News in brief
GroundCover™ Issue: 109
The Liebe Group in Western Australia has developed a lime calculator that helps determine the appropriate quantity and costs of lime (including incorporation methods) needed to address specific soil pH conditions.
The Excel spreadsheet-based tool, developed by Farmanco and using data from the Liebe Group and earlier acidity models from the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA, can assess cashflow and profits from liming versus non-liming.
The calculator, available on the Liebe Group website (www.liebegroup.org.au/lime-profit-calculator), was developed with GRDC support.
Another useful tool is the Lime Comparison Calculator, available on the Soil Quality website (www.soilquality.org.au/calculators/lime_comparison). This is supported by the GRDC Soil Biology Initiative II and Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management. This calculator helps to compare the effectiveness of different lime products, which can have different characteristics.
GRDC Research Codes LIE00006, UWA00138
More information:Clare Johnston, Liebe Group,
08 9661 0570,
Weed specialists from WA are joining forces with New South Wales growers and advisers to tackle the issue of herbicide resistance during a series of one-day weed management workshops in NSW.
The GRDC-supported workshops are aimed at developing tactics to drive down the seedbanks of problem weeds. The workshops are being held in partnership with WeedSmart, an industry-led initiative managed by the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, which seeks to improve on-farm practices and promote the long-term sustainability of herbicide use in Australian agriculture.The workshop series will begin on 10 March at Moree (RSL Club) followed by Gulargambone (2828 Hall) on 11 March, Dubbo (Bowling Club) on 12 March, Forbes (Forbes Services Memorial Club) on 13 March and Wagga Wagga (Wine and Food Training Centre, Charles Sturt University Campus) on 14 March (see page 4 for more details).
GRDC Research Codes ICN00016, UQ00062, UWA00164
More information:John Cameron, ICAN Rural,
02 9482 4930,
Research awardGrains chemist Dr Joe Panozzo has won the Victorian Wheat Research Foundation Award for his grains and forage quality research at the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries. Dr Panozzo leads a team using digital image analysis to test the physical and visual qualities of pulses. His research is also exploring: the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on grain quality; wheat, barley, pulse and oilseed processing quality and human nutrition; environmental effects on the nutritional composition of cereals; and forage composition for animal nutrition. Dr Panozzo is also an associate editor for the AACC International Cereal Chemistry journal.
Spotlight on soils
Developments in global soils research will be showcased at two Australian conferences, and a conference in South Korea, over the coming 12 months. The 20th World Congress of Soil Sciences, supported by the International Union of Soil Sciences, is scheduled from 8 to 13 June at the Jeju International Convention Center in Korea. This event will examine technological advances in soil science and is expected to attract more than 2500 scientists from 100 countries.
In Australia, the National Soil Science Conference scheduled for 23 to 27 November at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is set to report on soils, landforms and climate.
Next March, Bendigo, Victoria, will host the 2015 International Soil Change Matters Conference. This event aims to increase growers’ knowledge of the relationship between farm management and soil quality.
Grain & Graze continues
The successful Grain & Graze 2 program, which finished at the end of 2013, will continue with the GRDC funding Grain & Graze 3 over the next three years. New projects will be initiated as part of the $3.8 million program across several growing regions to improve the profitability, sustainability and resilience of mixed-farming enterprises, which account for the majority of broadacre landholdings in Australia. The GRDC will be the sole investor in the new program.The new project will build on the achievements of Grain & Graze 2, which has seen widespread changes in practice including greater stubble retention and use of perennial legumes for increased fodder and improved environmental outcomes.
Increasing confidence in decision-making through a heightened understanding of risk is also a major achievement of the program, says GRDC Grain & Graze project manager Tanya Robinson. “The transition from Grain & Graze 2 to 3 will be as seamless as possible,” she says.
Order of Australia Medal
Western Australian grain grower and inventor Ray Harrington has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for service to primary industry, particularly agricultural machinery.
The award recognises Mr Harrington’s development of the Harrington Seed Destructor.
GRDC Western Regional Panel chair Peter Roberts says the honour emphasised Mr Harrington’s “enormous contribution” to the grain industry in helping to provide weed-control alternatives that reduce the risk of herbicide resistance.
“No-till farming practices and herbicide technology to control weeds allowed for a step-change in Australian farming systems,” Mr Roberts says. “Mr Harrington was one of the first growers to realise that using herbicides alone is not sustainable.”
Mr Harrington was also instrumental in establishing the Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association in 1992, and was the group’s inaugural president.
GRDC Project Code LIE00006, UWA00138, ICN00016, UQ00062, UWA00164,
Region National, North, South, West