Murchison region discussion group to help farmers improve soil water use

New Murchison region discussion group to help farmers improve soil water use

Riverine Plains is pleased to be coordinating a new project which involves the establishment of a new discussion group for farmers in the Murchison district of Victoria.

The Improving Soil to Optimise Water Use On Farm project is funded by the Australian Government through the Future Drought Fund Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program – Grants, and aims to address soil quality parameters and how these are linked to storing more rainfall for crop production.

Soil quality parameters, such as pH, CEC and soil organic carbon, can affect how much soil moisture is stored, with healthier soils being more likely to be able to store moisture for later use. The first step in improving a soil’s ability to store moisture is understanding the constraints present in the soil, then this can  be managed to improve crop production and profitability.

The project also involves the demonstration of innovative methods that protect and manage the soil resource. To this end, a local trial will be established to demonstrate stubble management as a tool to improve soil moisture retention, with the trial also acting as a focus for the discussion group through local field days and workshops.

For further information, or to register your interest in becoming a Discussion Group member, please contact Riverine Plains Project Officer, Kate Coffey, on (03) 5744 1713 or email

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

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.

Dookie/Murch East Pulse Check meeting – 1 September

A meeting of the Dookie/Murchison East GRDC Pulse Check Discussion Group will be held online via Zoom on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

Helen Burns, NSW DPI, will be a special guest and will speak on acid soils and the limitations for growing pulses. Other topics include nitrogen fixation using acid-tolerant rhizobia as well as results from local nitrogen fixation trials.

For further information, please email Riverine Plains Pulse Check Facilitator, Kate Coffey at

Inaugural John Hanrahan Scholarship Awarded

Riverine Plains Inc, together with the Hanrahan family, are pleased to announce that the Inaugural John Hanrahan Scholarship has been awarded to second year Bachelor of Agriculture student, Mitchell Priestly, who is currently undertaking studies at the University of Melbourne.

The Scholarship presentation took place at the Riverine Plains Inc Celebration of Agriculture Dinner held on Friday 22 March, 2019, at Corowa RSL at which Riverine Plains Inc also marked its 20th year of operation.

The John Hanrahan Scholarship is named in honour of the late John Hanrahan, a successful and experienced farmer from Coreen, who had a passion for agriculture, a thirst for knowledge and real sense of community.

In selecting Mitchell as the inaugural recipient of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, the interview panel saw a passion for agriculture, a commitment to learning as well as community spirit reflected in Mitchell’s achievements to date.  Mitchell has also shown himself to be enterprising, hard-working and driven to support himself and his passions.

Riverine Plains Inc is delighted that the John Hanrahan Scholarship will assist Mitchell further his studies and we look forward to helping him achieve his potential and the bright future that agriculture holds..

As the 2018 recipient of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, Mitchell receives a bursary of $5,000, access to work experience opportunities through Riverine Plains Inc, access to Riverine Plains events and networks and mentoring from a current board member.

Riverine Plains Inc would like to thank the Hanrahan family for their generous donation which enabled the establishment of the Scholarship, as well as all those who have made financial or in-kind donations to ensure the Scholarship Fund continues in perpetuity.

Applications for the 2019 round of the John Hanrahan Scholarship will open in July 2019. Further details will shortly be available from this website

The Riverine Plains Scholarship Fund has been recognised by the Australian Taxation Office to provide Deductible Gift Recipient status.  For information on how to make a donation to the Scholarship Fund please contact the Riverine Plains Inc office on 03 5744 1713 or email


Celebration of Agriculture Dinner

Riverine Plains Inc will celebrate food, farming and fellowship at a dinner celebrating Agriculture and Agribusiness at the Corowa RSL Club on Friday 22 March.

The dinner will be the springboard for our 20th Year Anniversary celebrations and will also involve the presentation of the Inaugural John Hanrahan Scholarship recipient.

This social event will also feature a Fundraising Auction, which aims to support the Scholarship into the future.

For further information, please download the Riverine Plains Inc Celebration of Agriculture Dinner invitation. RSVP’s essential by Tuesday 12 March.

Congratulations to RPI crop competition winner, Tony Chaston

18 October 2018

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Gerogery farmer Tony Chaston wins RPI local crop competition

Riverine Plains Inc is pleased to announce Tony Chaston of Gerogery as the winner of this year’s inaugural Riverine Plains Inc Crop Competition, with his outstanding paddock of RGT Accroc wheat.

Tony was announced as the winner at the Baker Seed Co Annual Field Day on Friday 19 October and won 5 tonnes of new proprietary cereal seed valued at $5,000 provided by crop competition sponsor, Baker Seed Co.

“The competition took place under very challenging conditions during 2018, with many farmers across the southern NSW and north east Victorian judging area heavily affected by drought and frost” said Riverine Plains Inc Chairman, Ian Trevethan.

“Despite the conditions, we received a strong response from local growers, with entries from Berrigan, Boweya, Brocklesby, Daysdale, Gerogery and Howlong” he said.

“All of the crops entered were of a high calibre, which made it very difficult for the judges to determine the winner and only a few points separated the top three crops” added Ian.

Judging was determined across a number of categories, with the effects of the season taken into account.

Tony’s crop was rated very highly by the judges for weed, pest and disease control, as well as for crop purity and nutrition.

“Having only received 302mm of rainfall for the year, and 215mm for the growing season, the crop was estimated to have a yield potential of 5.7 t/ha, which is outstanding given the season we’ve had” said Ian.

The crop was sown at 80kg seed/ha and received nitrogen at sowing and twice during the season (June and August).

At the time of judging, the crop was quite even and still very green, showing only minimal signs of moisture stress while the hill-side location of the paddock also meant the crop avoided frost damage.

“On behalf of Riverine Plains Inc I’d would like to congratulate all entrants on the quality of their crops and thank the judging panel and Riverine Plains Inc Crop Competition sponsor, Baker Seed Co” said Ian.

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

GRDC Spray Application Worshops – Dookie and Rutherglen

30 August 2018

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Riverine Plains Inc are hosting two Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) Spray Application Workshops on 13 and 14 September, 2018.  The half-day workshops will be conducted by Bill Gordon, from Bill Gordon Consulting and are designed to assist farmers get the most from their spray equipment.

Bill is a consultant who has delivered a number of GRDC funded projects related to application technology and drift management to the Australian agricultural industry.

Through a combination of practical demonstration and ‘sit-down’ training, Bill will provide up-to-date information on nozzle selection, droplet behaviour, drift reduction, weather for spraying and inversion risk.  He will also discuss the need for different setups depending on the type of spray job at hand, recent changes to regulation and herbicide resistance.

Two workshops will be held in the Riverine Plains region:

Dookie – Thursday 13 September

1pm – 4pm

The University of Melbourne – Dookie Campus, 940 Dookie-Nalinga Road, Dookie

Rutherglen – Friday 14 September

9am – 12noon, lunch provided

Agriculture Victoria, 124 Chiltern Valley Road, Rutherglen

There is no charge to attend the workshops.  These workshops are funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) as part of the Practical and applied workshops and communications to promote key messages and resources to maximise the effectiveness of spray applications in the southern region project.

Bookings are essential as workshops are strictly limited to 25 attendees.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Fiona Hart at Riverine Plains Inc on (03) 5744 1713 or email