Members of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Southern Regional Panel are preparing to traverse parts of Victoria, South Australia and southern and central New South Wales to assess cropping challenges confronting grain growers.
Panel members are about to embark on their annual week-long spring tour which begins on September 8.
They will meet with researchers, farming systems groups, advisers, growers and policy decision makers to gain a greater understanding of the most pressing agronomic issues facing growers and future research priorities.
Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley says herbicide resistance and nitrogen management have been identified by the Panel, and the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks which support the Panel, as the two agronomic issues of most significance in the southern cropping region and these will be the focus of this year’s tour.
“Herbicide resistance and nitrogen management have a major impact on growers’ input costs and overall profitability so we want to get a better handle on how these issues are affecting growers and what more needs to be done to address their needs through GRDC investments in research, development and extension,” Mr Pengilley said.
“In previous years when we have travelled through parts of the southern cropping region during the annual spring tour we have looked at numerous cropping challenges of regional relevance.
“But this year we are taking a more investigative approach by focusing on two key constraints.”
Two separate tours will be conducted from September 8 to 11; one will be through northern parts of the southern cropping region and the other will be through southern areas.
The north tour will begin at Trangie and will take in Tullamore, Condobolin, Kiacatoo, Ungarie, West Wyalong, Temora and Wagga Wagga (all in NSW).
Panel members on the north tour will then travel to Swan Hill, Ouyen and Mildura in Victoria before venturing further west to Loxton in South Australia.
The south tour will begin on SA’s Yorke Peninsula and will include visits to sites at Paskeville before moving to Petersville, Sandilands and Warooka. Hoyleton, Balaklava and Freeling in the Mid and Lower North areas of SA are on the agenda, along with Coomandook, Padthaway, Lucindale and Conmurra in the South-East.
Victorian research and production sites to be visited by the Panel during the south tour include those at Werribee, Altona and Bundoora.
Mr Pengilley said that at the conclusion of both tours, Panel members will come together to discuss their observations, findings and suggested actions.
“The annual spring tour is one of the most important activities undertaken by Panel members,” Mr Pengilley said.
“It provides us with a greater understanding of growers’ concerns and needs and this will help to inform GRDC investments in relevant RD&E, ensuring the best possible outcomes for growers.”
Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Panel
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley (pictured on last year’s spring tour) says the Panel is taking a more investigative approach to this year’s spring tour by focusing on two key constraints – herbicide resistance and nitrogen management.