Burramine Crop walk June 21 to discuss outcomes of four years of stubble research

Grain growers and advisors are invited to a paddock walk being run by Riverine Plains from 10am on Thursday 21 June at the Riverine Research Centre, near Yarrawonga in Victoria.

The paddock walk will provide an an opportunity to heart the key outcomes and learnings from the five-year Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) project Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in the Riverine Plains region, which compared the effect of a number of stubble management strategies on crop growth and development.

The morning will also feature discussions on results from the small plot trials established to determine the impact of stubble management on row spacing, application of nitrogen, yellow leaf spot and plant growth regulators.

Following the stubble discussions, growers are invited to tour the range of trials being undertaken at the Riverine Research Centre this season, including early sown wheat and barley, disease and fertiliser trials.

In previous years, growers and advisors have been able to tour the Riverine Research Centre trials during the annual Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia Spring Field Day. However,  growers and advisors are invited to view the trials earlier this season, so that they can follow the progress of these trials through to the Spring Field Day and the subsequent yield results.

Dr Schefe facilitate the walk along with Michael Straight from FAR Australia, who will discuss the outcomes of the large focus farm findings and the small plot results from the 2014 – 2017 seasons, as well as introducing the Riverine Research Centre 2018 trials.

The paddock walk will take place at 10am on Thursday 21 June at the Riverine Research Centre, located at the corner of Forges & Odeas Road, Burramine, via Yarrawonga.

This event is free and all are welcome. For more information please download the RPI Stubble Project Paddock Walk, RRC tour Flyer or contact Cassandra Schefe by emailing cassandra@riverineplains.org.au, or phone (03) 5744 1713.

The Riverine Research Centre is a dedicated small plot research site trial site established through a collaboration between Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia to provide an independent focal point for regional and national research projects in the Victorian and NSW border region.


Farm profit in focus at Mulwala GRDC Farm Business update – 27 June

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is hosting the Farm Business Update on June 27.

The event, which has the theme of ‘Strategic Steps: Enduring Profitability’ is designed to raise awareness and improve grower knowledge of issues relating to farm business management.

The update is an opportunity for growers and their advisers to hear from industry experts on topics ranging from grain marketing and identifying emerging technologies to succession planning.

Brad Knight from Geo Commodities will talk to growers about what to grow, where to store grain and how to determine buyers in a bid to guide marketing plans to maximise profits.

Identifying high cost paddocks and how they impact farm profit and financial performance, particularly in low income years, will be the focus of a presentation by Phil O’Callaghan from ORM.

Technology specialist Paul Higgins from Emergent Futures will explain to growers how they can assess the real value of new technologies to their farm business.

Leo Delahunty from Templemore Partners will share firsthand experiences of how effective management and succession planning can help a family farm work across generations.

The Mulwala Farm Business Update will be held at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, Golf Club Road, Mulwala from 8.30am to 1pm on June 27.

More information can be obtained by downloading the GRDC Mulwala update flyer, visiting https://grdc.com.au/events/list or by phoning ORM on 03 5441 6176 or emailing admin@orm.com.au.

Final Stubble Project Paddock Walk – 21 June at the RRC

Riverine Plains Inc will discuss the final results and outcomes from the Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in the Riverine Plains region project trials at the Riverine Research Centre, Burramine, Victoria on Thursday 21 June.

When:     Thursday 21 June 2018

                  10am – 12pm

Where:   Riverine Research Centre (RRC), Cnr Forges Rd & Odeas Rd (Beatties Rd), Burramine, Victoria

The morning will involve a summary of 5 years of GRDC Stubble Project data, including results from stubble management, row spacing, YLS, PGR, NDVI and PA trials by Dr Cassandra Schefe (Riverine Plains Inc) and Michael Straight (FAR Australia). 

Following this discussion, a tour of the 2018 Riverine Research Centre research site trials will occur.

For further information please download the RRC Stubble Project Paddock Walk Flyer

Soil Priorities Workshop – Henty, 13 April

Riverine Plains Inc, FarmLink and Holbrook Landcare Network invite you to tell us your soil priorities and issues so we can carry out research which is meaningful to local farmers.

The workshop will form part of a Scoping Study to identify and prioritise regional soil constraints, under a Soil Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for High Performance Soils project.

The workshop will we held at the Henty Library, 30 Sladen Street Henty on Friday  13 April 10am – 12noon.

For further information, please download the Soils Priorities workshop flyer

Agribusiness Dinner & Launch of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, Friday 2 March

Members, sponsors and friends of Riverine Plains Inc are invited to our Agribusiness dinner and official launch of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, to be held next Friday 2 March at the Corowa RSL Club, Betterment Parade, Corowa.

The evening will feature Alexandra Gartmann, CEO of Rural Bank as our special guest speaker, along with a local food and wine display and fundraising auction.   For producers interested in donating products for the auction, please download the Agribusiness producer request

The evening will also see the launch of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, which has been established to recognise and encourage agricultural excellence in local students studying their second year of an Agriculture/Agribusiness degree or diploma course.

Our vision is that the Scholarship will continue in perpetuity and we also invite members, sponsors and friends of Riverine Plains Inc to consider making a donation to the Scholarship Fund so that this vision can be realised.

The Fund has been recognised by the Australian Taxation Office to provide Deductible Gift Recipient status.

We invite you to join us for an enjoyable evening as we celebrate food, farming and fellowship. Tickets $50 each. RSVP’s essential by Wednesday 21 February – see the 2018 Agribusiness Dinner Invitation for further details.


Pulse Check (Lentil & Chickpea) Discussion Group Meeting – 7 March, Dookie

Lentil and Chickpea Marketing and Pre-Sowing Meeting

Riverine Plains Inc will host a pre-sowing Pulse Check Discussion Group meeting at Dookie on Wednesday 7 March. The meeting will provide an opportunity for local growers and advisors interested in lentil and chickpea production to discuss practical aspects of production and marketing.

Riverine Plains Inc Pulse Check Facilitator, Michelle Pardy, explained that local interest in lentils and chickpeas had been growing as growers looked for more reliable pulse options, with favourable pricing contributing to the rising interest.

“A number of growers in southern NSW and north-east Victoria grew chickpeas or lentils for the first time in 2018, with harvest results being largely positive despite the impact of frost, the dry September and harvest rains” said Michelle.

“With more growers curious about these crop types, and with sowing not too far away, this pre-sowing meeting aims to help growers with some of their lentil or chickpea marketing and planning decisions” she said.

“Of particular interest will be the implications of the recent 30% import tariff imposed by India, so we have arranged for experienced pulse agronomist and Pulse Australia Southern Region Industry Development Manager, Phil Bowden, to discuss this and other aspects of pricing and marketing” said Michelle.

Phil will also be involved in other discussions around paddock and variety selection, herbicide options, inoculant use and early nutrition. Growers can also bring in samples of graded seed from 2017 so that individual seeding rates can be calculated for 2018.

The pre-sowing Pulse Check Discussion Group Meeting will be held on Wednesday 7 March, 2018 at the Gladstone Hotel, Dookie, from 1pm – approx. 3pm. Current and prospective lentil and chickpea growers and advisors are welcome, with new growers especially invited to attend.

Light refreshments provided: RSVP for catering purposes to Riverine Plains Inc Pulse Check Group Facilitator, Michelle Pardy, on 03 5744 1713 or michelle@riverineplains.org.au.

For further information download the Riverine Plains Pre-Seeding Pulse Check Meeting Flyer.

The Riverine Plains Inc Pulse Check Discussion group has been established as part of GRDC’s Southern Pulse Extension Project. The Southern Pulse Extension project is being delivered by a consortium of organisations involved in the pulse industry across GRDC’s Southern region and provides a collaborative opportunity to increase the knowledge of growers and advisers on sustainable pulse production. 

Soil Pit & Moisture Probe Discussion – Boorhaman, 23 February

Riverine Plains Inc and Boorhaman Landcare will host a soil pit and discussion about the NECMA soil moisture probe project on Friday 23 February, 2018, from 9am – 1pm.

A series of soil pits will be inspected and discussed, with the program as follows;

9am: Soil pit at Neil Fisher’s property, corner Morton and Cornishtown Roads.
10:30am: Soil pit at Brad Schmidt/Paul Blackshaw’s property on Humphreys Road (between Walsh Rd and Eggleston Rd)
12:00pm: Soil pit at Ben Spence’s property on McPhersons Road (between Federation Way and Jacks Road)

All are welcome to attend this free event. This event is part of the Soil Moisture Probe Network Project, a partnership between Riverine Plains Inc & Boorhaman Landcare Group.

For further information, please download the Boorhaman Soil Pit Morning Flyer or contact Cassandra Schefe at Riverine Plains Inc on 0419 238 798 or email cassandra@riverineplains.org.au

Corowa Update digs into local research

Growers and advisors at the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) Research Update in Corowa this February will hear the latest in local research on retaining stubble.

Riverine Plains Inc is a grower group dedicated to improving the productivity of broadacre farming systems in north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. The group is one of 16 farming systems and research organisations involved in GRDC’s flagship stubble investment, ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble.’

The investment, which finishes in June 2018, is driving exploration of issues that impact the profitability of retaining stubbles across a range of environments in southern Australia. The aim is to develop regional guidelines and recommendations that assist growers and advisers to consistently retain stubbles profitably.

Riverine Plains Research and Extension Officer Dr Cassandra Schefe said the group established four large, commercial scale field trials at Dookie, Yarrawonga, Henty and Coreen/Corowa (‘Focus Farms’).

“These trial sites compared different stubble management practices and plant establishment, growth and yield,” Dr Schefe said.

“Smaller trials also evaluated the importance of timing of nitrogen (N) application, plant growth regulators, row spacing and variety selection in optimising production in stubble retained systems.

“The large plot field trials were always placed into a cereal stubble, so the sites didn’t continue in the same location every year, but were placed in different paddocks to maintain the same rotation position, with the trial crop being sown into wheat stubble.”

Dr Schefe said while the trial results cannot be directly compared across seasons (2014 to 2017), the effect of different stubble management techniques can be reviewed across years to determine if any single approach appears to consistently yield better.

“Generally, across the past four seasons stubble management has not been a key driver of yield, except for stubble height at Dookie, and addition of N at sowing at Yarrawonga and Henty in 2014,” she said.

“This general lack of effect may be largely due to extreme weather through some of the growing seasons, being heat stress in October 2015, and waterlogging and high cloud cover in winter and spring 2016, which would have overridden any effects of stubble management on yields.

“The timing of flowering had a strong impact on the degree to which these two factors influenced final crop yields”

A key Riverine Plains Inc project finding is that stubble management can directly influence flowering date, which Dr Schefe said may be of value as a risk management strategy to spread the risk of frost damage or water stress in a dry spring.

“This finding is dependent on other factors though, with the high frequency of frosts in 2017 meaning that frost damage was likely to occur over a range of flowering dates.

“The impact of stubble management has certainly differed according to site and season over the past four years.

“It is important to view these results within the context of the seasonal conditions. Therefore, the most productive and profitable approach to stubble management may change according to the season.”

Dr Cassandra Schefe will address the one-day GRDC Research Update at Corowa on Thursday 15 February 2018. Other speakers include Roger Lawes from CSIRO on Understanding the basis behind the yield gap and Rohan Brill from NSW Department of Primary Industries on Critical Agronomy management points for optimising canola profitability.

Go to www.grdc.com.au/events/list/2017/02/grdc-grains-research-update-corowa for the full list of speakers and to register.

Rand Soil Pit Day 8 February

Riverine Plains Inc will hold an informal soil pit discussion for farmers at Rand on Thursday 8 February, 2018.

The soil pit session will give local farmers the opportunity to learn more about their local soil type and how this can affect moisture and nutrient movement across the growing season.

The soil pit is located next to the on-farm weather station and soil moisture probe at Rand, which was installed through a project supported by Murray Local Land Services and funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

By looking at the soil pit in conjunction with soil chemistry results, local weather station and soil moisture probe data, farmers can devlop a better understanding of where soil water and nutrients, such as nitrogen, went last season. This in turn can then provide useful information when planning fertiliser programs for the coming season.

The Rand soil pit session will run from 10am–1pm. The soil pit site is located at Roy Hamilton’s property “Bogandillan”, Rand (directions can be downloaded from the 2018 RPI Rand Soil Pit Day Flyer ). Signage and light refreshments will be provided on the day. No RSVP is necessary.

This free event is being held as part of the Linking nutrient movement to soil moisture at weather stations in the Murray Region project.

Information from the Rand weather stations and soil moisture probes, along with the entire Riverine Plains Inc weather station network, is available for free public access via the weather page at riverineplains.org.au.