KOONGAWA farmer Josh Beinke has claimed bragging rights and a new soil moisture probe in the Show Us Ya Nods Challenge with an outstanding Mandelup lupin crop.
The competition, in its second year, is run by FREE Eyre, Grains Research & Development Corporation, Profarmer Australia and Agbyte. It aims to find the best nodulating legume crops and pastures across the state and highlights the value of legumes in the rotation fixing nitrogen for the following year’s crops.
Entrants were required to dig up a legume plant, wash away the soil and submit a photograph of the root mass of the plant against a black placard.
Points were awarded for the number and distribution of nodules, evidence of pink inside the nodule and therefore actively fixing nitrogen, general plant and root health and for general effort in photo quality and the information supplied.
Judges from the University of Adelaide, SARDI and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA scored the entries independently with strong agreement on the best entries.
University of Adelaide’s Maarten Ryder said Mr Beinke’s entry was an excellent example of lupin nodulation.
“This is exactly what we are encouraging SA legume producers to aim for,” Dr Ryder said.
Mr Beinke received a subsurface soil moisture probe, coupled with an Adcom telemetry data logging unit and solar panel, valued at $3000 sponsored by GRDC.
It will be installed by leading agronomist Leighton Wilksch, Agbyte who will provide 12 months of monitoring and interpretation of the results, valued at $1000.
Mr Beinke said he quite often dug up legume plants to check for nodulation but the Show Us Ya Nods competition had really made him take note of the benefits of optimum nodulation.
“FREE Eyre’s competition has provided greater interest and understanding in what our break crops are actually doing for our soil, so thank you to FREE Eyre, GRDC, Profarmer Australia and Agbyte for running the competition,” Mr Beinke said.
Runner-ups in the challenge were John Turnbull and Theresa Flavell, both of Cleve, with impressive medic and lupin entries. They each won a 12 month Pro Farmer Australia subscription.
Challenge coordinator and FREE Eyre’s EP representative Tess Walch was extremely pleased with the level of interest and entries received from across SA.
“As we know, 2016 has been an excellent year for legume crop yields across the state,” she said.
“ It was a pleasure to see many legume crops – with the correct seed treatment applications – performing so well and clearly adding significant volumes of valuable nitrogen to their soils.”