Sowing flexibility of chickpea and lentil in the WA farming system
Chickpea and lentil offer a lot of potential across WA as alternate break crops to the more common options of canola and lupin. In addition to providing good gross margins, incorporating high-value pulses into rotation can improve soil nitrogen and provide a disease break for cereal crops. Over the past 20 years use of these crops has declined substantially in WA, however, recent good prices and newer cultivars with improved resistance to ascochyta blight and/or with herbicide resistance has renewed interest in these crops. The increasing occurrence of liming as part of farming practice has also broadened the potential growing area in WA for these acid intolerant crops. Agronomic packages for these newer varieties are still being developed within WA. This CSIRO project focussed on the impact time and depth of sowing in lentil and chickpea have on plant emergence and establishment as well as yield in the low to medium rainfall areas.
Trials for sowing date and depth of pulses were sown at Merredin and Dandaragan in April and May. Trials were fully replicated (n = 4) with split plot designs.