Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bairnsdale trial 2008-09

Bairnsdale Summer rain 2008-09
Following the success of the first trial, it was decided that further trials should be carried out to determine how successful these crops would be in more 'normal' seasons. Maize, sorghum, sunflowers and cowpeas were sown again in mid November. There was no fallowing undertaken prior to November so these crops would have had very little stored water under them. After a wet November and average conditions in December the crops were dealt a hot, dry January. Maize yielded up to 1.5 t/ha and Sorghum up to 1.2 t/ha. Sunflowers produced 670 Kg/ha. Cowpeas had very low plant numbers due to poor germination, however plants that did grow, grew well and the yield was estimated to be 900 Kg/ha.

I believe that given a full profile of moisture, early sowing and no till; sorghum and maize would have yielded above 2.5 t/ha. The ability of the cowpeas to handle this season demonstrates that they (or their relatives azuki beans and mung beans) may have a place, possibly as a double crop following a winter cereal.

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