GRDC Updates help plan for profit

Image of Sharon O'Keefe

GRDC grower services manager, north, Sharon O'Keefe.


When it comes to soil water, measuring and managing are the precursors to making money.

The efficient storage and use of soil moisture are key factors dictating the profitability of farming enterprises in the northern grains region, with the production of summer and winter crops heavily reliant on the cropping system’s capacity to convert water into plant biomass or grain.

This year’s GRDC two-day Grains Research Updates at Coonabarabran (NSW) and Goondiwindi (QLD), and one-day Updates at Walgett, Nyngan and North Star (all NSW) will help equip growers with the knowledge and tools to make profitable management decisions to maximise the water use efficiency (WUE) of their farming systems.

Topics covered will include estimation of WUE, drivers of fallow efficiency, practical tips on determining plant-available water capacity and the impact of stubble cover on evaporation rates and infiltration.

The programs will also incorporate presentations on nitrogen management and losses, rust management, cereal and pulse agronomy, the GRDC’s National Frost Initiative, weed management and herbicide-resistance updates, pest management, opportunities for dual-purpose crops and root lesion nematode management.

Updates will be held at Coonabarabran on 23 and 24 February, Walgett on 25 February, Nyngan on 26 February, Goondiwindi on 1 and 2 March and North Star on 3 March (see page 4).

In addition to the northern NSW and southern Queensland events, a two-day GRDC Grains Research Update will be held at Wagga Wagga (NSW) on 16 and 17 February, while a one-day Update will be held at Corowa on 18 February.

The theme of the program is ‘Informed Decisions – Driving Change’ and topics will focus on key components of southern NSW farming systems. Pulses will take centre stage, with discussion on agronomy and rotations.

Other topics will include making practical sense of paddock data, an assessment of controlled-traffic farming adoption, micronutrients and the impact of herbicide residues in soils, as well as updates on herbicide, pest and disease management.

GRDC northern grower services manager Sharon O’Keeffe says the Updates provide growers and advisers with a unique opportunity to interact with leading industry professionals and learn how GRDC-funded research programs are helping tackle some of the north’s most pressing production challenges.

“The GRDC Updates are effectively a three-way conversation between northern growers, advisers and researchers,” Ms O’Keeffe says.

“Growers and advisers gain an insight into the scope, progress and results of some of the GRDC’s major research investments, while for research partners the Updates provide an invaluable touch-point with industry which ensures the research work remains practical, meaningful and well-targeted.”

More information

John Cameron or Erica McKay, ICAN,
02 9482 4930,,

John and Erica can also help you register for Coonabarabran, Walgett, Nyngan, Goondiwindi or North Star events

03 5441 6176,,
ORM can also help you register for the Wagga Wagga Update

GRDC Updates


Trials to lift production efficiencies


What lies beneath: managing RLNs

GRDC Project Code ICN00021, ORM00013

Region North