Manipulation of sowing time and variety to manage abiotic stress risk and maximise yield in lentil and faba bean

Lachlan Lake1, Mariano Cossani1, Amanda Pearce1, Victor O Sadras1

1 South Australian Research and Development Institute, Hartley Grove, Urrbrae, SA, 5064,  


Lentil and faba bean production is constrained by extreme temperatures and drought. Crop species, variety and sowing time are three important management options for limiting the impact of these stresses. We measured phenology and relative grain yield in 10 lentil and 10 faba bean varieties over three seasons (2016 – 2018) and three regions in southern Australia; Hart and Roseworthy in the mid north, Minnipa on the Eyre Peninsula and Bool Lagoon and Conmurra in the South East. Within each location we used six times of sowing, spaced two weeks apart beginning mid-April. For both crops across locations, time to flowering and pod set declined linearly with sowing date. Similarly and across locations and sowing times, flowering was advanced at 3 d d-1 in faba bean and 5 d d-1 in lentil. Yield trends varied with species and location, but delaying sowing generally reduced yield. For every ten days delay in sowing past April 20th, faba bean lost 7% and lentil 5% of maximum yield; for the conditions in these trials sowing before the middle of may was the best strategy. This data set will be used to model risk and to guide management decisions.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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