective of the crop in 2011. The weed break given by the canola was significant, very few grass weeds coming through in old canola plots. The management of weeds proved telling in this trial. Much of the potential wheat yield was removed by the brome grass in the wheat on wheat plots.

Wheat on wheat this season achieved approximately 16kg/mm of rainfall. Wheat growing without the competition of weeds on the canola plots achieved in excess of 19kg/mm. Making crude assumptions that wheat on fallow grew at 19kg/mm, and the additional 400kg/ha yield was the result of additional moisture alone, then there was approximately 21mm of additional moisture in the fallow plots. Fallow had more moisture available closer to the surface than the other plots though not significantly more moisture throughout the remainder of the profile.

In 2012 wheat on fallow plots returned $100 more than wheat grown on either wheat or canola residue. This recouped the $40 loss from the 2011 fallow with additional profit. But fallow did not result in the greatest total profit over the two seasons of the trial. The extra production on the fallowed treatments was unable to make up the opportunity cost of not growing a crop in 2011. This is not unexpected given the high crop yields achieved in 2011.

Lead research organisation North East Farming Futures
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source DAFWA
Related program Near Strategy Project 5
Acknowledgments
  • Growers of the MDFI for identifying this as an issue they needed to target.
  • Research Support Unit Geraldton, Steve Cosh, Trevor Bell, Dirranie Kirby, Larry Prosser with seeding, harvest and seasonal management
  • Planfarm
  • AHRI
  • CSBP
  • Nufarm
  • DAFWA
  • GRDC
  • Landmark

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information

Method

Crop types Wheat
Canola
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop: Type
Trial type
Trial design

Ardingly South 2011 Wheat

Sow rate or Target density Not specified
Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Fertiliser Not specified

Ardingly South 2011 Canola

Sow rate or Target density Not specified
Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Fertiliser Not specified

Ardingly South 2012 Wheat

Sow rate or Target density Wheat 40kg/ha
Sow date 26 April 2012
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication 4
Fertiliser

Agras 80kg/ha

Ardingly South 2012 Canola

Sow rate or Target density Not specified
Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Fertiliser Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Variety
Grain yield (t/ha) Gross return ($/ha) Input costs ($/ha)
1 Canola 6 2.94 1543 114
2 Canola 4 2.9 1522 114
3 Canola 2 2.73 1433 114
4 Canola 1 2.75 1443 114
5 Wheat 3.3 752 100
6 Fallow 0 0 40

Grain yield t/ha


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Gross return $/ha


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Input costs $/ha


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Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Ardingly South, WA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Ardingly South, WA Tenosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Ardingly South WA
2012 307.6mm
2011 381.3mm
2010 268.7mm
2009 297.9mm
2008 346.1mm
2007 276.3mm
2006 292.1mm
2005 292.2mm
2004 276.4mm
2003 272.1mm
2002 281.1mm
2001 265.6mm
2000 348.0mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties

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Climate

Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Ardingly South WA

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Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.



Trial last modified: 11-12-2019 11:51am AEST