Current Living Farm managed GRDC projects include:

1. Fertiliser recommendations for grain legumes in Western region with limited production area.
As adapted pulse crop species become available for growers in regions of Western Australia, associated fertiliser recommendations for the major elements (Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) and Sulphur (S)) are required to maximise profitability. Following a review of WA RCSN/NGN meeting minutes and a grower survey (KAL2104-001SAX), it is clear growers are unsure of fertiliser management for ‘new to them’ pulse species, a sentiment amplified by high fertiliser prices. Future mounting evidence of positive benefits from crop diversity and legumes in a cereal-based system means growers are eager to successfully integrate adapted pulse species into their farming system. Phosphorus, Potassium and Sulphur will be the focus of this research as required the most by pulse of all the elements.
2. Demonstrating Effective Management of Matricaria Species in the Low and Medium Rainfall Zones of WA

Growers and advisors in the eastern wheatbelt have consistently reported concerns about the challenges of effectively managing matricaria within mixed cropping systems. There is a clear demand for information and guidance on improving the successful management of this species.

Two species of matricaria (Oncosiphon suffruticosum and O. piluliferum) have emerged as troublesome herbaceous weeds in the low and medium rainfall regions of the eastern wheatbelt of Western Australia. These plants have a partial adaption for wind dispersal and yield a large number of small seeds, averaging 3000 to 5000 seeds per plant. As a result, matricaria has become a major weed problem in the area and has spread widely.

Based on earlier studies, between 50 and 60 percent of matricaria seeds germinate within the first 12 months, and the remaining seeds can stay viable for a period of four years if buried between 2 and 10 cm deep. Given how long these seeds last, growers should take this into account when planning methods for controlling the weed seedbank and field population management.

The goal of this initiative is to give producers and consultants in the eastern wheatbelt region choices for managing matricaria populations in potentially difficult cropping conditions. Growers will have the chance to participate in trial research through this effort, and they will also have access to prospective management alternatives that will help them make decisions about limiting matricaria populations in the future.

3. Investigating Impact Sowing Rate on Barley Grain Quality and WUE in the Geraldton Port Zone

A three-year barley demonstration will be conducted in the Morawa district over two sites comprising representative soil types of the area using a prostrate and erect barley type.  The highest yielding variety of each type will be selection using NVT data for the port zone against a representative wheat control to assess the comparative performance, including updated economics.Each barley type will be sown at 3 rates (low, recommended, and high) with data collected to include rainfall, soil moisture, yield and quality data will be recorded to determine the optimal rate and barley type the LRZ.