Grains Research and Development

GRDC Update Papers

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This page contains papers from the GRDC Update series for both growers and advisers.

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  • Microwave technology for weed management

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.03.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    UM00053
    Presented At
    Goondiwindi GRDC Grains Research Update
    Region
    North

    Microwave heating, using a suitable device to project the microwave energy onto plants and the soil, can:
    1. Kill weeds and their seeds in the field, without limitations of wind or moisture;
    2. Kill dormant seeds in the soil;
    3. Significantly reduce bacterial numbers in the top layer of the soil; however these populations recover to become significantly higher than their initial values within a month of treatment;
    4. Not significantly affect fungi or protozoa in the soil; and
    5. Significantly increase grain yields in a number of crops, including canola and wheat.

  • Planting date row spacing and plant population impacts in wheat

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    25.02.2016
    GRDC Project Code
    DAQ00162
    Presented At
    Presented at the Walgett GRDC Grains Research Update February 2016 by Mick Brosnan and Jo Weier
    Region
    North

    Yield penalties become increased with delayed planting dates so when faced with the decision to replant, a plant density of low populations can be more successful than replanting. Moisture seeking to plant on time achieves better results than waiting for a rain fall event and planting later than ideal. Narrow row spacing did not make any difference to yield so wide rows are fine if yield expectations don't exceed 3t/ha and provided you can control weeds.

  • Trust, influence, relationships and challenging conversations

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    15.10.2015
    Presented At
    Launceston GRDC Farm Business Update 11th August 2015, Wagga Wagga GRDC Farm Business Update 19th August 2015 and Adelaide GRDC Farm Business Update 15th October 2015.
    Region
    South, North

    • Effective communication enables productivity, makes life more enjoyable and is an essential ingredient of cooperation.
    • We have an innate capability to copy the behaviour of others. Choose to be around, and to copy, people whose behaviour you admire - and copy their behaviour a little more consciously.
    • Practice positivity in your interactions with others to build better, more productive relationships. They will respond positively, they can't help it.
    • Social sensitive is a key predictor of team performance. 'Check-in' with the other person or your team mates first. Then proceed with the conversation, meeting or work.
    • To improve communication plan your conversation simply, prepare for your conversation and engage by paying attention to the other person first.

  • Effective farm business management - the challenges and opportunities from a grower's perspective

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    15.10.2015
    Presented At
    Wagga Wagga GRDC Farm Business Update 15th August 2013 and Adelaide GRDC Farm Business Update 15th October 2015
    Region
    South

    • Despite increasing scale by a factor of two, costs have still increased by 50% over the last ten years. Some of this may be attributable to increased use of inputs like fertilisers; nevertheless escalating costs pose a challenge to profitability.
    • The challenge of escalating costs has been addressed by gains in productivity.
    • The increased reliance on external information networks has made us better appreciate the importance of relationships (e.g. with suppliers and financiers as well as production advisers) and the need to develop and nurture them.
    • As a farm becomes bigger and involves another generation, there is a need to turn our attention to the people inside the organisation and the formalities (job descriptions, staff reviews, training, individual equity in the business) needed to foster their individual long term growth and development.
    • The increased volatility of grain pricing coupled with the variability of the seasons requires a greater focus on the risk profile of the farm and systems to manage that volatility.
    • As grain farming has become a more sophisticated business, there is a heightened need to source reliable, skilled and informed assistance to enhance the quality of decision making.

  • Why was our Free Trade Agreement (FTA) made that way? - the China farm sector

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    15.09.2015
    Presented At
    Horsham GRDC Farm Business Update 15th September 2015 and Adelaide GRDC Farm Business Update 15th October 2015
    Region
    South

    • Australian farm exports to China were already growing fast before the FTA was agreed upon.
    • China has a key focus on food security for its population, lifting incomes in rural areas and supporting incomes in the politically challenging areas of its peripheral regions.
    • China has developed many policies; reserve price schemes, quotas, deficiency payments and subsidies that all impact on how it does business with the world.

  • Farming Systems – Managing Profitability and Risk in a Grain Business

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    15.09.2015
    Presented At
    Horsham GRDC Farm Business Update 15th September 2015, Clare GRDC Farm Business Update 11th March 2015, Bendigo GRDC Farm Business Update 19th March 2015 and Adelaide GRDC Farm Business Update 13th November 2014
    Region
    South

    • We are in a new era for grain farming and risk profiles for grain businesses have changed dramatically
    • The key factors effecting farm profitability must be assessed and managed differently
    • Debt levels and decisions around debt are now even more important
    • Planning and risk buffers must be extended to cover more years

  • Farm decision making - how does your risk profile affect your business decision making?

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    08.09.2015
    Presented At
    Rutherglen GRDC Farm Business Update 8th September 2015 and Adelaide GRDC Farm Business Update 15th October 2015
    Region
    South

    • Managing risk is not about the middle or the average, it is the opposite. It is appreciating what happens at the extremes, the size or value of these extremes and how often they occur.

  • How can you improve your business? - the key areas for action

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    08.09.2015
    Presented At
    Rutherglen GRDC Farm Business Update 8th September 2015, Horsham GRDC Farm Business Update 15th September 2015 and Adelaide GRDC Farm Business Update 15th October 2015
    Region
    South

    • Improving business outcomes is largely dependent on improving our structures, resources, competencies and commitment.
    • To reduce your ‘tail’ you need to improve one of, or a combination of the four key causes for underperformance.

  • Performance of current northern farming systems

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    03.09.2015
    GRDC Project Code
    CSA00050
    Presented At
    Dalby GRDC Farm Business Update 3rd September 2015

    • There is potential to improve the performance of current northern farming systems.
    • Cropping intensity, the management of fallows and the configuration of crop sequences appear to be key areas where improvements are possible.
    • here are trade-offs between sequences that maximise profit and optimising resource efficiency and minimising threats to the cropping system.
    • More intense crop sequences with more double crops can increase system production and water-use-efficiency but they also increase economic risk.
    • Most sequences are at risk from increasing soil-pathogens, nutrient depletion and weed management challenges - systems involving alternative ‘break-crops’ or more diversity are required.

  • The future for farming systems - farm smarter, not harder

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    01.09.2015
    Presented At
    Narrabri GRDC Farm Business Update 1st September 2015
    Region
    North

    • Future Australian agriculture will need to hone its efficiency and sustainability through adoption of new technologies and utilisation of data to increase our profitability and maintain our edge over international neighbours.
    • Farming has an image problem. There needs to be a dedicated industry group that is tasked purely to promote Australia agriculture.