Panel Profile: Rob Sonogan
Swan Hill, VIC
Rob comes from Swan Hill in Victoria and has more than 25 years experience working in agricultural industries in the region. He is a founding member of Birchip Cropping Group and the Mallee Sustainable Farming Project.
During his career, Rob has focused on projects which result in direct benefits for grain growers. He brings to the southern panel knowledge and skills developed across a range of areas including extension, farm business management, enterprise planning, research and agricultural economics.
“Farming systems and soils are my real bent, but economics too - I’m interested in making sure things are profitable. As they say, you have to be in the black to be green. So I’m very interested in the whole farming system,” says Rob, who was also editor and a regular contributor for 20 years to The Mallee Farmer newsletter.
He is a long-time advocate of systems based around improved water use efficiency, particularly in the low rainfall zone, and has a particular interest in soil management.
“We are in a very low rainfall marginal area so obviously water use efficiency is very important, along with root diseases, crop choice, rotations and overall profitability.
The big issues are weed resistance, nitrogen, inputs, and micro-nutrients which also seem to be of increasing interest.
“On top of that, in precision agriculture, we’ve got a huge uptake of variable rate technology and how that continues to advance is of interest.”
Rob says GRDC is already investing in significant research, development and extension activities in these areas.
Rob hopes to add value to southern growers’ levy-funded research and development by conveying the benefits of efficient farming systems and how effective management enhances cropping systems.
Ph: 0407 359 982