THE SOUTHERN Pulse Agronomy Field Day showed off the Wimmera’s place as a powerhouse of pulse production to growers, consultants, researchers and a number of international visitors in Horsham for this week’s Australian Pulse Conference.
Hosted by Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research & Development Corporation, the annual event doubled as the first day of the three-day conference program, which has attracted delegates from across Australia, as well as Canada and Pakistan.
Following a welcome to country, the event was opened by two Wimmera growers, GRDC Southern Panel chair John Bennett and Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann.
Mr Bennett said the introduction of pulses to southern Australia could be likened to the kind of disruption technology so talked about today.
“We talk about disruption: pulses disrupted cereal-growing in the Wimmera in a beneficial way,” he said.
Since the 1980s, the region has evolved into a major producer of faba beans, field peas, kabuli chickpeas, lentils, lupins and vetch, and Mr Bennett said the field day provided an ideal interface for growers, industry and the research community.
The field day saw agronomists and researchers from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria provide rundowns on the major pulse species and their breeding and agronomic pathway, and included discussions about growing pulses in southern farming systems.
Pulse diseases and management, weed management and herbicides, and machinery sowing and inoculation were also covered in separate sessions.
The field day was held on a trial site owned by the Rethus family, and Tim Rethus gave an insight into farming on blocks in different areas of the Wimmera, and also hosted a farm visit to look at the machinery and storage used in the Rethus operation.
It was one of three options for conference delegates in the afternoon following the field day, with the others being a tour of Agriculture Victoria’s Grains Innovation Park, and a tour of the AGT Foods Australia pulse-processing plant.
The Southern Pulse Agronomy Field Day was also chosen by Pulse Breeders Australia to launch new varieties of faba bean, kabuli chickpea and lentil.
Southern Pulse Agronomy Field Day Gallery:
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