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Grain legume research at Lincoln College

C.D. Hill, J.G.H. White, R.J. Lucas and S.D. Newton

Plant Science Department, Lincoln College, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Lincoln College on the Canterbury Plain is well situated to conduct research on grain legume crops.Traditionally peas (Pisum sativum) have been the major crop legume in Canterbury, but in recent years field beans (Vicia faba), lupins (Lupinus albus, L. angustifolius, L. mutabilis) and cold-tolerant soya beans (Glycine max) have been investigated.

A survey of farmers growing field beans showed that most farmers sowed at too low a plant population and too late to maximise yield. The survey also revealed the extensive presence of the seed borne pathogen Aschochyta fabae (1). European spring cultivars gave maximum yield when autumn sown (2). Irrigation increased seed yield in spring sowings from 1.8 t ha-1 to 2.7 t; however, irrigation of autumn sowings increased yield even further from 3.8 t to 5.3 t (3). A current study is aimed at determining optimum time of irrigation for the crop.

Among lupins highest yields have been obtained from L. angustifolius at 7.3 t ha-1 from an irrigated crop. Unirrigated plants showed little response to plant population and yielded 5.5 t ha-1 (4). Unirrigated L. albus, however, responded to plant population up to 36 plants m-2 and yielded 3.2 t of seed with a seed nitrogen content of 6.16% (5). Introductions of L. mutabilis had a high dry matter production per plant, but a low harvest index. Seed nitrogen concentration was high at 6.41 to 7.54%, as was oil at 15.75 - 22.03% (6).

Soya bean yields in Canterbury have generally been low because of low night temperatures. The Swedish cultivar Fiskeby V produces up to 17% oil (7) and yields 3.1 t ha-1 with a seed nitrogen of 6.9%.

Work on peas concentrated initially on optimum plant population and irrigation. For vining, irrigated plants grown at 10 x 7.5 cm yielded 7.9 t ha-1 compared with 5.3 t from unirrigated plants. A yield response to irrigation of 59%

was obtained when water was applied at flowering and at pod fill (8). For production of field peas optimum population varied with cultivar; yields of up to 4.1 t ha-1 were obtained from an unirrigated crop (9). Optimum populations of 90 and 120 plants m-2 were obtained under dryland and irrigated conditions respectively for non-branching cultivars of vining peas, but only 60 pl M-9 for branching cultivars of field peas.

1. Newton, S.D., and Hill, G.D. 1978. Proc. Agron. Soc. N.Z. 8: 31-35.

4. Newton, S.D., and Hill, C.D. 1977. Proc. Agron. Soc. N.Z. 7: 57-63.

5. Newton, S.D. 1980. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Canterbury, N.Z.

6. Herbert, S.J., and Hill, C.D. 1978. N.Z. J. Agr. Res. 21: 475-481.

7. Herbert, S.J. 1977. N.Z. J. Agr. Res. 20: 459-465.

8. Horn, P.E., Hill, G.D., and Porter, N.G. 1978. Proc. Agron. Soc. N.Z. 8: 73-77.

9. Hill, G.D., Briones, V.P., and Porter, N.G. 1978. Proc. Agron. Soc. N.Z. 8: 37-42.

10. White, J.G.H., and Anderson, J.A.D. 1971. Proc. Agron. Soc. N.Z. 1: 121-128.

11. Falloon, P.G. and White, J.G.H. 1978. Proc. Agron. Soc. N.Z. 8: 27-30.

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