Australian Mungbean Association

Australian-grown mungbeans have quality written all over them!

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National crop Competition winners

The National Mungbean Crop Competition recognises the success of growers and agronomists in who have excelled in their application of best management practices.

 

2010/11 Competition winners

XAVIER, Heather and Angus Martin of “Bourbah” Mullaley, on the Liverpool Plains in northern NSW, have been awarded "The Australian Mungbean Association Production Award for Excellence 2010/11".

Ultimately, it was  Xavier’s extensive experience in the industry and pro-active approach to mungbeans in his farming rotations that was the deciding factor for the judges.

“Preparedness is the key - have your seed, inoculant and fertiliser ready to plant when the rains come, order the chemicals and have the fuel tanks full,” Xavier said. “The ideal planting opportunity often occurs at Christmas or New Year when all your support staff and suppliers are on holidays!”

The Martins have a great relationship with their consultant Adam Bench, Pursehouse Rural - and are firm believers in the benefits of using an AMA Accredited Agronomist. “Last season Adam made us aware of a new fungicide permit within hours of him becoming aware of its approval. We were able to use the product straight away. It did a fantastic job controlling the powdery mildew,” Xavier said.

Associated Grain from Dalby are regular buyers of 'Bourbah Beans'. “Given the difficult season, this crop was exceptionally high quality,” Todd Jorgensen, managing director of Associated Grain said. “It made No 1 processing and required little grading. Xavier, Heather and Angus are always committed to growing the best quality beans to maximise they returns.”

The Martins have a strong focus on on-farm research. Over the years they have conducted their own Mungbean trials with various rates of nitrogen, experimented with different methods of inoculation and currently are researching the benefits and pitfalls of back to back beans. “While I’m aware that the practice of back to back beans isn’t currently recognised as industry best practice, overseas data suggests that it is not only possible but generational mungbeans can be highly productive and profitable,” Xavier said.

“As we grow them more and more, mungbeans are increasingly becoming the mainstay of our rotation.”

The Queensland finalist was from the Darling Downs – Damien Cooke, “Homeward Vale”, Jondaryan.

 

Overall winner—2009–10—Justin, Russell and Sue Commens, Agricom, Dalby

Justin’s exceptional crop of sprouting Satin II mungbeans was hard to beat, with a yield of 1.77 t/ha. Even though Justin also had Crystal planted he felt his Satin II were the superior crop.

This was the first year he grew Satin II and only did so in consultation with his mungbean marketer—Rob Anderson from B&L Seed and Grain, Dalby.

Belinda Chase from AgnVet, Dalby, provided the majority of the agronomic advice, with decisions made in consultation with Justin. It was several years since Justin had planted mungbeans but he decided to take advantage of the mungbean price and saw an opportunity to fit them into his rotation.

Justin comments, ‘I plan to continue to include mungbeans in my rotation as the new varieties grow and weather better than older varieties.’

 

Other finalists

Northern Queensland—Paul and Fiona Villis, Ayr

Paul and Fiona Villis are an excellent example of the growing mungbean industry in northern Queensland.

They grow mungbeans for the rotational benefits in conjunction with sugarcane. This year they grew Crystal and achieved a 1.8 t/ha yield which went No. 1 processing. Paul comments, ‘I love mungbeans because they are so quick you don’t have a long period to look after them.’ He had planned to irrigate them if required but the 540 mm in-crop rain was more than sufficient—perhaps too much!

Paul used to grow Berken specifically for the sprouting market but he made the switch to Crystal to take advantage of the variety’s higher yield potential, improved standability and powdery mildew resistance.

Paul and Fiona have a good relationship with their marketer, Blue Ribbon Seeds, who also provide them agronomic support. Paul says Blue Ribbon Seeds have made growing mungbeans in North Queensland easier.

 

Central Queensland—Wilkie family, Wilco Farming and Contracting, Biloela

Phillip, Raymond and Stuart Wilkie from Wilco Farming and Contracting at Biloela grew dryland Satin II mungbeans that yielded 1.86 t/ha and achieved Cooking grade. Satin II should only be grown in close consultation with a marketer.

The Wilkies grew this crop with agronomic and marketing support from Regal Seed and Grain, Biloela. The mungbeans were planted on good starting soil moisture of 80 cm and received 240 mm in-crop rain. Mungbeans provided an excellent opportunity to control feather top Rhodes grass whilst producing a very profitable crop.

 

Western Downs and Maranoa—James Duddy, Duddy Management, Goondiwindi

James Duddy, from South Callandoon planted dryland Crystal. This crop yielded 1.76 t/ha and achieved No. 1 processing. They were marketed through Associated Grain, Dalby. James finds mungbeans are a good fit into South Callandoon’s cropping rotation that includes cotton and winter cereals.

‘We plan to grow the mungbeans dryland, and conserve the water for cotton, but we will irrigate when required,’ states James. The mungbeans were planted on 100 cm of stored water and received 130 mm in-crop rain, resulting in some waterlogging. James plants mungbeans on 2 m beds with 4 rows on each bed. Good fleabane control is achieved using a weedseeker, double knocked with a post-plant application of Gramoxone and Stomp, and with the close row configuration providing competition. James comments that closing up the rows also shortens the flowering period, making insect and harvest management much easier.

James does his own agronomy and watches insects carefully, he says mungbeans are relatively easy to bug check as their flowering period is so short, you only have to look after them for a short period of time.

 

Northern NSW—John Taylor, Ford End Pastoral Co, Delungra

John grew dryland Crystal mungbeans that yielded 1.24 t/ha and went No. 1 processing. The mungbeans where planted on only 20 cm of wet soil and received 53 mm in-crop rain, an excellent result considering the season. The beans were marketed through Mt Tyson Seeds. McGregor Ag at Warialda provided the agronomic support. John says mungbeans are a quick rotational crop that fit in well when they are planted into stubble, however you have to be careful of plant back periods of herbicides. ‘With a bit of planning they are a simple crop to grow,’ he says.

 

Central NSW—Doug Campbell, Tamalie, Quirindi

Doug planted dryland Crystal mungbeans that achieved a yield of 2.15 t/ha and Cooking grade.

The beans were marketed through Blue Ribbon Seeds. This was the first year Doug has grown mungbeans and so employed the services of Agromax Consulting. Producing this calibre of crop proves that if growers seek good quality advice an excellent outcome can be produced. The mungbeans were planted into 70 cm of stored moisture and received 309 mm in-crop rain.

Doug was very impressed by Crystal and sees mungbeans fitting into his rotation when there is not enough moisture for sorghum. He says, ‘the mungbeans left moisture behind and as a result we double cropped back into wheat.’

 

2008/09 – Ken Stallman Pittsworth, Darling Downs

• Variety: Crystal     • System: Dryland     • Yield: 1.75t/ha     • Quality: No. 1 processing

Ken Stallman of Hawthorn Farming, Pittsworth was awarded The Australian Mungbean Association Production Award for Excellence 2008/09. While there were many quality contestants this year, it was ultimately Ken’s attention to detail was the deciding factor. As Ken stated, “after growing mungbean for 40 years, you would hope I would have developed some skills in growing and marketing this highly specialised crop”.

Ken has a very strong association with his agronomist of ten years, Mike Balzer of B & B Agricultural Services, and with his grain marketer, Selected Pulse Foods (who nominated him for the competition), both of whom he attributes his success in growing profitable mungbeans.

It was Ken’s crop of the new mungbean variety, Crystal, that won the award. He also planted White Gold and Regur. Ken was very happy with Crystal, “it had much better yield, it was more erect, the pods were higher and the overall grain quality was superior to the other varieties”. As a result, he plans to grow only Crystal and Regur next year.

Over the years Ken has dramatically changed his attitude towards mungbeans. “In the past, there would be a bit of rain, I would plant, keep an eye on weeds but never really go back into them until harvest, and then wonder why the result was so erratic. Now I treat mungbeans the same as I treat cotton, where I plan for it to be managed as an intensive crop. You need to do everything right, right from the start and on time to ensure a good result at the end.”

Ken pays particular attention to the nutrition of his soil. He treats his whole farm with chicken manure on a 3-year rotation, ensuring that there is at least a 12 month gap after the manure is applied before planting mungbeans. This is a food safety issue and a requirement of the mungbean industry as outlined in the AMA’s Code of Hygienic Practice. The use of animal manure ensures that the mungbeans have plenty of phosphorus and potassium. He has seen this improve crop nutrition “building bigger, more robust plants, which lifts the yield potential”. Ken also pays particular attention to sulphur on his Box country and will spray sulphate of ammonia as a foliar fertiliser where required. He inoculates his seed by water injection.

“Good quality beans need an even establishment to ensure timeliness of insect control, weed suppression, and ease of harvest.”

“You need to have a good relationship with your marketer prior to planting the crop. I have a very long-standing relationship with Selected Pulse Foods, and I see this as a critical part of successfully growing mungbeans. I talk with them prior to growing the crop and discuss what varieties they need, and what markets are available each season.”

Ken sees mungbeans as a critical part of his rotation. “For the past four years, mungbeans have been the most farm profitable crop I have grown.”

 

James Kahl, Wee Waa, NW Plains

• Variety: Crystal      • System: Irrigated     • Yield: 2.08 t/ha     • Quality: Processing

James has had extensive experience with irrigating mungbean and double crops them from wheat and then follows with cotton. He has done his own on-farm trials investigating irrigation scheduling in mungbeans and the impact on yield. The trials looked at 1, 2 and 3 irrigations, and James believes that the best return ($/ML of water) was achieved with just one irrigation, immediately before flowering having planted into good soil moisture.

Even though James has successfully grown White Gold over the past few seasons, he is always keen to evaluate new varieties and decided to grow the new variety Crystal. James states, “Crystal out-performed White Gold right from when it came out of the ground, the germination was better, the stand was more uniform, the crop was a better colour, it was more vigorous, stood up well and produced better quality beans”.

James uses Shane Kable (Agnvet) and Brian Baird to assist with managing his mungbean crop. FIS Consultancy nominated James for the competition.

  • 2005/06 National Crop Competition Winners
  • 2004/05 National Crop Competition Winners

 

Sponsors of the National Mungbean competition

 

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