These paddocks were previously in vining peas, and issues with compaction and paddock humps were noted. See the post, Removing Compaction for more details.
A number of different options are being observed, including:
- row spacing
- plant population
- fertiliser programme
- herbicide strategy
- drip irrigation dryland
- and hopefully spray irrigation
At the instigation of Gary Cutts of Tasman Harvesting, responsible for harvesting the beans in Hawke’s Bay, Paddock 1 has been planted with a 15″ (381mm) row spacing. This compares to the standard 20″ (508mm) spacing in the other three paddocks. (Originally beans here were planted on 30″ (762mm)rows.)
Gary has noted that in lighter canopies planted on wider spaced rows, some beans get lost at the edges of the harvest swath. He believes we should try the closer spacing which is common in Europe.
Others in the MicroFarm discussion group has raised the potential increase in disease risk with a more closed canopy, so this will be monitored with interest.
Getting the beans planted at the narrow spacing was a challenge as the Monosem NG plus 4 planter being used would not close up enough. The units are capable, but the current toolbar arrangement with wheels in the way is not.
Instead, Patrick and the Nicolle Contracting staff used their John Deere 8-row MaxEmerge XP planter set on 30″ spacing, and simply moved the whole machine across 15″ to do intermendiate rows. This resulted in some planted rows being driven over – the group decided that was an acceptable limitation for a first look.
Preparing the JD MaxEmerge for 15″ row planting
Rain after planting may have aided emergence even in these rows although it may be delayed and less successful.
Tough bean seedlings emerging through wheel track
Ben Watson of McCain Foods is leading a plant population comparison in Paddock 6. Here four different plant desities are being tried, all on the standard 30″ (762mm) row spacing planted with the Monosem planter.
Population/ha In-row spacing
- 377,358 (standard) 5.3 cm
- 363,636 5.5 cm
- 333,333 6.0 cm
- 307,692 6.5 cm
Planting the population trial with Nicolle Contracting Monosem
As an alternative, Paddock 5 received no nitrogen at planting. The southern half received a double rate of phosphorous, and the northern half received no phosphorous.
The northern half of Paddock 2 and southern half of Paddock 5 (both nearest the centre access track) are receiving an alternative herbicide programme. The rest is being treated with a relatively standard approach.
Standard Programme Alternative Programme
No product applied 1.5 L/ha Bentazone
All herbicides are being applied by Haydn Greville Groundspraying
Soil Moisture Monitoring
HydroServices installed neutron probe access tubes in Paddock 2 (dripline) and Paddock 5 on 14 February.
Results from soil moisture monitoring are posted on the Irrigation Monitoring page.