Drone technology leads Australian growers into the future

Drone technology in farming is evolving at a rapid rate and farmers are now able to use this technology in a number of different ways. To help growers better understand the potential applications of drones in their own operations, local farming groups Southern Growers & Riverine Plains Inc are hosting a Drone Field Day at Berrigan on the 14th July.
“Technology is helping to develop the industry on multiple fronts and drones have potential to be a really useful tool for farmers” said Andrew Harding, Chair of Southern Growers.
“Being able to have important information at hand quickly is essential in farming and any technology that can improve timeliness can also improve the profitability and productivity of farming businesses” he said.
The Drone Day will be hosted by Ben Watts of BRALCA who will discuss the applications of drones for crop monitoring as well as for stock, water and pest monitoring. Ben will also discuss GPS pre-set flight routes, drone types, camera & software as well as laws for rural use. There will also be a drone demonstration (weather permitting).
The day is designed to show local growers the latest in drone technology and to demonstrate how drones can become a useful agricultural tool.
The Drone Day is a free event which is being held at the Berrigan Football Club on Thursday 14th July from 9am-12:30pm. It will be followed by a free BBQ lunch.
The Drone Day has been made possible with the support of Australian National Landcare and Murray Local Land Services.
For enquiries please contact Stephanie Chappell on 0417 444 750 or to RSVP please email southerngrowersinc@gmail.com

Sowing the seeds to farm business success

Successful grain growers know there is more to profitable production than sowing, protecting and harvesting a crop – having a sound farm business plan in place is just as important.

It is a fact well recognised by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) which will host a Farm Business Update in Yarrawonga/Mulwala on June 24.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel member Rob Sonogan says the Yarrawonga/Mulwala Farm Business Update, to be held in partnership with Riverine Plains Inc, will be of enormous value to growers and advisers from throughout the Riverina region.

Mr Sonogan says the Farm Business Updates – an initiative of the GRDC Southern Regional Panel – are playing an important role in enhancing understanding and appreciation of the business side of farming.

“Successful management of the farm business can have a fundamental impact on the bottom line. Having a good handle on the business is just as important as producing profitable crops,” Mr Sonogan says.

The Update program will begin with Tasmanian farmer Lauchie Cole providing his personal insights on employing and retaining quality staff.

Duncan Ashby from RB Ashby & Co will discuss the merits or otherwise of investing in agricultural land, while the principles of selling grain will be the theme of a presentation by Nathan Cattle from Profarmer Australia.

Communications expert Andrew Bayly will explore the communication tools available to create a more productive workplace, and ORM’s David Smith will delve into the topic of multi-peril crop insurance as a risk management tool.
To be held at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, the Farm Business Update will begin at 9am and conclude at 1pm, with morning tea and lunch provided.

For further details, including how to register, click here.

Rutherglen Spreader Calibration Day 2nd June

Fertiliser is an expensive input and improving the efficiency of in-crop applications can save money and boost production. To help farmers get the most out of their fertiliser spreaders, local farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc is holding a “drop in” fertiliser spreader calibration day at Rutherglen on Thursday 2 June.

The day is being run as part of the GRDC project “Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubbles in the Riverine Plains region”, which has a component looking at improving the nitrogen use efficiency of crops sown in stubble retained systems.

“Our soils generally don’t have enough nitrogen to meet the needs of growing crops, so to maximise crop growth and yield, farmers apply fertiliser to make up the shortfall” explained Riverine Plains Inc Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe .

“However, with applied fertilisers, only a portion ends up actually being used by the plant. While there are many ways that we can incrementally improve fertiliser uptake, one of the simplest things we can do is to ensure our spreading equipment is working as it is designed to” she said.

“Many machines distribute fertiliser unevenly, which can then lead to unevenness in crop growth, development and maturity. Calibrating equipment helps achieve a more even distribution of fertiliser throw, and is useful for determining the actual throw width itself. This simple improvement in distribution can then have very positive effect on yield potential” said Cassandra.

The calibration day will follow an informal format where growers can drop in over the course of the day to watch Russell Nichol, a Fertcare registered calibration specialist, calibrate a 24m Landaco TS10000 and a 36m Kuhn 50.1WT Axis and a 36m Amazone ZA-M 3000 Profis.

“The calibration process involves the use of catch trays to collect fertiliser as the spreader passes over them. The distribution of fertiliser is then measured and graphed, and this information is used to calibrate the spreader”.

“As he works on each machine, Russell will be imparting his tips and tricks, which will be extremely valuable to farmers when they are working on their own equipment” concluded Cassandra.

The day will begin at 9 am at the “Shearing Shed” at the Agriculture Victoria – Rutherglen Centre. Light refreshments will be provided. Access will be via Research Station Lane, Rutherglen.

All are welcome and there is no cost to attend. For further information, contact Cassandra Schefe, Extension Officer, Riverine Plains Inc (03) 5744 1713 / 0419 238 798.

nbn workshops

GrainGrowers, Riverine Plains and the Lockhart Ag Bureau are working with the National BroadBand Network (nbn) to facilitate a series of regional meetings ahead of the product launch of the NBN’s Sky Muster satellite.

Participants will be able to ask questions of nbn directly, find out how to connect and or migrate and talk about what is possible once nbn is integrated into your property.

The meetings are an opportunity for regional communities to find out more about the capabilities of the satellite network and also the regional Fixed Wireless Service

Local workshops are being held on Thursday 26 May at:
Mulwala: (8.30am–11.00am) at ClubMulwala, 271 Melbourne Street Mulwala.
Lockhart: (2pm—4.30pm) at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, 83 Green Street, Lockhart.

To register to attend visit: www.graingrowers.com.au

For more information contact Andrew Christian, Grain Growers Ltd on 0416 068 680 or email: andrew.christian@graingrowers.com.au

Supplementary sheep feeding guide – Autumn 2016

Matthew Lieschke, Senior Land Services Officer (Livestock) with the South East region of Local Land Services at Goulburn, has recently put together a Feeding Guide for sheep of various livestock classes.

The feeding guide is designed to be useful while farmers ait for the break and have livestock lambing or approaching lambing.

The guide has been put together using the Grazfeed program and is available by clicking here.

For further information about the guide please contact Matthew Lieschke on 0428 271 127 or email matthew.lieschke@lls.nsw.gov.au

Seeder Day 22 March

Riverine Plains Inc invites you to a Seeder Day, 22 March 2016.

Talk to farmers and see their machines in action through stubble. Machinery dealers will also be on hand.

9am Barooga

Located on the Barooga-Mulwala Rd, next to the IK Caldwell Trial Site, approx. 20km from Barooga (please park in the paddock).

– 7.5m Horwood Bagshaw with PSS tynes

– 8m Gason scaritil with in-frame press wheels

– 9m Morris C2 contour drill

– 12m Seedhawk

– 12m DBS with CTC Coulters

– 12m Equalizer with hydraulic coulters


1.30pm Dookie

Meet at Mark Harmer’s paddock, Irishs Rd, Boxwood (adjacent, South east, of 2015 Dookie Stubble Trial Site).

Phil Kerr will be at Dookie to discuss the finer points of disc vs tyne.

– Boss Single Disc SX25 Row unit on a 9m Paraflex frame

– Boss Parallelogram Tyne TX65C Row Unit on a 12m B frame


All are welcome to attend, no RSVP. BYO lunch.

For more information contact Riverine Plains Inc on 03 5744 1713 or info@riverineplains.com.au

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting – the harvest that was and the season that will be

Riverine Plains Inc will again host the annual Buraja Meeting at the Buraja Recreational Ground Hall on Thursday 4 February 2016.

Held in memory of the late John Sykes, a popular border agronomist who first instigated the “Buraja Meeting” in 1983, the informal agronomic update will consist of a post-harvest debrief, planning for the upcoming season and marketing.

Yarrawonga farmer and Riverine Plains committee member Adam Inchbold said the Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting was different to the usual conference model. “It is interactive and a general forum for all farmers, it is a think tank that farmers can contribute to”.

Mark Harris from Rural Management Strategies will provide a post-harvest debrief, and highlight some key points to consider in the year ahead.

Variety choices and agronomic management of all key crops will be discussed. Wheat will be covered by Nick Poole from FAR Australia, Lisa Castleman from Riverina Local Land Services will discuss barley variety and management, canola options will be presented by Don McCaffery from NSW DPI and Trevor Bray from Unigrain will discuss pulse options relevant to the region. Grain marketing will also be covered by Tim Glass from Lachstock Consulting.

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting will run from 9am to noon and all are welcome. A BBQ lunch will be provided and no RSVP is required.

For further information contact Riverine Plains on (03) 5744 1713 or email info@riverineplains.com.au.