Annual General Meeting

Members and supporters of Riverine Plains Inc are invited to the group’s Annual General Meeting to be held on Monday 10 October 2016 at 4.30pm at the Riverine Plains Inc Office, Shop 4, 97/103 Melbourne Street, Mulwala.

 

Take your social media skills to the next level

Come and look at the different social media tools you can use in agriculture or business in a practical skills session which will cover getting set-up, started off and getting the best from platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Explore social media and mobile technology use in agriculture, with Professor Lisa Given of the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, in partnership with the Graham Centre.  Discuss your perceptions of mobile technology and how it fits into your work, including what apps you use.

Date: Thursday 8 September 2016

Time: 11am – 2pm (lunch provided)

Where: Riverine Plains Inc, Shop 4, 97-103 Melbourne Street Mulwala NSW 2647

Cost:  FREE

RSVP: Monday 5 September to Fiona Hart on 03 5744 1713 or email info@riverineplains.com.au

Riverine Plains international agricultural study tour to South America

Twenty grain growers from north east Victoria and the Southern Riverina are set to visit Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil for a 14 day agricultural study tour leaving on the 28th August.  The study tour has been organised by Riverine Plains Inc and supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) through their Grower and Advisor Development Program.

The South America Agricultural Study Tour has a focus on no-till cropping systems and will allow growers to learn more about farming systems in similar climatic zones.

No-till farming systems offer many benefits, however these systems also present many challenges for farmers, particularly in terms of dealing with large volumes of stubble.  Now that stubble management has become such a critical part of our cropping systems, this tour provides a fantastic opportunity to learn how no-till systems have evolved in different countries.

The tour incorporates a wide range of farm visits, leading research facilities, no-till specialists and agricultural commodity businesses.

The tour will also provide participants with a better understanding of the size and scope of the grains industry in South America, along with several examples of how the value chain is completely controlled by growers.

Forming new ideas and learning new methods from others is a key part of success in farming businesses.  By being exposed to ideas from half a world away, these tour participants will come away with a fresh perspective on no-till farming while also bringing new concepts home to explore on their own farms.

South America is also a key player in the international grain market and the tour provides an opportunity for members to better understand the production issues and the marketing and export frameworks in the region.  It’s also a fantastic opportunity to foster international networks between growers, advisors and researchers.

The tour will be led by Jermony Nolan Travel and Tours. Jeromy has been working in the travel industry since 1986 and has specially planned the tour around the group’s learning objectives.

Riverine Plains Inc is very grateful to the GRDC for supporting the study tour and look forward to sharing the key learnings from the study tour both during the trip and upon their return.

Precision Agriculture: Making ‘Big Data’ pay

A workshop in Mulwala later this month will help grain farmers turn data into profit.The free half-day ‘Making Big Data Pay’ workshop will be hosted by local farming systems group, Riverine Plains Inc, and will feature Andrew Whitlock, of Precision Agriculture. “Advances in GPS and other precision agriculture technologies means that farmers are able to measure and collect an enormous amount of data about their crops and soils” says Dr Cassandra Schefe, Riverine Plains Inc Extension Officer.
“But data without context can be meaningless, so the challenge is to turn stored data into quality information that can be used to make profitable decisions” she said.

“This workshop has been designed to help farmers better understand the process and technology behind precision agriculture and to provide further information for those considering taking the next step” she said.

“Andrew will cover yield and NDVI mapping and will also provide an update on the practical steps growers can take to incorporate variable rate management on their own farms. He will specifically discuss the variable rate application of lime, gypsum and phosphorus as well as opportunities for variable rate nitrogen” she added.

There will also be a discussion on how strategic drainage can be used to minimise the risks of waterlogging.
The “Making Big Data Pay” workshop will be held at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort on Tuesday 16th August from 12pm to 4pm.

This free workshop is supported by Riverine Plains Inc and Murray Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. Places are limited so for more information or to RSVP, please contact Fiona Hart before August 12th at info@riverineplains.com.au or phone 03 5744 1713.

Profitable break crop management guide

A summary of key findings from GRDC-funded project CSP00146, break-crop project, and also incorporating information generated by GRDC project CWF00009) can be downloaded here. 

Stubble Paddock Walks July 2016

CROP WALKS TO FOCUS ON EMERGENCE AND VIGOUR 

Grain farmers looking to improve the profitability and sustainability of their stubble retained grain production systems are invited to the July 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 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.

“With sowing fresh in farmers’ minds, the upcoming paddock walks provide an ideal opportunity to discuss the often complex issues relating to crop establishment and vigour under retained stubble systems” said Cassandra.

The paddock walks will take place on July 19 and 21 at trial sites located near Yarrawonga, Dookie, Coreen and Henty. These on-farm 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 now midway through this project and a picture is starting to emerge in terms of how crops respond to the different stubble treatments. Our July paddock walks are a chance for farmers to see how the crop has emerged and how well it is responding to various inputs” said 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. Michael will also present the cumulative yield results from the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and discuss overall trends.

In-canopy temperature sensors were again installed at the Yarrawonga, Dookie and Coreen sites this year, and results to date will be presented.

“We will also be demonstrating the use of a Greenseeker unit for NDVI measurements, which may be of interest to farmers who are looking to monitor nitrogen requirements in-crop” added Cassandra

The paddock walks are short, informal sessions designed to provide local information on practical stubble management strategies. The dates are:

  • COREEN – TUESDAY 19 JULY 10am – 12noon at Tomlinson Ag’s property, Emu Park Rd
  • HENTY – TUESDAY 19 JULY 2 – 4pm at Peter Campbell’s property, Munyabla-Munyaplah Rd
  • YARRAWONGA – THURSDAY 21 JULY 10am – 12noon at Telewonga Pty Ltd, Telford-Yarrawonga Rd
  • DOOKIE – THURSDAY 21 JULY 1.30pm – 3.30pm at the Ludeman Brothers property, Tungamah Boundary Rd

The walks are being held as part of the project “Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in the Riverine Plains” which is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

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

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