The Alternative Legumes Project is a three-year project SFS is involved in that is being run by Agriculture Victoria. It includes both winter and summer trials, with the summer trial currently in the ground being the last of the project.
While there are several grain legumes commonly grown during winter in SW Victoria, this project is investigating alternative legume crops that have the potential to be used for both fodder and grain, taking advantage of spring/summer rainfall. These crops may also provide the benefit of fixing nitrogen for following crops.
This year’s summer trial at Inverleigh includes several species of mungbean, cowpea and soybean, as well as pigeon pea and adzuki, pinto, navy and black turtle beans. Many of these crops are commonly grown in sub-tropical environments so the main aim of this project is to assess their suitability to various climates across Victoria. At Inverleigh, two times of sowing (late October and late November) are being assessed. Crops had a peak biomass cut taken and will be harvested for grain in the coming weeks.
Well timed rainfall events in both October and November allowed most crops types to establish well. Continuing rainfall over the summer points to the potential of some species to be opportunistically grown in SW Victoria in similar years with high summer rainfall. We look forward to following the crops through the season and seeing the results of the project!
Trial Supporters/Funders: GRDC, Agriculture Victoria