Growers head to GRDC updates for latest summer crop tactics
Author: Toni Somes | Date: 30 Jul 2018
More than 350 grain growers and advisers from across central west and northern New South Wales attended Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Updates last week with their focus firmly on summer crop planting tactics.
While dry conditions dominated conversation at the updates held at Narromine, Gunnedah and North Star, growers were determinedly looking forward with the latest research into summer crop agronomy, crop choices and strategies for a hard-finishing season attracting their attention.
GRDC Grower Relations Manager Susan McDonnell said the large crowds reflected the interest, investment and commitment growers had in staying informed and up-to-date.
“It has been a tough season and many people don’t have winter crop in the ground, so essentially this made it easier for them to spend time off-farm attending the GRDC Updates,” she said.
“But growers also emphasised how much they appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from researchers about new developments and data that has practical application on farm and could deliver profit gains.”
She said the NSW Updates had been designed to deliver farm-ready information to industry that was relevant given the current seasonal conditions and the expected increase in summer crop planting if it rains.
Popular topics covered across the three Updates included: Using new technology to control weeds; crop sequences in dryland farming systems; sorghum row spacing, yield stability and key agronomy tactics.
Warialda growers Col and Roz Miller from “Morella” said the presentations provided practical guidelines for those weighing up the decision to plant summer crop, as well as implementing effective weed control strategies.
“It is always good to get out and hear the latest research information. I also think at the moment it is equally important growers, like us, battling dry conditions get off the farm for the day and have a break from the everyday demands of keeping stock alive or worrying about winter crops,” Mrs Miller said.
David Watts, from Norland Pastoral at Moree agreed. He said Update events provided the latest insight into summer crop tactics as growers looked to plant summer crop to “get some money back in the bank”.
“We have planted oats, barley, chickpeas and fababean. The chickpeas and barley are looking ok, and we will probably get something off the fabas, but everything needs a drink urgently.”
Sean Ballinger from “Lecoin”, Delungra said he had planted 70 per cent of his winter crop into reasonable moisture, and was “reasonably optimistic” for his wheat and barley depending on how the season finished.
Meanwhile Callum Wilson from Wilson Farming at “Letterbox”, Tulloona said deep planted chickpeas and barley were looking “pretty dismal” on his family’s operation.
“There is not much to say about our winter crop, except that we are now really interested in the latest information about sorghum planting tactics for what could continue to be a pretty challenging season,” Mr Wilson said.
Growers and agronomists who missed the GRDC Updates can access papers from the events via the GRDC website.
Toni Somes, GRDC
0427 878 376
GRDC Project code: ICN00021
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