Crop investigation into grain; legume crops suitable for incorporation into a cane rotation : SRDC final report CG009
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Funding was obtained from the Australian Government Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC) to undertake a feasibility study into opportunities for grain and legume crop industries in the coastal sugar cane cropping regime of the Isis Cane Supply Area.The purpose of the study was to undertake a literature review of potential crops that could be produced as part of a cane rotation in the Isis Area. The importance of this study was that it was a cost effective solution to assessing potential break crops, without incurring the expense of numerous field trials, in addition to presenting an opportunity to explore a number of novel crops that may not have previously been considered for production by growers.The study was instigated as a result of the current downturn of the Queensland Sugar industry and the identified need to implement an additional, low risk income stream for growers, in addition to adopting some of the findings of the Sugar Yield Decline Joint Venture, particularly the benefits of a grain legume rotational crop.One of the primary difficulties encountered by growers in developing grain/legume crops beyond a break crop, are the number of challenges including marketing, agronomics and logistics. What this study was designed to do, is to minimise the risk to growers in venturing into break crops by identifying opportunities and threats of these various crops.The other objective that resulted in the development of this project was the concern that growers may become too reliant on the one crop. Soybeans have been produced in the Isis Cane Supply Area for the past two seasons with significant success, but the danger of relying too heavily on the one crop is evident, and there is a direct need to explore alternative, beneficial crops available for production in the Isis area.The key attachment to this desktop study is the overview of alternative crop field trials in the Isis Region 2004 - 2006. This information is complementary to this report and provides it with a practical context. In addition, as a product of both reports, presentations have been provided to growers as an important component of the Isis Target 100 and Maryborough productivity initiatives. These presentations are also attached for the reference of SRDC and other interested parties.