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THE LAND | Chickpea snub: farmers plant wheat into wheat

The soil moisture profile is the best ever but the fall-out from last year's difficult chickpea crop will mean many northern farmers will plant wheat on old wheat sowings.

Matthew Madden, Fairfield, about 20km east of Moree, says many farmers have chosen the risk of possible crown rot and nematodes by replanting wheat into wheat as they have been burnt by last year's chickpea crop, some of which went mouldy while much of it still sits on farm, unable to be sold.

About 50 per cent of winter cropping areas have been sown in Moree, but recent wet weather has set back much of the sowing program.

The wet start holds concerns for disease in both cereal and pulse crops - and the added concern of the difficult supply chain for fungicides in the system.

Mr Madden, who is a member of NSW Farmers Grains Committee and a director of Grain Producers Association (GPA), says the growing conditions have never been better.

But many farmers were burnt by last year's chickpea crop. Chickpeas have become problematic, with mould setting in last year and world container shortages causing supply and export difficulties. Only a few bulk shipments left Australia last year.


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