LUPINS are part of the mix in a six-year crop rotation at “Kybah”, Trundle, for owners Scott and Janelle Goodsell.
This year the cropping-only operation has 6000 hectares under a mix of minola, wheat, barley and lupins in “block-farming” of 1000ha per production unit.
Much of the acreage had been dry-sown in April after the Goodsells had committed to a winter program including 2000ha of wheat and 1700ha of minola and a production unit of barley.
Farming supervisor, Chris Hinchley, said because barley wasn’t grown last year due to its low return price the acreage of minola was doubled this year with dry-sowing started on April 9 at 1.8 kilograms/ha.
“Kybah” has been lucky with moisture being under a big fall of 50 millimetres on April 20 and followed with small falls of 2mm or so totalling 12mm up to June 27 when another 21mm fell.
Mr Hinchley was spraying a 220ha paddock of Manelup lupins on July 2 which were sown on May 10 at 85kg/ha with 50kg/ha of MAP.
“We’re spraying for wild radish and other broadleaf weeds,” he said.
“”On these sandier loamy soils we have an issue with radish, especially in our lupins.”
The Goodsells do all their sowing with an Ausplow DBS 12 metre planter at 300mm spacings with a 20,000 litre Simplicity air seeder cart behind and all drawn by a Case IH 400hp tractor.
“We are 100 per cent controlled traffic with 3m centres,” Mr Hinchley said.
Tramtracks are now sown in the planting system.
“We used not plant them in the tracks, but were having weed issues, so we now utilise the tracks to minimise weeds,” he said.
“It’s a bit of competition for the weeds and we know the yield will not be as much, but if competes.”
Mr Hinchley has been working for the Goodsells “on and off” since 2008 while he also conducted his own farm contracting business, being away from home for four to five months.
He went back full-time to the family group farming operation three years ago.
“We started dry-sowing the minola and Lancer wheat, and barley on April 9 and continued right up to and after the April 20 rain.”
A late sowing of Suntop wheat was on May 14.
Both wheat varieties were sown at 50kg/ha with MAP at 70kg/ha with most of the Lancer from April 27 to 30.
Mr Hinchley said the sandy loam soil through “Kybah”, was “fairly forgiving”.
“In a dry year we find we get better emergence and establishment because there’s more plant available moisture.”
Trialing improvement efficiencies in crops
NUMULLA district is a “little bit of a safe area” between Trundle and Peak Hill, according to Trundle local, Chris Hinchley, who said “Kybah”, owned by the Goodsell family, had been lucky to be under a 50 millimetre rain event on April 20 and another 21mm on June 27.
“We had small falls totaling 12mm between,” he said.
But it has been enough for Scott and Janelle Goodsell to continue with their 2018 winter cropping program totalling 6000 hectares.
Mr Hinchley, who oversees much of the cropping duties, said the six-year rotation works on canola and minola, wheat, lupins, wheat, barley and field peas which is used as green manure.
“We use a combination of agronomists with Landmark, Parkes from day-to-day agronomy. and Lott Rural Consultancy, Cootamundra, to oversee the whole agronomy program rotations.”
Aiming for production improvement through efficiencies, Scott Goodsell has been running a series of trials on “Kybah” for several years.
“We are running some liquid fertiliser trials on 1000ha with batching tubs in one shed where we custom blend fertiliser,” Mr Hinchley said.
“These are run on 220ha paddocks at different rates side-by-side with MAP every year to see the differences.
“Yields are getting better each year as we make improvements to the blends.”
The liquid fertiliser is drilled the same way as the MAP below the seed and is customised for each crop type with microbe nutrients and trace elements.
Another trial is with deep tillage while cow and chicken manure mixes will be concentrated on in the next year or two and spread after summer harvest.
“When we deliver grain to a Forbes feedlot we backload cow manure and do the same with grain to Newcastle, with chicken manure.”