New On-farm Weather Stations at Miepoll & Bungeet

28 November, 2017

Word Count: 393

Farmers in the Riverine Plains region now have free access to two additional weather stations and moisture probes, installed at Bungeet and Miepoll, as part of a project facilitated by local farming systems group, Riverine Plains Inc.

Riverine Plains Inc Research and Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe, explained that access to real-time weather information was important to help farmers manage their spray and fertiliser applications, harvest fire risk and also their response to damaging environmental events such as frost.

“Weather patterns, topography and soil types all vary across a region and while there are official BOM weather stations located at Shepparton, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta and Benalla, these may not reflect conditions at individual locations across the Goulburn Broken catchment” she said.

“Local weather stations, such as those recently installed at Bungeet and Miepoll, can act to fill the void across the region and work to help farmers save time when making decisions” she added.

The on-farm weather stations continuously record air temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and direction: this data is then used to calculate Delta T for spraying, fire safety during grain harvest, as well as frost risk. Soil moisture probes installed at varying depth increments at the sites also provide information to help farmers monitor crop water use and fertiliser application.

The new weather stations at Bungeet and Miepoll complement Riverine Plains Inc’s existing weather stations located at Barooga, Berrigan, Culcairn, Henty, Howlong Lockhart, Pleasant Hills, Rand, Redlands, Dookie, Rutherglen Telford, Yabba and Yarrawonga.

Information from the Goulburn Broken CMA funded Bungeet and Miepoll weather stations, and the entire Riverine Plains Inc weather station network, is available for free public access via the weather page at riverineplains.org.au. Simply select the nearest location then save to your smartphone, tablet or computer.

The Miepoll and Bungeet weather stations were installed through the Improving fertiliser and chemical use through local real time weather and soil information for farmers of the productive plains project. The project was funded by Goulburn Broken CMA through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

For more information please contact Riverine Plains on (03) 5744 1713 or visit riverineplains.org.au.

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 www.riverineplains.org.au

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Cassandra Schefe, Extension Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713 / 0419 238 798)

 

New Weather stations at Bungeet and Miepoll

28 November, 2017

Word Count: 393

NEW ON-FARM WEATHER STATIONS FOR BUNGEET AND MIEPOLL

Farmers in the Riverine Plains region now have free access to two additional weather stations and moisture probes, installed at Bungeet and Miepoll, as part of a project facilitated by local faRming systems group, Riverine Plains Inc.

Riverine Plains Inc Research and Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe, explained that access to real-time weather information was important to help farmers manage their spray and fertiliser applications, harvest fire risk and also their response to damaging environmental events such as frost.

“Weather patterns, topography and soil types all vary across a region and while there are official BOM weather stations located at Shepparton, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta and Benalla, these may not reflect conditions at individual locations across the Goulburn Broken catchment” she said.

“Local weather stations, such as those recently installed at Bungeet and Miepoll, can act to fill the void across the region and work to help farmers save time when making decisions” she added.

The on-farm weather stations continuously record air temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and direction: this data is then used to calculate Delta T for spraying, fire safety during grain harvest, as well as frost risk. Soil moisture probes installed at varying depth increments at the sites also provide information to help farmers monitor crop water use and fertiliser application.

The new weather stations at Bungeet and Miepoll complement Riverine Plains Inc’s existing weather stations located at Barooga, Berrigan, Culcairn, Henty, Howlong Lockhart, Pleasant Hills, Rand, Redlands, Dookie, Rutherglen Telford, Yabba and Yarrawonga.

Information from the Goulburn Broken CMA funded Bungeet and Miepoll weather stations, and the entire Riverine Plains Inc weather station network, is available for free public access via the weather page at riverineplains.org.au. Simply select the nearest location then save to your smartphone, tablet or computer.

The Miepoll and Bungeet weather stations were installed through the Improving fertiliser and chemical use through local real time weather and soil information for farmers of the productive plains project. The project was funded by Goulburn Broken CMA through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

For more information please contact Riverine Plains on (03) 5744 1713 or visit riverineplains.org.au.

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 www.riverineplains.org.au

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Cassandra Schefe, Extension Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713 / 0419 238 798)

The ‘Evan Moll’ Gerogery Field Day

17 October 2017

Word Count: 337

The Gerogery National Variety Trial (NVT) and Agronomy Field Day has been a fixture on the southern NSW cropping events calendar for many years. Riverine Plains Inc is pleased to continue the tradition by hosting this year’s ‘Evan Moll Gerogery Field Day’, on Thursday 2nd November, 2017.

“The day is an important event for growers in the region, with one of the key features being the inspection of the cereal and canola varieties included in the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) National Variety Trials (NVT)” said Riverine Plains Inc Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe.

“The NVT trials provide an excellent opportunity to assess new varieties prior to their commercial release. Don McCaffery (NSW DPI) will discuss the characteristics of the different canola varieties in the NVT trials, while Kurt Lindbeck (NSW DPI) will discuss canola disease control” she said.

“The cereal discussions will be led by Peter Matthews and Felicity Harris (NSW DPI), with Peter leading growers through the NVT trials, while Felicity will be speaking on flowering dates in different varieties” she said.

Other speakers include David Leah (Seed Force) who will speak on pasture varieties and John Piltz (NSW DPI), who will address pasture digestibility issues. Adrian Clancy (AC Ag Commodities) will also deliver a lunchtime presentation on grain marketing.

The field day also provides an opportunity to discuss the issues that are developing in the lead-up to harvest.

The field day will commence at 11am on Thursday, 2nd November at “Elderslie”, Fielder-Moll Road Gerogery. A free BBQ lunch will be provided by Seed Force.

This field day is supported by Murray Local Land Services (LLS) through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

For more information please contact Cassie at cassandra@riverineplains.org.au , (03) 5744 1713 / 0419 238 798 or download Gerogery Field Day Flyer 2017.

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 www.riverineplains.org.au

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Cassandra Schefe, Extension Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713)

RPI AGM: Office Bearers Unchanged, updated committee list

Riverine Plains 2017 Annual General Meeting

 The Riverine Plains Inc Annual General Meeting was held at the group’s Mulwala office on Monday 9 October 2017.

The majority of committee members were re-elected with the exception of retiring committee members Clare Robinson and Jo Slattery.  Daniel Moll was newly elected to the Committee.

The following office bearers were elected.

Chair: Ian Trevethan, Howlong

Deputy Chair: Adrian Clancy, Splitters Creek

Treasurer: Barry Membrey, Wodonga

Research Subcommittee Chair:  Peter Campbell, Henty

Extensions Subcommittee Chair: Adrian Clancy, Splitters Creek

Public Officer: John Bruce

 

Committee:

Lisa Castleman, Wagga Wagga

Paul Gontier, Shepparton

Adam Inchbold, Yarrawonga

Fiona Marshall, Mulwala

Daniel Moll, Gerogery

Eric Nankivell, Albury

Andrew Russell, Browns Plains

Curt Severin, Brocklesby

Bradley Stillard, Barooga

 

Executive Support will continue to be provided by Dale Grey, Agriculture Victoria.

 

 

New Discussion Group to focus on Lentil and Chickpea Production

5 October, 2017

Word Count: 417

New Discussion Group to focus on Lentil and Chickpea Production

Local farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc will host it‘s first Pulse Check Discussion Group meeting, focusing on lentil and chickpea production, at Dookie from 9:30 am on Thursday 19 October.

Michelle Pardy, Riverine Plains Inc‘s Pulse Check Facilitator says the discussion group brings together local growers, advisors and experts, with the aim of assisting growers manage the practical aspects of lentil and chickpea production and marketing.

“To date, lentils and chickpeas have been grown across a fairly limited area of southern NSW and north-east Victoria, though their potential has led to significant interest from grain growers wanting to be involved in high value pulse crop production” noted Michelle.

“As part of GRDC’s Southern Pulse Extension Project, Riverine Plains Inc has established a Pulse Check Discussion Group to address this interest.  Participants in the group can learn about whether these crops are suitable for their systems, help manage their production and marketing issues and increase pulse productivity and profitability.  The group will be especially beneficial to growers with limited lentil and chickpea production experience”.

The first Pulse Check paddock walk and discussion is being timed to address pre-harvest and harvesting issues. Topics include crop topping, header set-up, managing header fire risks, as well as harvest logistics, retaining seed, storage, marketing and paddock selection for next year.

“While this first meeting is primarily focused on harvest issues, we will be running 3-4 meetings per year across north-east Victoria and southern NSW for the next few years as part of the ongoing larger project, covering a wide variety of topics such as sowing, varieties, paddock selection and disease management” said Michelle.

The Pre-Harvest Pulse Check Paddock Walk and discussion will be held at the Ludeman Brothers property, 334 Ludeman Road, Waggarandall (Dookie) from 9:30am – 12:00 pm on Thursday 19 October, 2017.

To register for Riverine Plains Inc’s Pulse Check Discussion Group for North east Victoria/Southern NSW, please contact Michelle Pardy, Riverine Plains Inc Pulse Check Group Facilitator,  on 03 5744 1713 or email michelle@riverineplains.org.au.

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. 

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 www.riverineplains.org.au.

 ….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Michelle Pardy, Riverine Plains Inc Pulse Check Facilitator on 03 5744 1713 or 0428 734 795.

Stubble Project Paddock Walks – 10 & 11 October at Coreen, Henty, Yarrawonga & Dookie

October 4, 2017

Word Count: 402

SPRING STUBBLE WALKS TO DISCUSS FROST, MOISTURE USE

Riverine Plains Inc is holding its spring series of “Stubble Project” paddock walks on the 10 and 11 October, 2017. The walks are part of the GRDC investment Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains Region and will take place at on-farm trial sites at Coreen, Henty, Yarrawonga and Dookie.

“Stubble management is a major challenge for grain farmers in this region and the project trials compare the performance of stubble management techniques including mulching, incorporation, burning and standing stubble” said Riverine Plains Inc Research and Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe.

“This is the final year of large scale on-farm trials for this project, and next week’s spring paddock walks provide an opportunity for growers to visit these trial sites and see how crops sown under the different stubble management techniques are responding to the current seasonal conditions” said Cassandra.

“The lack of rainfall over the past month or so, combined with frost damage across the region, means that yield potential is highly variable, so these paddock walks also present an opportunity for farmers and advisors to come together to discuss frost risk and moisture availability under the different techniques, as well as nitrogen response this season” she said.

The focus farms are spread throughout the Riverine Plains, allowing farmers and advisors to attend the site closest, and most relevant to them.

The dates for the on-farm discussion groups are:

  • Coreen: Tuesday 10 October, 10am – 12noon at Tomlinson Ag’s property, Emu Park Rd (gate is on the western side of the channel, between Minns and Straherne Roads), Coreen.
  • Henty: Tuesday 10 October, 2pm – 4pm at Peter Campbell’s property. Meet at the sheds, 452 Henty-Pleasant Hills Road, Henty (“Avondale” on the mailbox).
  • Yarrawonga: Wednesday 11 October, 10am – 12noon at Telewonga Ptd Ltd, 292 Reillys Road, Yarrawonga.
  • Dookie: Wednesday 11 October, 1:30pm – 3.30pm at the Ludeman Brothers property, Dookie-Devenish Road (gate is between Dookie-Nalinga Road and Proctors Road), Dookie.

Speakers will include Michael Straight from FAR Australia and Cassandra Schefe from Riverine Plains Inc.

These events are free and all are welcome. For more information please contact Cassandra Schefe at cassandra@riverineplains.org.au, (03) 5744 1713 or visit riverineplains.org.au

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 www.riverineplains.org.au

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Cassandra Schefe, Research and Extension Officer, Riverine Plains Inc, phone (03) 5744 1713 or 0419 238 798

Spring Field Day to highlight local Research, Cereal Agronomy

15 September, 2017, Word Count: 404

Spring Field Day to highlight local Research, Cereal Agronomy

Grain growers are invited to the Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia joint Spring Field Day, to be held at the Riverine Research Centre, near Yarrawonga, on Thursday 28 September, 2017.

FAR Australia Managing Director, Nick Poole, said that while the day had a cereal agronomy focus, it was also about providing local growers and advisors with an opportunity to view the range of small plot research trials hosted at the site.

“Our research at the Riverine Research Centre includes agronomy for early-sown dual-purpose wheats, fungicide and nitrogen agronomy in barley, as well as nitrogen research in wheat, so the day’s focus will be on viewing these and other trials, as well as on hearing special presentations by guest speakers” said Nick.

“One of the feature presentations will be made by Dr Fran Lopez, from the Centre for Crop and Disease Management, who will discuss the current resistance status of several important fungal diseases, as well as practical management tools to aid control in the field” he said.

“The potential for crop damage as a result of spring frost also weighs heavily on the minds of growers at this time of year, and given the Riverine Research Centre is host to several frost trials, we will be discussing the links between frost risk and sowing date, nitrogen timing and canopy structure” Nick added.

Growers and advisors will also have the opportunity to view the dual purpose cereal research plots, sown as part of a La Trobe University project examining sowing dates, plant populations, nitrogen timing and grazing.

Lee Menhenett, from Incitec Pivot will speak about fertiliser practice in the region over the past 5 years while Dr Cassandra Schefe will present results from Riverine Plains Inc’s 2016 research into nitrogen application and NDVI technology.

The Spring Field Day will run from 9:30am – 1:30 pm on 28 September at the Riverine Research Centre, Forges Road (south of the Katamatite-Yarrawonga Road), Burramine, Victoria. Morning tea and a BBQ lunch will be provided

The Riverine Research Centre is a partnership between Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia.

For more information please contact Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.com.au, on (03) 5744 1713, visit www.riverineplains.org.au or download the RPI & FAR Spring Field Day Flyer 2017.

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 www.riverineplains.org.au.

Riverine Plains Inc In-Season Update

Media Release

Local farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc will host its annual In-Season Update at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort on Thursday 10 August, 2017.

‘The lead-up into spring is a critical time for crop management and is a peak period of decision making for grain growers trying to juggle seasonal conditions, pests and nutrition” says Riverine Plains Inc Chairman, Ian Trevethan.

“Making decisions is much easier when you have the right information, and our In-season Update program is designed to provide growers with the sorts of technical information that can help make for better decisions this spring” said Ian.

“Nick Poole, from FAR Australia, is well known to the region’s grain growers and will report on the results of current research into nitrogen.  His presentation will also provide timely direction about how to best set up grain crops for the rest of the season” said Ian.

“We are also excited to be hosting Simon Hill, Director of CMH Agri Pty Ltd. Simon has been farming 100 km east of Katanning, Western Australia, for the past 30 years and will provide a farmer’s perspective on inter-row sowing, controlled traffic farming and chaff decking” he added.

Other speakers will include Dale Grey, DEDJTR Victoria’s Seasonal Variability Agronomist from Bendigo, who will update farmers on the anticipated seasonal conditions for spring and Richard Hall, Market Check who will provide a Grain Market Update.

Riverine Plains Inc conducts a significant local research program and Dr Cassandra Schefe and Michael Straight (FAR Australia), will jointly provide an update of current work.

The Update will be held at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort in Golf Club Road Mulwala on Thursday 10 August from 9.00am to 2.30pm. Registrations start at 8.30am.

After lunch, a special livestock workshop will take place.  The workshop will be held from 1.45pm – 2.30pm at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort.  Speakers and topics include:

  • EID Tags: Pros and Cons – Anthony Shephard, Sheep Matters.
  • Analgesics for sheep – Scott Ison, District Veterinarian, Murray LLS.
  • Over the border tags and new rules – Neal Whitsed, Senior Biosecurity Officer, Murray LLS.

For catering purposes, pre-registrations for the In Season Update must be received by 7 August. Cost is $25 for Riverine Plains Inc members and $35 for non-members (payable on the day) and includes catering. To register, contact Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.org.au or phone 03 5744 1713 or visit riverineplains.org.au.

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Fiona Hart, Executive Officer, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713)

Crop Walks to Focus on Emergence and Vigour

Grain farmers looking to improve the profitability and sustainability of their stubble retained systems are invited to the August series of paddock walks being run by local farming systems group, Riverine Plains Inc.

“In our region, farmers are continually challenged by how best to deal with the volumes of stubble produced when growing cereal crops” says Riverine Plains Research and Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe.

“While retaining stubble has many benefits, heavy stubble loads can cause issues with equipment, and the emergence and vigour of the following years’ crop can be compromised if stubble isn’t managed effectively” she said.

“The dry start to the 2017 season means that variable surface moisture has most likely influenced crop establishment, and the upcoming paddock walks provide an ideal opportunity to discuss establishment, as well as crop vigour, under retained stubble systems” said Cassandra.

The paddock walks will take place on August 1 and 2 at on-farm trial sites located near Yarrawonga, Dookie, Coreen and Henty. These trial sites have been established by Riverine Plains Inc as part of a 5 year GRDC project comparing the effect of a number of stubble management strategies on crop growth and development.

“We are in our final season of this project and a picture is starting to emerge in terms of how crops respond to the different stubble treatments. Our August paddock walks provide a chance for farmers to see how plants in the various stubble treatments have emerged and how well they are responding to various inputs. The walks also provide an opportunity to discuss previous year’s results” added Cassandra.

Dr Schefe will be facilitating the walks with Michael Straight from FAR Australia who will discuss the early season data from the trial plots, and discuss overall trends in early crop development from across the 2014 – 2017 seasons.

Results from the in-canopy temperature sensors installed at the Yarrawonga, Dookie and Coreen sites in 2017, will also be presented.

There will also be a visit to a related demonstration site at Rennie which is looking at practical and economic ways of lowering stubble heights.

The dates for the upcoming on-farm discussion groups are:

  • COREEN – TUESDAY AUGUST 1 9:30am – 12noon. Commencing at Tomlinson Ag’s property, Emu Park Rd, Coreen (gate is on the western side of the channel, between Minns and Straherne roads), before moving on to Adam Davis’ property at Rennie to view the Fast-Track Ag Demonstration Site.
  • HENTY – TUESDAY AUGUST 1 00pm – 4.00pm at Peter Campbell’s property. Meet at the sheds, 452 Henty-Pleasant Hills Road, Henty (“Avondale” on the mailbox).
  • YARRAWONGA – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 2 00am – 12noon at Telewonga Pty Ltd, 292 Reillys Rd, Yarrawonga.
  • DOOKIE – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 2 30pm – 3.30pm at the Ludeman Brothers property, Dookie-Devenish Road (gate is between Dookie-Nalinga Road and Proctors Road), Dookie.

The walks are being held as part of the project Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains, funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). The Rennie demonstration site has been established though The Sustainable Agriculture Victoria: Fast-Tracking Innovation initiative, which has been made possible with the support of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) together with the William Buckland Foundation.

The events are free and all are welcome. For more information please contact Cassie at cassandra@riverineplains.org.au , (03) 5744 1713 / 0419 238 798 or visit the website at riverineplains.org.au.

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Cassandra Schefe, Extension Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713)

 

 

 

Improving the Efficiency of Nitrogen Application

Media Release: 22nd May, 2017, Word Count: 409

Nitrogen fertiliser is an expensive input and improving the efficiency of in-crop applications can save money and boost production. To help farmers maximise the response to applied nitrogen, local farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc is holding a drop-in Nitrogen Efficiency Field Day at Henty on Tuesday 6 June.

“When it comes to improving the efficiency of nitrogen fertiliser uptake in broadacre crops, one of the simplest things we can do is to ensure our spreading equipment is working as it is designed to” explains Riverine Plains Inc Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe.

“Many fertiliser spreaders distribute fertiliser unevenly, which can then lead to unevenness in crop growth, development and maturity.  Calibrating equipment helps achieve a more even fertiliser throw, which can then improve yield potential” said Cassandra.

To demonstrate calibration techniques, Russell Nichol, a Fertcare registered calibration specialist, will calibrate 4 machines including a Donder CGSA series, an Amazone Profis 3600L, Amazone ZA-M 1501 3-point linkage and a Landaco TS10000 trailing spreader.

As he works, Russell will discuss his techniques so that farmers can use them on their own equipment.

Another way to improve efficiency is by timing fertiliser applications to avoid nitrogen losses.

“A proportion of applied nitrogen fertiliser can be lost to the atmosphere as nitrous oxide gas, particularly when conditions are extremely wet. These losses reduce the efficiency with which applied nitrogen can be used by the plant” says Michael Straight from FAR Australia.

“We have just finished a project looking at nitrous oxide emissions in cereal crops, and now have a better understanding of how nitrogen applications can be timed to improve plant nitrogen uptake efficiency, and will be presenting these findings on the day” said Michael.

The day will begin at 9:30am at Peter Campbell’s property “Avondale”, 452 Henty-Pleasant Hills Rd, Henty (Google Maps Reference 35°28’48.6″S 146°52’22.3″E). All are welcome and there is no cost to attend. Morning tea and lunch will be provided – please RSVP to assist with catering.

The day is being jointly held as part of the GRDC project Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubbles in the Riverine Plains region, as well as by the Management strategies for improved productivity and reduced nitrous oxides emissions project, supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Action on the Ground program.

For further information please visit riverineplains.org.au or contact Riverine Plains Inc on 03 5744 1713 or info@riverineplains.org.au.

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Dr Cassandra Schefe, Extension Officer, Riverine Plains 03 5744 1713