EPF00001 - Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula
The project 'Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula' (SA) aims to produce sustainable management guidelines for control of pests, weeds and diseases while retaining stubble to maintain or improve soil health and reduce exposure to wind erosion. The major outcome to be achieved is increased knowledge and skills allowing farmers and advisers to improve farm profitability while retaining stubble in farming systems on upper Eyre Peninsula (EP).
Project activities will be centred on three regional development and extension (D&E) sites to be established across upper EP. Activities at these sites will focus on addressing local barriers to profitability in farming systems with retained stubble. These sites will be hosted by growers and located within commercial paddocks. Their operation will demonstrate and adapt research outcomes to suit local needs. Sites will be utilised as part of a coordinated extension program within the project ('Sticky Beak' days and field days) to demonstrate and explore different management practices and impacts under local conditions.
Guidelines will be developed with the use of local advisors, growers, collaboration with other low-rainfall farming systems groups and past research findings, and further validated and demonstrated through the development component of this project. Supported with economic and risk analysis to determine profitability of practices adapted to local situations, they will be extended to the local farming and agribusiness community via well-established EP Farming Systems networks, publications and events. The project will also utilise social media such as YouTube videos, an e-newsletter and the Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation (EPARF) website
While providing benefits such as increased ground cover and soil protection, retained stubble farming systems present unique challenges compared to conventional or traditional farming systems where cultivation/stubble removal has been an important component of pest and disease management strategies. The local management guidelines developed in this project will include strategic approaches to address locally-relevant issues on upper EP in retained-stubble systems, in order to maintain or improve profitability and sustainability.
This project will address outputs 1, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 in the GRDC Investment Plan 2013-14.
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