Narrow rows a winner for Glenn Milne
Author: Michael Thomson | Date: 29 Oct 2014
Dalby grain grower Glenn Milne has already made the switch to narrower row spacings for his chickpea crop based on last year’s trial results on his property.
Mr Milne has been hosting a series of Pulse Agronomy trials, from which early data indicates that a move to 25cm row spacings could deliver an extra 1t/ha compared to 1m rows.
“Last year our average yield on that country where that trial was held was 3.1t/ha – the trial maximum yield was up over 4t/ha so an extra tonne to the hectare is pure profit,” Mr Milne said.
“We were growing chickpeas on 30 inch or roughly 75cm row spacings but because the trial showed there was a significantly higher yield on offer we have already halved our row spacings to 15” (37cm) – all we did was double planted them with our 30” planter to get our 15” row spacing.”
Mr Milne owns and leases a total of 600 hectares of highly fertile black soil country on the Jimbour Plain just north of Dalby, growing dryland sorghum, chickpeas, faba beans, mung beans, barley and wheat, as well as some irrigated cotton and corn.
As a former agronomist, he has been keen to host industry trials on his property to further improve his knowledge and compare his farm practices with new approaches.
The trials on his block are funded through the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Qld Pulse Agronomy Initiative, which involves collaboration between Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI).
Chickpeas traditionally only yield an average of 1.2t/ha in dryland broadacre conditions, but the small plot trials on Mr Milne’s property achieved 4.7t/ha using an advanced breeding line planted at 0.25m and 0.5m row spacings. Yields of 4.5t/ha and 4.4t/ha were also achieved using the commercially available varieties PBA HatTrick and PBA Boundary, both on 0.25m spacings.
“Our aim is to get up to that yield that the trial achieved and this year we’re hoping to get closer to that yield potential through narrowing up our row spacings,” he said. “Although we haven’t yet got access to the new variety which was the highest yielding variety, the ones we’ve got available to us at the moment aren’t that far behind.”
Caption: Dalby grain grower Glenn Milne has already made the switch to narrower row spacings for his chickpea crops.
Glenn Milne, grain grower, Dalby
0408 487 989
Michael Thomson, Senior Consultant, Cox Inall Communications
07 4927 0805, 0408 819 666
GRDC Project Code UQ00067