The Evan Moll Gerogery Field Day
The “Evan Moll Gerogery Field Day” was held on 3 November 2016, and attended by around 70 people. Attendees were shown through the wheat and canola GRDC National Variety Trials. Options for direct heading and wet season dessication, grain marketing, summer crop options and other agronomic issues were also discussed. Two soil pits were used to show how the wet conditions affected plant root development and how root growth can be affected by different subsoil constraints. The field day was supported by Murray Local Land Services (LLS) through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Spring Field Day
The Spring Field Day, held on 13 September 2016, was the inaugural event at the Riverine Research Centre (RRC), which is a new collaboration between Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia. A crowd of around 90 farmers, sponsors, advisors and industry representatives attended the day and heard about the research being conducted at the RRC site, as well as nitrogen management and wet season agronomy. Attendees were also shown through the RRC trials, which included nitrogen timing trials, nitrogen source trials, and trials evaluating NDVI technology as a method for determining crop nitrogen requirements.
International Study Tour
Twenty Riverine Plains Inc members visited Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil from 28 August – 12 September 2016. This was the group’s second international agricultural study tour and incorporated visits to a wide range of farms, leading research facilities, no-till specialists and agricultural commodity businesses with a focus on no-till cropping systems. The tour was supported by the GRDC’s Grower and Advisor Development Program.
Social Media for Agriculture Workshop
On 8 September 2016, six people attended a practical skills session to explore social media and mobile technology use in agriculture. The workshop was held at Mulwala and was facilitated by Charles Sturt University, in partnership with the Graham Centre.
Precision Agriculture Workshop
Riverine Plains Inc hosted a ‘Making Big Data Pay’ workshop for farmers looking to do more with precision agriculture at Mulwala on 16 August 2016. Around 20 attendees heard about making the most of yield and frost sensor technology, moisture probes and EM38, NDVI and elevation mapping. Applications for variable rate technology in irrigation, managing plant density, strategic pest control and fertiliser applications were also discussed. The workshop was made possible with the support of Murray Local Land Services, with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
In Season Update
70 growers and agribusiness representatives attended the Riverine Plains Inc In-Season Update held at Mulwala on 11 August 2016. The update provided information on the seasonal outlook, crop nutrition, pest management, canola agronomy and disease management, as well as precision agriculture. An update of the research projects conducted by Riverine Plains Inc was also presented.
GRDC Making More Profit from Crop Nutrition Workshop
Riverine Plains partnered with the GRDC and Birchip Cropping Group to deliver a series of presentations centred around Making More Profit from Crop Nutrition. The workshop was held on the afternoon of 11 August 2016, following the In-Season Update, and was attended by 50 people. Topics included phosphorus management and understanding critical soil nutrient levels, chasing micronutrient responses and nitrogen management.
Drone Technology Workshop
On 14 July 2016 Riverine Plains Inc and Southern Growers hosted a workshop which showed local growers the latest in drone technology and demonstrated how drones can be useful agricultural tools. The workshop was held in Berrigan and attended by 85 people.
GRDC Farm Business Update
On 24 June 2016 Riverine Plains Inc hosted a GRDC Farm Business Update held in Yarrawonga/Mulwala. An audience of 80 heard about employing and retaining quality staff, investing in agricultural land, principles of selling grain, communication tools and multi-peril crop insurance.
Farmer Focus Groups
The five-year GRDC-funded ‘Stubble Project’ is looking at ways to improve and maintain profit and sustainability in stubble retained cropping systems across the region. The project has established four focus farms at Corowa, Henty, Yarrawonga and Dookie, with large, commercial scale trials at each focus farm. The trials are evaluating a range of stubble management options, with supporting small scale trials focusing on specific issues such as row spacing and cultivar selection, N timing and disease management.
Paddock walks were held at each site during July and October 2016. The July paddock walks saw a total of 50 growers and agribusiness representatives attend across the four sites. The October paddock walks were led by Nick Poole, with a total of 70 participants attending across the four sites.
Fertiliser spreader calibration day
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, a “Drop In” fertiliser spreader calibration day was held at Rutherglen on 2 June 2016. The event featured Russell Nichol, a Fertcare registered calibration specialist, who calibrated 3 spreaders in front of 40 growers who dropped in over the course of the day. The day was run as part of the GRDC Stubble Project, which has a component looking at improving the nitrogen use efficiency of crops sown in stubble retained systems.
Approximately 60 people attended the Seeder Day events held at Barooga and Dookie on 22 March, 2016. A number of farmer owned seeders were used and growers were able to see firsthand how each machine handled medium-high stubble loads. A number of machinery dealers were also present.
Being a Better Boss Workshops
Riverine Plains Inc supported Partners in Grain (Victoria) in hosting two workshops at Tungamah around Legal Obligations and Managing People on 8 and 15 March 2016. These workshops provided the 24 participants with much needed training and support across a complex area of farm business management.
Soil Pit Day at Dookie
On 3 March 2016, 6 growers attended a soil pit day in the Dookie district. Soil pits were dug at Boxwood and Bungeet and provided an opportunity to look at different soil types within the Dookie region. The day had a focus on identifying the key constraints to plant growth and rooting depth.
A highly respected list of speakers saw 120 growers and industry representatives attend the GRDC Grains Research Update at Corowa on 18 February, 2016. The event was hosted by Riverine Plains Inc and presented the latest in grain industry research and extension to help growers prepare for the season ahead.
Sprayer Training Workshop
A large crowd of 100 people attended the Sprayer Training Workshop held at Rennie on 5 February 2016. The half-day workshop was conducted by Craig Day, from Spray Safe & Save, and provided training on optimising boom spray setup for effective herbicide delivery, with an emphasis on achieving good spray coverage in stubble. Up-to-date information on nozzle selection, drift reduction, herbicide selection and rates and recent changes to regulation were covered. A range of spray rigs and equipment were also available for inspection.
Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting
The Buraja Recreation Reserve Hall was host to 100 farmers and agribusiness representatives on 4 February 2016 for “Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting”. This annual event continues a tradition begun by the late John Sykes “Sykesy” in providing a forum to discuss the season that was, and hear about varieties and agronomic information relevant to the year ahead.
Soil Pit Day at Rutherglen
On 19 January 2016, 15 farmers attended a Soil Pit Day at Rutherglen. The soil pits (at Lilliput and Browns Plains) were dug next to soil moisture probes which measured water movement and storage over the course of the season. The pits were dug in different soil types and the group discussed how the physical soil structure and clay content influenced water movement, root penetration and nutrient movement. The group also used the results from nearby deep nitrogen sampling and moisture probes to discuss how to make the most of soil information when making nitrogen decisions. This event was supported by the North East CMA through the Soil Moisture Probe Network Project, and the Sustainable Agriculture Victoria: Fast-Tracking Ag Innovation initiative made possible with the support of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal together with the William Buckland Foundation.