SFS00028 - Grain and Graze 3 - Extension and deliver on mixed farm benefits in the Southern Region
Grain and Graze 3 is the third phase of mixed farming investment by the GRDC and covers the low, medium and high rainfall zones in Southern Australia. It will be delivered by five groups, SARDI at Minnipa, the Ag Excellence Alliance, Southern Farming Systems, Birchip Cropping Group and Mallee Sustainable Farming through group activities, on farm demonstrations and extension.Three topics are being investigated. The first is to enhance the grazing of cropped land, both stubbles over summer and growing crops in winter. While significant work has already been done on this topic, Grain and Graze 3 will focus on getting the most out of stubbles, grazing canola in winter, understanding what environmental conditions post grazing lead to grain yield loss and the impact of grazing on weed densities.The second area for investigation is designing better mixed farming rotations that achieve multiple benefits in the farming system. Increasing herbicide resistance, rising nitrogen costs and the limited diversity in a crop only system are challenges that may be solved with clever integration of fodder and livestock. Finally Grain and Graze 3 will tackle the complex issue of planning and implementing integrated systems that consider risk between as well as within enterprises on the farm. Most growers have a preference for the physical running of the business, however with greater price and climatic variability, it is becoming increasingly important to enhance thinking around risk and strategic running of the business.Ultimately the Grain and Graze 3 program aspires to help farmers and advisors design and manage flexible farming systems.
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