Junee grains forum tackles cropping issues for season 2011

Junee grains forum tackles cropping issues for season 2011

Grain growers in south-west New South Wales have been equipped with valuable information and resources to assist them throughout the coming cropping season.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)/FarmLink Grower Update at Junee has provided producers with the latest insights on seasonal and industry issues and research developments.

Attended by almost 100 growers, the Update featured several keynote speakers from throughout Australia who delivered practical advice on how growers can make the most out of their farming systems.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel member, Dr Chris Blanchard, said the forum discussed the wet weather issues encountered over recent months and what impact those conditions would have on 2011’s cropping programs.

Among the guest speakers was Tim Condon from Delta Agribusiness who provided an informative talk on the benefits of grazing crops.

“Due to the increase in profitability of sheep enterprises there has been a high demand for grazing crops, including wheat and canola, so Mr Condon’s presentation was very timely and relevant,” Dr Blanchard said.

“Personnel from Agritech Research at Wagga Wagga provided a review of crop variety performance in 2010. While there often wasn’t a great difference in yield between the varieties, there was a large difference in profitability due to particular varieties meeting specific quality grades.”

Dr John Kirkegaard from CSIRO in Canberra compared local farming systems with those he recently visited in South America, according to Dr Blanchard.

“While there were some clear differences such as the variation in rainfall experienced in South America, there were also similarities, such as the variable adoption of no-till and the challenge of evaluating breeding lines with vastly different fungal resistance.

“Dr James Hunt, also from CSIRO, spoke about the impact livestock had on crop yield, indicating that any damage caused by compaction was usually minimal. However, he did stress that care was needed to retain sufficient ground cover to make the best use of rain events,” Dr Blanchard said.

Greg Condon from Grassroots Agronomy, Junee, discussed a trial that evaluated herbicide efficacy in no-till farming systems. Mr Condon said more work was needed to fully understand the impact of various minimal till sowing equipment.

Lockhart farmer John Stevenson discussed the challenges of managing heavy stubbles and demonstrated that effective management of large crop residues required a great deal of long term planning.

“The Update also included a presentation by Beckom farmer Mike O’Hare who described the sometimes exhausting but rewarding pursuit of integrating livestock and cropping, while Craig Day of Spray Safe & Save at Cowra outlined the complexity of successful spraying,” Dr Blanchard said.

“Overall, the information presented to growers at the Update was well received and should go a long way in supporting them over the coming months as they embark on the 2011 cropping season.”

ENDS

• For more information about the Update, contact ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email admin@orm.com.au

• www.grdc.com.au/ORM00001

• GRDC Project Code: ORM00001

• This media release and other media products are available via www.grdc.com.au/media

GRDC Project Code ORM00001

Region South, North