Canadian farm tech guru to headline Bannockburn Update

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 11 Feb 2016

An international agricultural technology expert will headline the line-up of speakers at a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update in Bannockburn on February 25.

Rob Saik, from Agri-Trend in Canada, will outline the 10 key drivers that he believes will shape agriculture over the next decade.

Mr Saik, a professional agronomist and high profile agricultural consultant, will look at the next quantum steps in emerging technology and how digital farm data can help lift productivity.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel member Jon Midwood says that Mr Saik will kick off an Update program aimed at providing local growers with insights into advances in grains research and development which could potentially have a positive bearing on farming systems in the region.

“Liming, soil health, dual purpose crops, slug control and weed suppression – these are among the relevant topics to be discussed at the Update,” Mr Midwood said.

“I strongly encourage all local grain growers to attend the Update which will be of enormous value in terms of the delivery of useful and practical information and advice.”

Other speakers include Lisa Miller from Southern Farming Systems who will outline results from local liming trials and provide her thoughts on what to consider when buying and applying lime.

Christian Bannan from South East Soil and Water will delve into the topic of healthy soils and how the characteristics of soils can be influenced and improved to increase productivity and sustainability, and CSIRO’s Susie Sprague will explore dual purpose crops and how growers can optimise both grain and grazing from canola and wheat.

Michael Nash from the South Australian Research and Development Institute will offer new insights into slug control, including understanding climate triggers and effect of crop rotations on slug numbers. Bill Brown from Charles Sturt University will relay results of research into weed suppression and its effectiveness in reducing in-crop and summer weed emergence.

The Update will be at the Bannockburn Community and Cultural Centre from 9am to 1pm, with catering provided. For a detailed program and to register for the event please visit the GRDC Update Dates page or phone ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email

For Interviews

Jon Midwood, GRDC Southern Panel

0400 666434

Matt McCarthy, ORM

(03) 5441 6176


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli

0409 675100

Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel member Jon Midwood. 

Region South