1 September, 2020
Word Count: 419
Cover Cropping/Intercropping field day goes virtual
Riverine Plains is hosting a virtual field day for grain growers looking to learn more about increasing crop diversity in their farming systems on Tuesday 8 September, 2020.
Riverine Plains Project Officer, Jane McInnes, explained that increasing the diversity of crop rotations can have positive benefits on soil health compared to monocultures, or where break crops are used minimally.
“In this region, we tend to rely fairly heavily on the canola – cereal rotation, with legumes often used sparingly, or not at all” said Jane.
“Summer cover cropping, green or brown manuring, intercropping and companion cropping can all provide opportunities to increase species diversity by introducing legumes or other crop species at different points in the rotation” she said.
To look at this in more detail, a long-term trial site has been established by Riverine Plains Inc at Burramine in Victoria to examine how more diverse rotations can impact soil function and winter crop yields, as well as profitability. The trial is supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) and led by Southern Cross University, with support from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s ‘From the Ground Up’ program, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
An in-person field day was originally planned to show growers and advisors the work being done at the site, but COVID has meant that this has been moved online, with the virtual field day to be held via Zoom on Tuesday 8 September, 2020 (9:00-9:30am).
The virtual field day aims to introduce growers to the benefits of increasing diversity in their systems and will also feature a virtual tour of the site. Speakers include Nathan Lawless (trial host), Terry Rose (Southern Cross University) Dr Cassandra Schefe (AgriSci) and Jane McInnes (Riverine Plains). Brendan Christy (Agriculture Victoria) will also speak on the GRDC and Agriculture Victoria Intercropping to exploit rainfall for profit trial also sown at the site.
“With good rainfall to date, the trial site is currently looking fantastic and there’s lots to see, so we’d love for growers to grab a coffee and join us for this session” concluded Jane.
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
More Information or Interview:
Jane McInnes, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713)