Rand Pulse Check Meeting, 10 March

Riverine Plains will host a meeting of the Rand GRDC Pulse Check Discussion Group at the Rand Sports Ground on Wednesday 10 March, 2021, from 9.00 -11.30.

A pdf of the program is available to download here.

RSVP’s are essential. For further information, please email Kate Coffey at kate@riverineplains.org.au or phone 03 5744 1713.

Boosting On-farm Nitrogen Fixation in Pulses: Pre-sowing workshop – 9 March, Murchison

A pre-sowing workshop on Boosting On-farm Nitrogen Fixation in Pulses will be held at Murchison on Tuesday 9 March, 2021, from 9:00am – 12:30pm at the Murchison East Hotel.

The day will include an overview of the project and links with other projects by Belinda Cay (AgCommunicators), and a research update with Dr Liz Farquharson and Ross Ballard (SARDI) as well as sessions on nodulation and agronomy.

For further information and the full program, please download the RPI Boosting N Fixation Flyer 9 March 2021.

To RSVP, please contact Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains via email at kate@riverineplains.org.au or phone (03) 5744 1713.

Hyper Yielding Crops Meeting – Brocklesby & Rutherglen 23 February

Riverine Plains will host meetings at Brocklesby and Rutherglen on Tuesday 23 February, 2021, to discuss the results from the Hyper Yielding Crops On-farm Focus Trials, as well as the results from the Hyper Yielding Crops technology centre at Wallendbeen.

To view the file as a pdf, please download the HYC February Meeting flyer.

RSVP’s are essential; to RSVP please email Kate Coffey, HYC Regional Project Officer at kate@riverineplains.org.au or phone 03 5744 1713

Irrigation Discussion Group Meeting – 15 February (online)

An online meeting of the Riverine Plains Irrigation Discussion Group will be held via Zoom from 8:30am-10am on Monday 15 February, 2021.

The program is available below, with the pdf version available for download here.

To register, goto: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYscOqtpzIpHNzO6VQrYNNIiSC3dxPCGEYQ

For further information, please contact Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains Irrigation Discussion Group Facilitator by email at kate@riverineplains.org.au or phone (03) 5744 1713.

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting – 4 January

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting will be held from 8:30am-12:50pm on Thursday 4 February, 2021, at the Buraja Recreational Ground Hall.

Due to COVID regulations, capacity is limited and RSVP’s are essential. To RSVP, please email Fiona at info@riverineplains.org.au with your name & mobile phone number (places will be allocated on a first-in basis).

The pdf version of the 2021 RPI Buraja flyer can be downloaded here.

Optimising Irrigated Grains: Maize trials field walk, 29 January

A field walk will be held on 29 January, 2021 (9:30 – 11:30am) at the GRDC Optimising Irrigated Grains project site at  Teagues Road, Peechelba East, Victoria.

The field walk will provide an opportunity for local growers, advisers and researchers to take a walk through the research trials on site and discuss the project as a whole. The tour will be led by Nick Poole and Ben Morris from FAR Australia, with Dan and Neil Coulthard the site hosts.

Due to COVID restrictions, RSVP’s are essential. To register your attendance, please contact Rachel Hamilton, event coordinator, on 0428 843456 or email rachel.hamilton@faraustralia.com.au

A pdf version of the flyer is also available here.

This research project is led by Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia in collaboration with the Irrigated Cropping Council and is part of a wider set of investments being made by the GRDC in irrigated cropping systems.

New SMS Harvest Fire Index Alert for members aims to reduce harvesting fires


In a first for the region’s grain growers, farming systems group Riverine Plains has launched a new text messaging service for members, alerting them to when conditions become dangerous for harvesting.

Riverine Plains Chair and Howlong farmer, Ian Trevethan, said the text service has been designed to update farmers on local weather conditions in real time, with an SMS alert sent to farmers when weather conditions become dangerous for harvesting.

“As farmers, we can get so focussed in the day-to-day running of harvest that we can easily become disconnected to the changing weather outside our air-conditioned cabins – getting a text message alert to changing weather conditions in real-time may help reduce the risk of a harvester-fire starting in dangerous conditions” he said.

The alert system was developed by Riverine Plains, in conjunction with IK Caldwell, and is based on the Grass Fire Index (GFI) system used by fire authorities and utilises the Riverine Plains Inc network of weather stations located across south eastern NSW and north east Victoria.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Corteva AgriScience, Riverine Plains members are able to access the new SMS service for free in time for the 2020 harvest.

Dan Dixon, Corteva Agriscience’s Marketing Director for Australia and New Zealand, said that Corteva Agriscience was proud to support the alert service, which would help minimise the risk of a fire starting through on-farm activities.

“Many of our farmer customers are active members of their volunteer local fire brigades and we are pleased to be involved in this project which will help protect the lives and properties of growers, their families and the wider community this summer” said Dan.

Riverine Plains weather stations linked to the new SMS Harvest Fire Index Alert include; Barooga, Berrigan, Culcairn, Henty, Howlong, Lockhart, Pleasant Hills and Rand in NSW, as well as Bungeet, Miepoll, Rutherglen, Telford and Yabba South in Victoria. The Riverine Plains network of weather stations and soil moisture probes can be accessed at www.riverineplains.org.au.

“Harvesting conditions can deteriorate quite quickly and the text service is designed to help farmers be more aware of the conditions which would quickly see a fire get out of control, should one start, even with protective measures in place” said Ian.

“That said, pulling up harvest is always the right course of action if you feel it is potentially dangerous to keep harvesting, with or without, an alert” he added.

For further information, please contact the Riverine Plains Office on 03 5744 1713.

Catherine Marriott appointed as inaugural CEO of Riverine Plains

Catherine Marriott has been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Riverine Plains.

Riverine Plains Chair, Ian Trevethan, said that in the 21 years since Riverine Plains was first formed, the organisation had become a leader in farmer-driven research and extension and that the decision to appoint a CEO was the next logical step in the group’s growth.

“We are very pleased to appoint Catherine to this new role as she brings a wealth of experience, leadership and engagement skills that will provide a dynamic fresh perspective to the organisation” he said.

“Importantly, Catherine’s values align with the culture of Riverine Plains and her enthusiasm and passion for agriculture is contagious. We are very much looking forward to her leading the organisation, and our existing team, into the future and delivering practical, innovative solutions to help farmers build profitable businesses” he added.

Over the last 15 years, Catherine has worked in management, strategic and leadership roles in the agricultural, research and regional development sectors, both in Australia and overseas. She is also UNE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and was the 2012 WA Rural Women of the Year.

Catherine also brings extensive networks and experience in building and maintaining relationships across the public and private sectors. Her appointment will help grow the organisation and bolster the group’s ability to attract practical and relevant research for farmers in the Riverine Plains region.

On accepting the role, Catherine said that there has never been a brighter time to be in agriculture.

“To have an opportunity to work with a member based, applied research organisation across two states is something I’m going to grab with both hands” she said.

“I’m also thrilled to be continuing the great work that Riverine Plains has done in bringing relevant research to the region and I look forward to developing the long-standing partnerships between Riverine Plains and its members and sponsors, as well as industry bodies and research organisations to ensure the region continues to lead in grains and mixed farming research and innovation” she added.

Catherine will commence as Riverine Plains CEO on 30 November, 2020 and can be contacted at the Riverine Plains office on 03 5744 1713.