Courses to lift pulse agronomists' skills

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Photo of plants

Growers are encouraged to choose Pulse
Australia-accredited agronomists to provide
planning and in-crop advice on pulses.

Pulse crop training workshops held in all growing regions have given agronomists extra confidence in their capacity to help growers with pulse crop production, with chickpeas, faba beans and broad beans the focus this year.

Gordon Cumming, Pulse Australia senior development manager, says that while chickpeas and faba beans are not difficult to produce, they are distinctly different to cereals, oilseed and cotton crops: “It is important for first-time or inexperienced growers to get advice.”

Strong international interest in faba beans, broad beans and chickpeas, combined with increased grower confidence in varieties and growing practices, has led to a steady increase in plantings over the past three to five years across most of Australia

The best-management-practice courses cover the A-to-Z of pulse production and offer participants the opportunity to engage in open conversation with a range of specialists, including growers, to discuss management practices suited to different areas. A comprehensive manual is available only to workshop participants and provides a source of ongoing support and information as the season progresses.

Increased pulse plantings

The forecast for the faba bean and broad bean planting
area in southern Australia is 134,000 hectares, up 8700ha
from 2012. Nationally, the area planted (190,000ha) is down
12,800ha on 2012 planting due to the lack of sowing rains
in the northern region.

Marketers are saying that early price indications appear
more promising than for lentils and cereals.

Chickpea production in the northern region has steadily
risen from 80,000ha in 2005 to 474,000ha in 2012.
This growth is due to the increased profitability of
chickpeas compared with cereals and growers recognising
the benefits of including a broadleaf break crop in
their farming system. The broadleaf crop training
courses have also played a large role in increasing
grower confidence through reduced production
risk and increased profitability.

“The courses provide the science and reasoning behind the recommended management practice and an update on the latest research and advancements in the pulse industry,” says Wayne Hawthorne, pulse industry development manager (south-central), Pulse Australia.

Growers are encouraged to choose Pulse Australia-accredited agronomists to provide planning and in-crop advice on pulses.

The courses were conducted in conjunction with leading pulse researchers from GRDC-funded projects in each state.

Lentils, faba beans, chickpeas and mungbeans are likely to feature in the 2014 broadleaf crop best management practices training program funded by the GRDC.

Growers and advisers wanting to reserve a place at these workshops can contact their Pulse Australia industry development manager or send an email to subscription@pulseaus.com.au to express their interest. Crop forecasts are available at the Pulse Australia website (www.pulseaus.com.au) during the season.

Photo of folders

Comprehensive pulse crop manuals are an
ongoing information source for growers
and agronomists.

More information:

Gordon Cumming,
0408 923 474,
gordon@pulseaus.com.au;

Wayne Hawthorne,
0429 647 455,
wayne@pulseaus.com.au

See page 12 for more information on the National Pulse Conference.

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GRDC Project Code PAL00017