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.

To download the proceedings booklets from the 2014 Updates, visit the 2014 Update Proceedings Booklets page.

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  • Getting nitrogen (N) into the crop efficiently and effectively

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    03.04.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Grains Research Update for Growers Bridgewater, VIC
    Region
    South, National, North, West

    • Efficiency and effectiveness are different dimensions of nutrient use efficiency (NUE). A system level assessment of NUE can be made using a partial nutrient balance (N removed in grain/N applied) and partial factor productivity (grain produced/N applied). What are your numbers?
    • Early N is generally used more efficiently, but the source, rate, timing and placement of N all affect the efficiency with which the crop can access N.
    • When comparing N sources; rate, timing and placement all interact so that efficiency options vary and no single source is a “silver bullet” to all situations.
    • There would need to be compelling circumstances to justify moving away from top-dressed urea applied to the crop as the season unfolds.

  • Are you happy? Identifying the why in you

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    02.04.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers Naracoorte
    Region
    National, South

    Take home messages:
    • Know and play to your strengths;
    • get your thinking right;
    • invest in yourself; and
    • it's all about choices.

  • Effective farming systems - what skills and approaches lead to successful farming systems?

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    02.04.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers Clare and Naracoorte
    Region
    North, South, West

    • The evolution of a farming system should be a function of logical business decision making since the majority of farmers will list profit as a key motivator. Many farm business managers adopt an oversimplified approach to this, farming the way they want to farm, chasing silver bullets or blindly following the benchmarking results of the best farmers. This is totally misleading and often results in the evolution of farming systems that are inappropriate for the manager’s resource base.
    • For the large majority of farm businesses, profitability is driven to the greatest extent by the successful implementation and management of the basics and then incorporating new or emerging technologies at the margins. The environment that farms operate in is dynamic which means that any decision needs to take into account how it will interact with the entire system.
    • Farm managers have been shown to consistently and repeatedly get this process wrong, particularly in times of higher prices when they tend to farm how they would like rather than how they should. This leaves these businesses particularly exposed when prices fall, there are seasonal challenges, or costs rise sharply. The primary focus on systems selection should be to marry it with the farm businesses’ resource base in order to optimise profit. Farming lifestyle can only be sustainably maintained after profit is achieved.
    • Adopting a whole of business or “systems” approach to the decision making process is one way of achieving consistently high profitability as the farming system evolves. Even the simplest decisions are set in a complex and leaky environment and can have significant impacts at the business level.

  • Agricultural advisory services - what will they look like in 2020?

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    19.03.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Advisers Bendigo
    Region
    National

    • Historically agricultural advisory services have been delivered by government agencies; however this has changed with more than 2,300 private sector crop advisers spread across all states.
    • The changing landscape also includes a shrinking population of crop farm businesses and increased regulation and compliance.
    • Increased use and capacity of technology will impact the future of agricultural advisory services; with 'recipe farming' fast developing oversees.
    • An opportunity for advisers appears to be in adding value to remote sensing technology, computerised decision support tools and variable rate technology by integrating the available data and information into something that is relatively simple, straightforward and usable by farmers.
    • Individual crop advisers can to some degree choose their own future, either adopting new ideas and developing new systems or doing things as they have always done.

  • Robotics and intelligent systems for large scale agriculture

    Research Updates

    two ground robots and one aerial robot for crop surveillance in tree-crop applications

    Article Date
    19.03.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Adviser Bendigo
    Region
    South

    • Significant advances in future farm productivity will be enabled by robotics and autonomous systems.
    • Production advances will be by a step-change in productivity through the use of many small autonomous robots that operate within a whole-farm optimisation context.
    • The key challenge to be addressed in realising the benefits of these new technologies is to 'think beyond the robot' and develop a new logistics and information systems view of farm operations.

  • Opportunities to maximise livestock profit in mixed farming enterprises

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    12.03.2014
    Presented At
    Wallendbeen GRDC Grains Research Update for Growers, March 2014
    Region
    South, North, West

    Take home messages
    • Enormous variations exist in livestock enterprise profitability.
    • Enterprise profitability is in management control.
    • Profit is usually driven by optimising wool and meat production and producing it at a low cost of production.
    • Set up the management system so livestock demand fits the pasture growth curve to optimise pasture utilisation and ensure genetics, animal health, flock and herd structure maximise profitability.
    • Profitable livestock and cropping enterprises can complement each other.

  • Managing annual ryegrass in cropping systems - pre and post emergent herbicide trial, Barellan 2013

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    12.03.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Grains Research Update for Growers Wallendbeen
    Region
    South

    • Annual ryegrass is a major limitation to productive cropping systems and as herbicide resistance levels increase, this is only going to get worse.
    • Pre-emergent herbicides provided greater than 95% control of annual ryegrass in this demonstration trial.
    • There was a definite difference in the level of control recorded between pre-emergent herbicides tested.
    • Post emergent herbicides provided little or no control of ryegrass, with the exception of Atlantis and to a lesser extent Boxer Gold (which is currently not registered for this purpose).
    • Burning stubble decreased the efficacy of all pre-emergent herbicides and accelerated crop maturity.

  • Trends in farm business performance - the stories behind the figures

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    12.03.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers Clare
    Region
    South

    • Costs are increasing and farm businesses must respond appropriately to ensure future competitiveness.
    • Keep business models simple.
    • Farms need to continue to increase in scale, but maintain outputs per hectare.
    • Organisation skills have a large influence on timeliness of farm operations.
    • Top performing businesses leverage from their investment in machinery and labour.
    • Advisory boards are starting to influence strategy and accountability.

  • Effective farming systems - what skills and approaches lead to successful farming systems?

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    12.03.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers Clare
    Region
    North, South, West

    • The evolution of a farming system should be a function of logical business decision making since the majority of farmers will list profit as a key motivator. Many farm business managers adopt an oversimplified approach to this, farming the way they want to farm, chasing silver bullets or blindly following the benchmarking results of the best farmers. This is totally misleading and often results in the evolution of farming systems that are inappropriate for the manager’s resource base.
    • For the large majority of farm businesses, profitability is driven to the greatest extent by the successful implementation and management of the basics and then incorporating new or emerging technologies at the margins. The environment that farms operate in is dynamic which means that any decision needs to take into account how it will interact with the entire system.
    • Farm managers have been shown to consistently and repeatedly get this process wrong, particularly in times of higher prices when they tend to farm how they would like rather than how they should. This leaves these businesses particularly exposed when prices fall, there are seasonal challenges, or costs rise sharply. The primary focus on systems selection should be to marry it with the farm businesses’ resource base in order to optimise profit. Farming lifestyle can only be sustainably maintained after profit is achieved.
    • Adopting a whole of business or “systems” approach to the decision making process is one way of achieving consistently high profitability as the farming system evolves. Even the simplest decisions are set in a complex and leaky environment and can have significant impacts at the business level.

  • Achieving success - getting there and going on with it

    Research Updates

    Grains

    Article Date
    12.03.2014
    Presented At
    2014 GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers and Advisers Clare and Bendigo

    • Never stop learning.
    • Embrace change.
    • Realise the importance of team work.
    • Make sure you have the right people on your team.
    • Plan.
    • Goals are important.