Growers urged to contribute to national information repository (National, 2 April 2008)
Growers are being urged to contribute information to the National Farming Practices Database, a project supported by growers and the Australian Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
Project coordinator Alan Umbers said the database project aimed to develop a central repository of farming practices information and provided reports to growers which were very useful in several ways.
“Once a grower has entered their information – a process which takes about 20 minutes – they will receive a comprehensive report showing productivity and sustainability information for their own farm,” Mr Umbers said.
“It gives comparisons and productivity information for the farm as well as district, regional, state and national farming indicators. It’s a very useful tool for growers to evaluate their production, farm management and natural resources management. It will allow growers to look at how their operations compare and reveal parts of their system where adjustments can be made.
“For example, with rising fertiliser prices growers are seeking guidance on reducing their fertiliser inputs. The report provides information about nutrient levels and nutrient efficiency which can assist growers with their fertiliser decisions.”
GRDC managing director Peter Reading urged growers to visit the website at www.grdc.com.au/farmingpractices and enter their data.
“An important advantage is that the database will capture information which shows those outside the grains industry what insiders have known for a long time: that increasing numbers of Australian grain growers are employing sustainable farming practices, improving their management of natural resources and reducing their impact on the environment,” Mr Reading said.
“Given the new Government’s priority regarding sustainable farming practices, it will be very important for grain growers to demonstrate the substantial progress their industry has made towards sustainability.”
Mr Umbers said the database had undergone changes to make the system more user-friendly for growers.
“Growers can now fill in data-forms specific to their particular state, and we’ve also refined the reports to provide more relevant information,” he said.
“The database gives growers an additional advantage. Growers are often asked to fill in surveys by catchment authorities, natural resource management authorities and grains industry organisations. These can be quite detailed and take a long time to complete.
“Our aim is to have growers enter their seasonal information once a year on the National Farming Practices Database. If they are contacted by other organisations seeking information, they can simply direct them to the database which will provide them with that information with the grower’s permission. In this way we can reduce duplication and save growers a bit of a headache.”
Growers seeking more information about the National Farming Practices Database can visit the website at www.farmingpractices.com.au or contact Mr Umbers on 0428 432 557.
Region National, North, South, West