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.


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.


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.


More Information or Interview:

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