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Baums pull up seeder as rain delay continues

Kate MatthewsCountryman

The Baum family, of Gnowellen in WA’s South Coastal region, is keeping a close eye on the soil moisture profile of their property for this year’s seeding program.

Last week Greg Baum and sons Tyren and Nathan, who were on school holidays, workman Gerrit Naude and Greg’s father Ray, started seeding.

They pulled up a few days later and have been waiting for further rain before getting stuck into their month-long planting program again.

This year the Baums started seeding Serradella first and will follow with canola, lupins and then cereals.

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Planting annual pasture legumes and fodder crops is just as important on the Baum property as sowing cereals.

Greg has been growing Cadiz serradella for the past five years and lupins for the past four years.

“When we were growing cereals and canola, we missed out on having a good legume crop,” he said.

“So we grew a bit of Cadiz and have since tried lupins. We’ve been doing pretty well and its helping to promote nitrogen in the soil.”

Research by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA has found that growing Cadiz is also an effective weed control strategy.

By disturbing the soil in a pasture phase, it stimulates ryegrass germination and reduces the amount of dormant weed seeds during the cropping phase.

Last year, Greg harvested the Cadiz for the first time and was able to get enough seed for this year’s planting.

The Baum cropping program includes hybrid and triazine tolerant (TT) canola varieties and Mandelup lupins.

Wheat is also being grown after a break for one season. The hard wheat variety Mace is the choice for 2011.

Malt barley varieties Vlamingh and Baudin will be grown this year and, together with Mace, will account for more than half of the family’s cropping program.

All things going well, Greg said they should be finished seeding within a month.

And to make seeding easier, the Baum’s are making use of a stubble mulcher.

Read more about this innovative mulcher in the Machinery section.

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