A virulence change in the Ascochyta blight pathogen has broken down the resistance of chickpea varieties to the devastating disease, with all current varieties now rated as either susceptible to moderately susceptible to infection.
Pulses have eclipsed barley’s long-held place as Australia’s second-biggest grain crop, 2016-17 Australian winter crop production figures show.
South Australian chickpea growers are being urged to consider their ability to effectively manage ascochyta blight before planting the crop.
As growers continue to replace wheat in their rotations with chickpeas to capitalise on higher market prices, there’s a growing need to update fertiliser programs – or face nutrient run down.
India might have a big local crop in the pipeline, but its pressure is yet to be felt on Australian chickpea prices, which have surprised everyone by surging to $1000/tonne, up $200/t in the past month.
Cyclone Debbie, which brought destructive winds and flooding to the coastal regions of southern Queensland and north east NSW last week, produced more benign, beneficial rainfall for much of the inland grain belt from Central Queensland to north west NSW.
Heavy rain over much of the Liverpool Plains in north west NSW in recent weeks has given many growers enough moisture to consider double cropping, provided forecast falls do not further delay the harvest of sorghum and dryland cotton.
The rain’s impact appears to be limited to taking the peak off some feed markets, with one trader saying the Newcastle track market for sorghum had peaked March 10 at $250 per tonne.
NSW grain growers are holding off locking in their winter cropping plans, waiting to see what the ‘autumn break’ will bring before deciding whether to go all out with potentially high-returning alternative crops or opt for a conservative strategy based on traditional cereals.
This week Grain Central takes a look at the sowing intentions of growers across Australia for the forthcoming winter crop. Today, Queensland is in the spotlight. Throughout the week, Grain Central will present coverage of what growers are thinking in other states.