Imtrade Australia field agronomist for Queensland and New South Wales (Chris Poletto) has been busy in Bundaberg during February working in soybeans. Soybeans are an important rotation crop with sugarcane in many cane growing districts in Queensland and New South Wales. Soybeans being a legume is a great break crop for planting in historically sugarcane monoculture paddocks due to their flexibility for being used as a grain crop to generate additional income and/or for soil improvement and crop sustainability benefits. Due to the large volume of plant biomass (shoots and roots), and root symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria that colonise on the roots of soybeans, up to 300 kg/ha worth of nitrogen (N) can be incorporated back into the paddock after a soybean crop. This nitrogen bonanza is often used to supplement the subsequent plant cane crop’s nitrogen requirement. This can often result in a reduced fertiliser application rate to the plant cane, with savings gained to the grower as well as the benefit of organic matter being ploughed back into the soil profile.
Unfortunately, however soybean crops like all others are prone to insect attack and Imtrade Australia is working on a Group 22A selective insecticide formulation and registration that can be added to the soybean growers toolbox for controlling the main caterpillars and mirids that cause significant damage to soybean crops. Field trials are going well with results showing very good control being obtained, whilst minimising any impact on the beneficial insects that are present and doing their job in the crop also. Imtrade Australia is a growing presence in the Ag Chem supply field with a range of pre and post-emergent herbicides and insecticides already registered for the soybean industry as well as a couple of APVMA permitted options. As Imtrade Australia’s commitment to the crop protection industry, it will continue to invest resources into trialling and developing quality economical crop protection products giving more options for growers to use in their pesticide toolbox.
Chris would like to thank Tony and Mitchell Chapman for assisting Imtrade with a soybean trial site location.