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Companion and intercropping piquing interest of Aussie farmers

Companion and intercropping piquing interest of Aussie farmers

Today on the podcast we’re doing a special on intercropping and companion cropping.

Canola + faba beans. (Photo: Greg Condon).

Before we get into it, here’s what both intercrops and companion crops are:

Intercrop: where two or more species are sown and harvested together with the objective to harvest the grain of both species.

Companion crop: Where two or more species are sown together with the objective to harvest the grain of a single species. The other species are either grazed out or terminated using herbicides.

We hear from CSIRO Farming Systems Scientist, Dr Andrew Fletcher. He tells us about the potential role of companion and intercropping in Australian grain farming systems. Andrew also recently presented this topic at the Perth GRDC Updates, which has sparked interest in this space in Australia.

We also hear from farmer Murray Scholz, who has a mixed farming operation in the Southern Region in Culcairn NSW, which is halfway between Wagga Wagga and Albury. Murray has been on the podcast before, talking about his use of disc seeding. So, thanks to him for coming back!

And finally, we hear from WeedSmart Southern Extension Agronomist, Greg Condon. He gives a detailed overview of companion and intercropping in his region and explains some of the quirks to how it all works.

If you’re wanting to learn more about this topic, you can check out Dr Andrew Fletcher’s Perth GRDC Crop Updates paper here.

If you’d like to check out what webinars we have coming up, including our Q&A Session on our Diversity Era Crop 101 Course this Friday, and our upcoming webinar in our series, The future of chemical use in farming with Mark Congreve click here.

And as promised in the podcast, here are some awesome visuals of companion cropping…

Some of the buffet on offer for the sheep at Murray Scholz’s farm. (Photo: Murray Scholz).

 

Grazing mix of wheat, vetch, tillage radish and purple top turnip. (Photo: Greg Condon).

 

 

Tillage radish penetrating through dense clay subsoil. (Photo: Greg Condon).

And if you were wondering what Buttock Boulder looks like…

Buttock Boulder in Bells Rapids Park, WA (Photo: Jessica Strauss).

 

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