NSW farmer Roy Hamilton said the tour of South America provided growers from the southern Riverina region with valuable insights into the production, marketing and exporting challenges facing overseas grain growers.
Grain growers from north-east Victoria and the Southern Riverina gained a fresh perspective on managing no-till farming systems on a recent tour to South America.
The group of 20 growers took part in a two-week agricultural study tour during August and September, visiting Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil and seeing first-hand how farming has evolved in South America.
Insights from the tour were shared with the region’s growers, agronomists and industry members as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update in Corowa recently.
The GRDC Updates held across NSW last month have offered growers, agronomists and industry stakeholders the latest research and development information on topics from weed, disease and pest management, to continuous cropping systems and changing agronomic practices to lift on-farm productivity and profitability.
Like the updates, the South American study tour organised by the Riverine Plains Inc grower group and supported by the GRDC, exposed Australian growers to the challenges and experiences of other farming and production systems.
Roy Hamilton, tour participant and Riverine Plains Inc member, said growers were given a valuable insight into production, marketing and export issues faced by South American growers, as well as the scope of their grains industry.
“The tour included visits to farms, leading research facilities, no-till specialists and agricultural commodity businesses,” Mr Hamilton said.
“Argentina produces around 15 million tonnes of wheat per year, five million of which is exported to Brazil.
“For the three countries we visited, soybeans are the dominant crop and drive most business decisions.”
GRDC Grower Services Manager North Sharon O'Keeffe said GRDC was pleased to support the study tour.
‘‘Forming new ideas and learning new methods from others is a key part of success in farming businesses,’’ Ms O’Keeffe said.
‘‘South America is also a key player in the international grain market and the tour provided an opportunity for these growers to better understand the production issues and the marketing and export frameworks in the region.’’
GRDC Grains Research Updates will be held in NSW at Bellata on this Friday (March 10) and Coolamon on March 16. Updates are being held in Queensland in Goondiwindi today (March 7) and tomorrow (March 8) and Condamine on Thursday (March 9).
For a full program of topics, more event details or to register go to the GRDC website.
Sharon O’Keeffe, GRDC
0409 279 328
Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387