Stubble Management Guidelines available for the Riverine Plains region

27 November 2018

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Stubble Management Guidelines for the Riverine Plains region

Managing the stubble left over from cereal crops is a perennial problem for grain growers in the Riverine Plains region.

While stubble loads in 2018 are generally much lighter than usual due to the impact of the dry conditions and the salvaging of frost damaged crops, stubble management remains an important consideration heading in to next season.

“Farmers know that stubble retention has many benefits, including rainfall capture and storage over the summer fallow, protection from wind and water erosion and the improvement of soil structure” explained Riverine Plains Inc Research and Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe.

“But on the other hand, high stubble loads can also increase the frequency of blockages at sowing, affect establishment and increase disease carryover between crops” she said.

“For this reason, Riverine Plains Inc undertook a significant amount of research into the effectiveness of stubble management techniques as part of the GRDC investment Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains project said Cassandra

The project, which ran from 2013-2018, delivered a number of key findings, including that no-till stubble retained systems generally yielded as well, or better, than stubble management systems which involved burning, cultivation or additional nitrogen at sowing with cultivation, except where stubble loads were extremely high at some location (as in 2016).

To support the outcomes of the project, Riverine Plains Inc has developed a series of stubble management guidelines specifically for grain growers.

The guidelines cover topics such as how to manage stubble at harvest, techniques for successfully sowing into stubble, the strategic management of crops grown in stubble-retained systems, as well as the impacts of stubble on soil carbon.

The guidelines also refer to results of the trials undertaken throughout the life of the project, which makes them especially relevant for farmers in the Riverine Plains region.

“In terms of stubble management, we often talk about the need for sowing preparation to start at harvest time, so now definitely is a good time to be accessing these Guidelines in preparation for 2019” added Cassandra.

The guidelines are available for download from A limited number of hardcopies are available by request from the Riverine Plains Inc office by phoning 03 5744 1713 or emailing

Riverine Plains Inc acknowledges the support of the GRDC and our project partner FAR Australia in delivering this project and the resulting stubble management guidelines.

Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit


More Information or Interview:

Dr Cassandra Schefe, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713)


New Job Opportunity with Riverine Plains Inc

Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer

Agricultural Research, Development & Extension

Riverine Plains Inc is a progressive farmer group dedicated to improving the productivity of broadacre farming systems in northeast Victoria and southern NSW.

We are seeking a Project Officer, with a passion for agriculture, to join our team at our Mulwala office.  The position is a newly created role within Riverine Plains Inc and provides an exciting opportunity for growth and development.

The Project Officer will deliver a portfolio of research, development and extension projects, including, but not limited to, The Australian Cool Farm Initiative and projects on pulse extension, managing subsoil acidity and soil health related projects.

To be suitable for this position you will be well organised and adaptable and be committed to working well within a team and also independently.

The Project Officer is responsible for:

  • Delivering project milestones across a portfolio of research, development and extension projects
  • Reporting and presenting results to a number of stakeholders
  • Attending meetings as required and maintaining and developing relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Other duties as required

The successful candidate will possess well developed communication and interpersonal skills, be tech savvy and highly motivated with strong attention to detail.  A degree in agriculture or science (or equivalent) is required, along with an understanding of modern broadacre farming systems. A driver’s license and reliable vehicle is required.

The position is available in either a full time or part time capacity, on a 12 month fixed-term basis.

Further information regarding this position is available via the Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer Position Description.

If you feel you have the necessary skills and experience to meet the above requirements, we would like to hear from you.

For a confidential conversation regarding this role, please contact Fiona Hart on 03 5744 1713.

To apply for this position please email a covering letter outlining how you meet the requirements of the role along with your resume (including details of two referees) to  Applications close 10 December at 5pm.