Top group honoured

The inaugural winning group of the national TOPCROP award will be announced at Grains Week in Perth this month. The competition was designed to show the impact that farmer groups have in improving graingrowing productivity and profitability. Here are the five state finalists.

Queensland —The Wallumbilla TOPCROP group has conducted crop and fertiliser trials and soil-water measurements and has identified opportunities to change cropping management through inclusion of new pulse and oilseed crops, by zero-till on some soil types and by deep soil nitrogen testing.

NSW — The Tidd and Horan TOPCROP group which includes the Ardlethan, Ariah Park and Temora farmer groups (see profile this page of group achievements).

Victoria — Wallup TOPCROP group members have identified problem areas on their farms via an aerial survey. Members also are involved in quality assurance of their produce and have an active farm safety program and comprehensive on-farm trials and demonstrations.

SA — The Lowbank and Districts TOPCROP group is among the leaders in identifying conservation farming systems in an effort to promote sustainable agriculture. Members are also engaged in comprehensive on-farm testing activities, including the evaluation of canola and pulse production in low-rainfall areas.

WA — The Kunjin TOPCROP group has carried out broadacre trials evaluating the performance of new wheat varieties on different soil types. The group is involved in extensive crop monitoring and production benchmarking and is embracing new technology with some members using GPS to map yields.

Come fly with me

First prize is a five-day air charter anywhere in Australia for 16 people to study crop production and farming systems. State finalists win an intrastate trip to an event or an area of the group's choosing to the value of $2,000. The awards are sponsored by Hawker Pacific Australia.

Contact: TOPCROP National Director Dr Ross Cutler 03 5255 5614

Region North, South, West