Harvest began earlier than usual at the Liebe Group’s Long Term Research Site as the oats were mowed for hay. The site had a ryegrass burden, which was imperative to bring under control in order to conduct further trials at the site. The trial site has been home to several long term trials, the longest of which is the Liebe Group’s Soil Biology Trial (SBT). The SBT has been running since 2003 in collaboration with the University of Western Australia (UWA), the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC). The research conducted on the SBT focuses’ on soil biology, soil carbon, stubble management and the application of organic material (100 t/ha of chaff has been applied over the life of the trial – 20 t/ha every 3 years). The results that have been garnered from this trial will help Australian agriculture as it moves into an increasingly variable climate. It has received recognition both nationally and internationally due to its importance to the agricultural research community. This season the site was sown to Yallara oats which produced a paddock average of 4.7 t/ha. While this season’s SBT yield results are in, quality analysis has yet to be run. Compared to the 2014 season where the site was sown to Brusher oats and harvested for grain, the 2015 hay results are an indicator of the more favourable season although it was a tight finish.
Table 1: Treatment and yield results for the Liebe Groups Long Term Research Site.
|Treatment||Hay yield 2015 (t/ha)||Grain yield 2014 (t/ha)|
|Organic Matter Rundown||4.89||0.52|
|Tilled + Organic Matter||5.85||0.60|
Image: Liebe Group member Frank Crago mowing at the Long Term Research Site.