New irrigated research discussion group puts farmers in the driver’s seat

19 August 2019

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In a unique opportunity for local farmers, Riverine Plains Inc is facilitating a new irrigated research discussion group, with the first Riverine Plains Irrigated Discussion Group meeting to be held on Friday 30 August, 2019 at Mulwala.

The Riverine Plains Irrigation Discussion Group is being formed as part of a project led by the Irrigated Cropping Council which aims to link new and innovative research investments by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) with local farmer-driven groups.

“GRDC have invested in a suite of irrigation research projects across the southern irrigation zones, including projects looking to develop and validate soil amelioration and agronomic practices for irrigated grain crops as well as maximising the dollar return per megalitre of water” explained Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains Inc Irrigation Discussion Group facilitator.

“To tie these research projects more closely with farmer needs, new farmer-driven irrigation discussion groups have been established right across the southern region to enable farmers to be more actively involved in the irrigated grains research process” said Kate.

“In establishing the Riverine Plains Irrigation Discussion Group, we are aiming to help farmers learn from one-another, build new peer and industry networks, gain access to the latest research data and provide the opportunity to shape project trial work to ensure it is relevant and meeting local needs” added Kate.

The discussion group will also provide an opportunity for farmers to experiment with new techniques, research methods or develop an idea through local focus paddock trials on a local property.

The irrigation discussion group will meet four times each year to discuss agronomy and soil trials in the region and the implications of the research results at a local level. This feedback will ensure research delivered is relevant to farmers and farming businesses.

The inaugural Riverine Plains Irrigation Discussion Group meeting will be held as a breakfast meeting on Friday 30 August, at the Riverine Plains Inc office, 4/97-103 Melbourne St, Mulwala from 7.30am to 10:30am. Speakers will include Matthew Harrison, University of Tasmania and Michael Straight, FAR Australia.

“This as an excellent opportunity for farmers with irrigatable land that are interested in improving irrigation systems and efficiency at the farm level to be involved in key research and learn more about irrigated cropping” concluded Kate.

More information can be found at or by contacting Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains Inc, or phone 03 5744 1713.

The Irrigated Cropping Council and project collaborators including the Irrigation Research & Extension Committee, Southern Growers, Southern Farming Systems, the Maize Association of Australia and MacKillop Farm Management Group will also facilitate discussion groups.

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


Media Contact:  Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains Irrigation Discussion Group Facilitator, or phone 03 5744 1713.