Longerenong Cropping Challenge

The management plan includes variety selection, sowing time, crop protection strategies and a crop nutrient plan as well as grain marketing plans.


21 Mar 2014

2013 Annual Interpretive Summary

The Longerenong Cropping challenge gives local advisers the opportunity to put their agronomic skills on show by managing a crop within a three year cycle of canola, wheat and then chickpeas. The plots were all replicated and outcomes assessed annually on the basis of yield, quality and returns. Twelve groups participated in the challenge and while seasonal conditions - as always - varied from year to year, the average financial return for the challenge was AU$857/ha. The financial returns were highest in canola and lowest in wheat crops, which largely reflected seasonal conditions for each crop. The highest gross margin was achieved by a group of current students at Longerenong College with a return of AU$959/ha per year over the three years.

A cropping system experiment such as this also allows some estimates to be made of nutrient use. Phosphorus rates used by the groups varied from 7 kg P/ha/yr to 13 kg P/ha/yr. There was a weak relationship between P fertilizer application rate and return. The partial factor productivity for P averages 306 (+/- 56) kg grain/kg P combined over three crops in the rotation, even though the Colwell P soil test status of the site was considered moderate to high depending on crop. The partial nutrient balance for P over the three years (amount of P removed in grain divided by the amount of fertilizer P added) was nearly always greater than 1 and averaged 1.2 kg P removed for each kg P applied.