Grains Research and Development

Date: 27.01.2011

SA grains forum to kick-start 2011 cropping season

David Shannon

SA grains forum to kick-start 2011 cropping season

Key points:

• GRDC Grains Research Adviser Update in Adelaide on February 23-24
• Focus on opportunities and challenges for season 2011

Extracting maximum benefit from recent rainfall will be critical for South Australian grain growers as they prepare for their 2011 cropping programs.

To ensure they grasp the opportunities the unseasonal conditions have presented, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) will host a two-day industry forum in Adelaide next month.

Designed for industry advisers, consultants, researchers and growers, the GRDC Adviser Update on February 23 and 24 will be an important launching pad for the coming season, according to GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon.

Mr Shannon said the Update would deliver practical advice and valuable information to industry advisers to ensure growers were equipped with the tools needed to take advantage of the current conditions and set their farm businesses up for a profitable and productive future.

He said that while the recent rainfall had boosted soil moisture profiles, which augured well for next season, this potential was tempered by numerous management challenges.

“Growers will need to contend with issues such as weed control, soil nutrition levels, the quality of grain available for seed and the volume of residue in paddocks,” Mr Shannon said.

“There is also potential for a large ‘green bridge’ of volunteer plants to establish over summer and autumn, harbouring pests and diseases that could threaten next season’s crops.”

Mr Shannon said the Adelaide Update would feature a strong overlap between these current seasonal and related issues and cutting-edge research results.

“Grain growers and industry advisers operate in a climate of continual change, but this season’s challenges will differ from those of recent years due to the soil moisture levels.

“Through the Adviser Update series we endeavour to examine and break-down avenues to combat grain growing challenges, provide information on new technology, farming practices and science, and also discuss global and domestic trends.”

Mr Shannon said that most importantly, the GRDC Updates aimed to enable grain professionals to improve productivity and profitability within the current climatic parameters.

“The industry is growing increasingly competitive, add in climate variability, escalating crop input costs and fluctuating commodity prices, and growers have a real need to better understand and operate their farming business.

“The Updates offer the information and resources to assist growers and the industry as a whole to get better at what they do.”

Among the keynote speakers at the Adelaide forum will be Mick Keogh from the Australian Farm Institute who will discuss national and global commodity and input trends, while Peter Cornish from Sydney University will address the subject of peak phosphorous and whether the notion is fact or fiction.

Based at the University of WA, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative researcher Dr Michael Walsh will update growers on the development of the Harrington Seed Destructor and its potential for changing crop rotation choices.

The Update at the Adelaide Convention Centre will also feature information on precision agriculture and precision agronomy, pesticide application and spray drift management, water use efficiency and fungicide resistance.

A series of concurrent sessions will discuss and analyse a variety of farming methods, stubble management, crop types, pest and disease management, herbicide options and seasonal decision support tools.

A detailed program for the Update can be obtained by visiting www.grdc.com.au/updatedates or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email admin@orm.com.au

ENDS

• For more information contact ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email admin@orm.com.au

• www.grdc.com.au/ORM00001

• GRDC Project Code: ORM00001

• This media release and other media products are available via www.grdc.com.au/media

GRDC Project Code ORM00001