Grains forum to focus on flexible farming systems for Victoria

Author: | Date: 31 Jan 2012

Grains forum to focus on flexible farming systems for Victoria

Key points:

• GRDC Grains Research Adviser Update in Ballarat on February 14-15
• Focus on flexible farming systems – exploring the options

Victorian grains industry professionals will gather in Ballarat next month to learn how they can assist growers in establishing greater flexibility within their farming systems.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) will host a two-day industry forum featuring expert speakers from throughout Australia and around the globe who will present information and advice on the options available to growers as they strive for increased productivity, profitability and sustainability.

Designed for industry advisers, consultants, researchers and growers, the annual GRDC Adviser Update is an important and influential event for the Victorian grains industry, according to GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon.

“To remain relevant, grain growers must ensure their farming systems offer flexibility so they can be responsive to change,” Mr Shannon said.

“Being locked into the one farming formula is no longer a sound practice as grain growers these days are constantly presented with seasonal and market vagaries and agronomic challenges that need to be accommodated with minimal impact on the farm business.”

Mr Shannon said the Ballarat Update would equip grains industry professionals with the knowledge and resources required to assist their grain-growing clients this coming season and beyond.

“The Update will bring together leading authorities from the research, marketing and consulting sectors who will provide valuable insights into the latest thinking and best practice to enable grain growers to farm with confidence.”

Among the keynote speakers at the Ballarat forum will be Jim Orson from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in the United Kingdom. The NIAB special adviser in crops and agronomy will speak about the future of farm chemicals in a changing regulatory environment, drawing on contrasts and comparisons from the UK.

Another international speaker will be Dr Linda Hall from the University of Alberta, Canada, who will be presenting a Canadian perspective on the topic of weed management in herbicide-tolerant crops.

The Update at the Mercure Hotel and Convention Centre will also feature a presentation from Peter Newman of the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia who will convey learnings from the west on sustaining herbicide effectiveness through an integrated approach.

The factors affecting national and global markets for cereals and pulses and oilseeds will be outlined by marketing experts, while GRDC Managing Director John Harvey will detail the National Research, Development and Extension program and new GRDC initiatives.

Other topics to be discussed and analysed include the latest in digital technology aids and new and novel solutions for the cropping sector, the outlook for pests such as mice, snails and slugs, new knowledge in relation to break crops and emerging GRDC-funded research.

Also to be canvassed are problematic weeds, the performance of spring and summer crops in 2011, taming hostile sub-soils, soil biology and new weapons against cereal diseases such as rhizoctonia.

A detailed program for the Update can be obtained by visiting or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email 


• For more information contact ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email  

• GRDC Project Code: ORM00001

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GRDC Project Code ORM00001

Region National, North, South, West