The 1999 TOPCROP award for WA has gone jointly to the Kunjin group from Corrigin and the Tenindewa TOPCROP group from Mullewa.
The TOPCROP program and award are supported by growers through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), which last week sponsored a five-day study tour of WA cropping regions by the 1999 national TOPCROP group winner, the Wallup group from Victoria's Wimmera (see story this page).
More recently, the Wallumbilla TOPCROP group from Roma in south-west Queensland won the Inaugural GRDC TOPCROP award for Queensland. The group began as a discussion group, and has moved on to paddock measurement to identify physical limitations to crop growth in years when water is not limiting.
Dr Cutler broke the news about the WA groups during a visit by the Wallup group to the Mullewa farm of Tenindewa group leader Mike Doherty. "Since announcing the state winners in February, TOPCROP reconsidered the two WA finalists and found it impossible to separate the performance of the two groups," said Dr Cutler.
Kunjin group leader Richard Guiness, recognising the excellence of the Tenindewa group, had already volunteered to split the $2,000 prizemoney with them. It therefore seemed appropriate that both groups share the state title.
"This is yet another indicator of the very real sense of family which makes the TOPCROP network so strong," Dr Cutler said.
As part of the 1999 TOPCROP award, the Wallup group spent five days in mid-July meeting TOPCROP groups in the Geraldton, Corrigin and Esperance regions. The six-year-old Wallup group was well advanced and had moved beyond crop monitoring as a group focus and into such areas as farm safety.
"As a quite mature group in terms of its development, Wallup was able to share valuable information with WA groups, some of which have been established less than a year," Dr Cutler said.
Contact: Dr Ross Cutler 03 5255 5614