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The Big Community Muster

Many of our community’s farmers are facing some of the driest conditions in Australia’s history.

To provide an opportunity for our farming community to share experiences and discuss ways to build on our inherent resilience, Riverine Plains Inc has joined with a number of other organisations in sponsoring a series of information forums that aim to provide practical insights to support farmers in preparing for the future.

The Big Community Muster Events will be held from Sunday 24 February – Friday 1 March at locations including Oaklands, Deniliquin, Hay, Condoblin, Nyngan, Baradine, Rowena, Moree, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Tamworth and Scone.

The Keynote Speaker at each event will be Dennis Hoiberg from Lessons Learnt Consulting, along with Gerard O’Brien from RSM Australia and Alister Bennett from ANZ.

For further information, please download The Big Community Muster Invite 2019

GRDC Grains Research Update, Corowa – 21 February

GRDC Grains Research Update: Corowa

Corowa RSL Club, 30 Betterment Parade, Corowa

Thursday 21st February

9.00 am to 1.00 pm – doors open at 8.30 am


International speaker at Corowa GRDC Grains Research Update

Jordan and Jennifer Lindgren of Lindgren Farms, Canada have won the 2018 Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmers of the Year award for their unique ability of applying R&D to their farm to drive farm business profitability.

Lindgren Farms is a grain and oilseed farm that works diligently at maximising production for these crops, while minimising cost of production. They do this with the help of field scale trials that identify products, genetics and practices that work on their farm. By combining these methods, with the latest advancements in technology, they continue to meet and exceed their production goals.

In his presentation Jordan will discuss their approach to using research to improve their bottom line.

Other industry expert speakers include:
Harm van Rees, Crop Facts Pty Ltd: The ‘National Paddock Survey’ – what we have learned
Rohan Brill, NSW DPI: Canola agronomy – key leanings from the “Optimised Canola Profitability” project
Cassandra Schefe, Riverine Plains Inc.: Riverine Plains research in progress
James Hunt, La Trobe University: emerging management tips for early sown winter wheats
Graeme Sandral, NSW DPI: Managing crop nutrient supply after a dry period

For further information on the program and how to register, please download the 2019 GRDC Corowa Grains Research Update flyer

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting – Thursday 7 February

31 January, 2019

Word Count: 360

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting 2019

Riverine Plains Inc will host Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting on Thursday February 7, 2019. This event continues the tradition started by the late John Sykes and is an opportunity for local farmers to discuss the 2018 season results as well as the challenges likely to arise in the season ahead.

“The Buraja meeting is long-standing and well-known event involving a post-harvest debrief, presentations on new varieties, market updates and key issues for the coming season, which together provide an important planning opportunity for the 2019 grain growing season” explained Riverine Plains Inc Executive Officer, Fiona Hart.

“The 2018 season was tough for Riverine Plains region growers, with the dry conditions, and severe frosts having a big impact on the profitability of the 2018/2019 winter grain harvest” said Fiona.

“While unusually extreme, last year’s conditions created a unique set of experiences and learnings and the Buraja meeting provides an opportunity for farmers to share and reflect on these experiences with the aim of using this information into the future” added Fiona.

Chris Minehan from Rural Management Strategies will facilitate a harvest debrief session, which will involve discussions around any likely flow-on effects for 2019, as well as other issues for 2019.

Using results from the local National Variety Trials (NVT) and the Riverine Research Centre at Yarrawonga, Michael Straight from FAR Australia will speak on regional wheat variety performance and options for planting in autumn 2019.

Information on the performance of new barley and canola varieties suitable for the region will also be presented, along with a grain marketing update.

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting will be held on Thursday 7 February, 2019 at the Buraja Recreational Ground Hall, from 9am – 12:30pm. This event is free to attend and all are welcome. A BBQ lunch will be provided afterwards and no RSVP is necessary.

For more information please contact Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.org.au or phone (03) 5744 1713 or visit the website at riverineplains.org.au.

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

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Fiona Hart, Executive Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713)

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting, 7 February 2019

Riverine Plains Inc will host Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting on Thursday February 7, 2019. This event continues the tradition begun by the late John Sykes and is an opportunity for local farmers to discuss the 2018 season results as well as the challenges likely to arise in the season ahead.

The Buraja meeting will involve a post-harvest debrief, presentations on new varieties, market updates and key issues for the coming season, which together provide an important planning opportunity for the 2019 grain growing season.

The dry conditions and severe frosts experienced during 2018 created a unique set of  circumstances and the Buraja meeting also provides an opportunity for farmers to share and reflect on these experiences.

Chris Minehan from Rural Management Strategies will facilitate a harvest debrief session, which will involve discussions around any likely flow-on effects for 2019, as well as other issues for 2019.

Using results from the local National Variety Trials (NVT) and the Riverine Research Centre at Yarrawonga, Michael Straight from FAR Australia will speak on regional wheat variety performance and options for planting in autumn 2019.

Chris (Desi) Toohey from Elders will also talk about the performance of new canola varieties, while David Burch from NSW DPI will talk about barley varieties. Local farmer Beau Longmire will also give a presentation on managing subsoil constraints in sandy soils and Richard Hall from Market Check will provide a grain marketing update.

Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting will be held on Thursday 7 February, 2019 at the Buraja Recreational Ground Hall, from 9am – 12:30pm. This event is free to attend and all are welcome. A BBQ lunch will be provided afterwards and no RSVP is necessary.

For more information please download the 2019 Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting Flyer or contact Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.org.au or phone (03) 5744 1713.

Stubble Management Guidelines available for the Riverine Plains region

27 November 2018

Word Count: 427

Stubble Management Guidelines for the Riverine Plains region

Managing the stubble left over from cereal crops is a perennial problem for grain growers in the Riverine Plains region.

While stubble loads in 2018 are generally much lighter than usual due to the impact of the dry conditions and the salvaging of frost damaged crops, stubble management remains an important consideration heading in to next season.

“Farmers know that stubble retention has many benefits, including rainfall capture and storage over the summer fallow, protection from wind and water erosion and the improvement of soil structure” explained Riverine Plains Inc Research and Extension Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe.

“But on the other hand, high stubble loads can also increase the frequency of blockages at sowing, affect establishment and increase disease carryover between crops” she said.

“For this reason, Riverine Plains Inc undertook a significant amount of research into the effectiveness of stubble management techniques as part of the GRDC investment Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains project said Cassandra

The project, which ran from 2013-2018, delivered a number of key findings, including that no-till stubble retained systems generally yielded as well, or better, than stubble management systems which involved burning, cultivation or additional nitrogen at sowing with cultivation, except where stubble loads were extremely high at some location (as in 2016).

To support the outcomes of the project, Riverine Plains Inc has developed a series of stubble management guidelines specifically for grain growers.

The guidelines cover topics such as how to manage stubble at harvest, techniques for successfully sowing into stubble, the strategic management of crops grown in stubble-retained systems, as well as the impacts of stubble on soil carbon.

The guidelines also refer to results of the trials undertaken throughout the life of the project, which makes them especially relevant for farmers in the Riverine Plains region.

“In terms of stubble management, we often talk about the need for sowing preparation to start at harvest time, so now definitely is a good time to be accessing these Guidelines in preparation for 2019” added Cassandra.

The guidelines are available for download from www.riverineplains.org.au. A limited number of hardcopies are available by request from the Riverine Plains Inc office by phoning 03 5744 1713 or emailing info@riverineplains.org.au

Riverine Plains Inc acknowledges the support of the GRDC and our project partner FAR Australia in delivering this project and the resulting stubble management guidelines.

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

….ends………………

More Information or Interview:

Dr Cassandra Schefe, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713)

 

New Pulse Check Discussion Group for NSW Riverine Plains: First meeting 26 October, Rand

Riverine Plains Inc is forming a Pulse Check Discussion Group for the NSW Riverine Plains region.

The first meeting will be held on Friday 26 October, 2018 at the Hamilton Family property ‘Granview’ at Rand from 8:30 am to 11:30am. We will meet at the sheds before visiting a faba bean and lentil crop.

The meeting will focus on the important role pulses play in our farming systems, as well as on harvest issues.

Topics for discussion will include;

  • A farmer’s perspective on pulses – Roy Hamilton, Rand
  • Pulses: The good, the bad and the ugly – James Madden, Madden Consulting
  • Harvesting Pulses – James Madden, Madden Consulting
  • Marketing pulses & harvester fire safety – Phil Bowden, Pulse Australia
  • Value adding – Gary Drew, Lupins for Life

Directions : From Rand take Mahonga road for 12 km, Granview entrance is on your right. From Urana take Albury road for 4 km , turn right onto Mahonga road and travel for 22km Granview is on the left.

The Pulse Check Discussion Group Meeting is free and all are welcome – previous experience in growing pulses is not required. Light refreshments provided. 

For more information or to register your interest please contact Kate Coffey, NSW Riverine Plains Inc Pulse Check Group Facilitator on 03 5744 1713, email kate@riverineplains.org.au or download the Rand Pulse Check Discussion Group Meeting Flyer.

The GRDC Northern Pulse Check partners are Pulse Australia and Farmlink.

Gerogery farmer Tony Chaston wins Riverine Plains Inc crop competition

18 October 2018

Word Count: 374

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 kindly 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 conditions 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 would like to congratulate all entrants on the quality of their crops and thank Baker Seed Co for their generous sponsorship of the competition” 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 www.riverineplains.org.au

….ends………………

More Information or Interview: Fiona Hart, Executive Officer, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713)

Pre-Harvest Pulse Check Meeting – St James, 25 October

Riverine Plains Inc will be holding it’s 2018 pre-harvest paddock walk and meeting at St James on Thursday 25 October from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

We will be visiting the Beggs family chickpea crops (2 paddocks side by side: 1 paddock burnt and 1 paddock stubble mulched), as well as their vetch crop.

The chickpea crop is located at 119 Beggs Road, St James (northern side of road) while the vetch paddock is located at 1085 St James Road, Yundool.

Discussions on the day will include:

  • In-crop management and paddock history for each of the paddocks visited
  • Crop topping/dessication
  • Harvest management, including header set up & fire safety
  • Pulses and soil health, including impact on soil carbon – Dr Cassandra Schefe, Riverine Plains Inc
  • Grazing pulses and livestock – Alison Frischke, livestock and farming systems manager, Birchip Cropping Group
  • Update on market developments/opportunities for lentil, chickpea and other pulses Phil Bowden, Pulse Australia

Attendees do not need to have attended previous meetings or have any prior knowledge of pulse production. The event is free and all are welcome. Light refreshments provided.

For more information please download the October RPI Pulse Check Paddock Walk Flyer . To register your interest please contact: Michelle Pardy on 03 5744 1713 or email michelle@riverineplains.org.au

The GRDC Southern Pulse Extension project is delivered by a consortium of organisations involved in the pulse industry across GRDC’s Southern region.

Canola Systems Trial Site

The Australian Cool Farm Initiative: monitoring & managing greenhouse gas emissions

NSW and Victorian grain farmers interested in monitoring or reducing their greenhouse gas emissions are invited to take part in the Australian Cool Farm Initiative being delivered by Riverine Plains Inc and Central West Farming Systems, through a partnership with the USA-based Sustainable Food Laboratory.

The Australian Cool Farm Initiative is supported by global food company Mars Incorporated, as part of an effort to reduce the environmental impacts of their business. In Australia, Mars Petcare is a significant purchaser of grain from southern NSW and north east Victoria.

Grain growers produce greenhouse gas emissions in a number of ways and the Australian Cool Farm Initiative provides an avenue for growers to monitor and manage their emissions, while also exploring how different farm practices can provide long-term carbon benefits.

The Initiative can also help growers identify inefficiencies and production constraints within their systems, which has the potential to lead to significant input cost savings and production gains.

Farmers who participate in the program will receive support in the use of the Cool Farm Tool greenhouse gas calculator as well as soil sampling of up to five wheat paddocks annually. Farmers will also receive technical support and information on management options for the key limiting factors in their farming systems.

The Cool Farm Tool has been tested and adopted by a range of multinational companies including Nestle, McDonalds and Unilever through their membership of the Cool Farm Alliance. The Cool Farm Alliance works with their suppliers to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the effort to address global climate change.

Farmers are encouraged to contact Riverine Plains Inc on 03 5744 1713 or Central West Farming Systems to learn more about the program.

Events

GRDC Farm Business Update, Mulwala

Program details for this event will be made available closer to the date.

GRDC Managing early season insect pests in canola workshop, Corowa – 27 March

A workshop will be held at Corowa on Wednesday 27 March to help address the management of early season canola pests

This event is part of a workshop series being held across NSW. These workshops are designed to assist farmers and advisors in identifying the range of pests and natural enemies present in canola, as well as to present the latest research information on early season pest management.

The workshops will cover:

  • Insect identification
  • Early season pest discussion
  • Management options and monitoring techniques
  • Paddock walk risk assessment

The day will feature presentations from CESAR, Phil Bowden (AOF/Pulse Australia) and Don McCaffery (NSW DPI).

Workshops will also be held at Lockhart and Deniliquin (see flyer for details).

For further details please download the Managing Pests in Canola workshops flyer (Corowa) or contact either the Riverine Plains Office on (03) 5744 1713, email info@riverineplains.org.au or Phil Bowden (AOF/Pulse Australia) on 0427 201 946, email phil@bowdenrural.com.

The workshops have been funded by GRDC, organised by Farmlink and Phil Bowden, and are supported by AOF, NSW DPI and Local Land Services.

Opportunity for Profit Workshop – Dookie, 25 March

The top performing grain growers in Southern Australia are retaining 30% of turnover as net profit, while the average retain closer to 10%.

So what are the Top 20% businesses doing differently?

To find out the answers and understand the profit drivers in your business, please register for the GRDC ‘Opportunity for Profit’ workshop in your region.

This half day workshop will delve into the results from a three year national project funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. The project has benchmarked more than 300 grain businesses nationally to identify what drives profit in each agro-ecological zone and how the provision of technical information links with these profit drivers.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:
• Understand the performance of Top 20% growers in your region
• Build your knowledge around the profit drivers that really make a difference in a grain business
• Identify the management traits of a Top 20% grower
• Have access to diagnostic tools and processes to easily assess your own business performance

The workshop will be delivered by agribusiness consultant James Hillcoat from Rural Directions Pty Ltd. Local context will be provided by Dr Kate Burke of Think Agri.

This workshop series is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation as an output of The integration of profit drivers and technical information for more informed decisions (RDP00013) project.

This workshop is delivered at no cost to grain growers and advisors however registration is essential.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER
Please download the 2019 Dookie Opportunity for Profit workshop flyer or call 08 8841 4500, email admin@ruraldirections.com or visit www.ruraldirections.com/events

Agribusiness Dinner & John Hanrahan Scholarship Presentation

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 Goods & Services Auction, which aims to support the Scholarship into the future.

Further details about this event will be available shortly.

Mixed farming forum, Rutherglen – 13 March

A Mixed Farming Forum will be held at the Agriculture Victoria Rutherglen Centre, Rutherglen on Wednesday 13 March from 8:45am-1:30pm.

This free forum is designed for mixed farmers and will discuss the key learnings from the successful GRDC Grain & Graze program.

Discussions will include:

  • Sheep requirements in the cereal/sheep zone for optimum livestock productivity and profitability: Kristy Howard, Inspiring Excellence
  • The importance of sown fodder on a mixed farm (& how to optimise it): Matt Mahoney, AgriDome
  • 10 years of grazing crop experiences: Josh Buerckner, IK Caldwell
  • The latest in stubble grazing values: Alison Frischke, BCG
  • Introduction to Grain & Graze decision making tools: Danielle England, AgInnovate

To register, or for further information, please contact Riverine Plains Inc on 03 5744 1713 or email info@riverineplains.org.au or download the Mixed Farming Forum Riverine Plains flyer