New workshop series gets to fundamentals

TOPACTIVE presentation set

A WORKSHOP series that reflects growers' major issues is getting into full swing Australia-wide.

According to Mark Stanley, the national development coordinator for TOPCROP Australia, the workshops are coming under the TOPACTIVE banner, which has grown out of the 'widespread TOPCROP network of local grower groups.

Speaking at the National Regional and Rural Training Conference at Shepparton, which was supported by growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC, Mr Stanley said the flexible TOPACTIVE workshops were based on information identified by growers and their advisers as fundamental to the future successes of graingrowing businesses.

Mr Stanley said that, to speed up the delivery of workshops to farmers, 'train the trainer' workshops for advisers were also being organised.

Examples of initiatives under way included:

  • GRDC-funded barley industry development officers were organising a program of five workshops to provide growers with information on how to maximise their chances of producing malting barley, and how to market it to best advantage.
  • Using the TOPACTIVE proforma, a private consultant had developed a herbicide resistance management workshop. He had trained 40 private and public agronomists to deliver resistance management packages to growers.
  • To assist growers and their advisers understand on-farm grain storage issues including costs, grain hygiene specialists in Victoria, NSW and WA had developed a workshop package. • In association with the SA No-Till Farmers' Association, workshops were being developed to help growers move into no-till farming.
  • A workshop on calculating costs of machinery replacement had beenprepared by an SA agronomist and had proved very successful, with growers wanting to know the real costs of machinery, including ownership.

Giving an example of the increasing use of the TOPACTIVE program, Mr Stanley said that, in the first year (2000), 55 workshops were delivered to 35 grower groups across SA alone.

"The program has the full support of the FarmBis program and each farmer participating in a workshop has the cost subsidised by 75 per cent," he said.

Program 4.1.2 Contact: Mr Mark Stanley 08 8688 3400

Note: Further information about TOPACTIVE may be found on the web site http://topcrop.grdc.com.au

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