Independent farming systems group Riverine Plains hosted a pre-sowing Pulse Check Discussion Group meeting in Dookie on March 7.
Attended by a number of growers and advisers, the meeting had a focus on lentil and chickpea marketing, including an update on the current Indian tariff situation, as well as on paddock selection and sowing considerations for 2018.
Phil Bowden from Pulse Australia spoke about the key markets and drivers of pulse pricing, describing how the Australian export market was driven by seasonal conditions and prices in India and the Middle East.
He explained the factors causing higher world supply and how this had affected lentil and chickpea pricing, with prices down considerably from their peak in 2016.
Mr Bowden said India was a major producer and consumer of pulse products, and Indian farmers were currently experiencing good growing conditions.
He also said the Indian Government’s recent announcement of significant import tariffs on pulses such as chickpeas, lentils and field peas reflected a desire to protect and support that country’s farmers.
With chickpeas and lentils being a new crop for the Riverine Plains area, growers were also encouraged to select paddocks carefully, with soil acidity, competition from weeds and the possible impacts of herbicide residues all affecting potential performance.
Growers were also encouraged to calculate their sowing rates based on actual seed size and to conduct germination and vigour tests on seed prior to planting.