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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

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More Information or Interview:

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

 

New Job Opportunity with Riverine Plains Inc

Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer

Agricultural Research, Development & Extension

Riverine Plains Inc is a progressive farmer group dedicated to improving the productivity of broadacre farming systems in northeast Victoria and southern NSW.

We are seeking a Project Officer, with a passion for agriculture, to join our team at our Mulwala office.  The position is a newly created role within Riverine Plains Inc and provides an exciting opportunity for growth and development.

The Project Officer will deliver a portfolio of research, development and extension projects, including, but not limited to, The Australian Cool Farm Initiative and projects on pulse extension, managing subsoil acidity and soil health related projects.

To be suitable for this position you will be well organised and adaptable and be committed to working well within a team and also independently.

The Project Officer is responsible for:

  • Delivering project milestones across a portfolio of research, development and extension projects
  • Reporting and presenting results to a number of stakeholders
  • Attending meetings as required and maintaining and developing relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Other duties as required

The successful candidate will possess well developed communication and interpersonal skills, be tech savvy and highly motivated with strong attention to detail.  A degree in agriculture or science (or equivalent) is required, along with an understanding of modern broadacre farming systems. A driver’s license and reliable vehicle is required.

The position is available in either a full time or part time capacity, on a 12 month fixed-term basis.

Further information regarding this position is available via the Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer Position Description.

If you feel you have the necessary skills and experience to meet the above requirements, we would like to hear from you.

For a confidential conversation regarding this role, please contact Fiona Hart on 03 5744 1713.

To apply for this position please email a covering letter outlining how you meet the requirements of the role along with your resume (including details of two referees) to info@riverineplains.org.au.  Applications close 10 December at 5pm.

 

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

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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.

The Australian Cool Farm Initiative: reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Date: 4 October, 2018

Word Count: 354

The Australian Cool Farm Initiative: reducing greenhouse gas emissions while driving efficiencies

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.

Riverine Plains Inc Research Officer, Dr Cassandra Schefe explained that 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” said Cassandra.

“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” added Cassandra.

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 or Central West Farming Systems to learn more about the program.

For more information, please contact Cassandra Schefe, Riverine Plains Inc 0419 238 798; cassandra@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:

Cassandra Schefe, Research Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713 or 0419 238 798)

Photo Caption: Juliette Caulkins, Global Sustainable Sourcing Director, Mars Petcare, speaking about the Australian Cool Farm Initiative at the recent Riverine Research Centre Open Day.

Riverine Research Centre Open Day – 27 September

Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia will host the Riverine Research Centre Spring Open Day at Burramine, near Yarrawonga, this Thursday 27 September, 2018.

The Riverine Research Centre is host to a number of cereal agronomy research trials and the Centre Open Day will provide an opportunity to view this local research as well as providing an opportunity to discuss the current dry season and the significant impact of recent frost events.

Dr James Hunt, from La Trobe University will talk about results from a GRDC investment looking at crop management for early sown, slow developing wheats. Discussions around this and other research being conducted at the site will also provide further information for growers on how to identify frost damage as well as how to manage frost risk into the future.

Eric Watson, from Canterbury New Zealand, will discuss the farming practices and systems that supported his recent world record irrigated wheat crop of 16.71 tonnes per hectare.

Dr Maarten van Helden from SARDI will also provide the latest information of the monitoring taking place for Russian Wheat Aphid across south eastern Australia, while other presentations will include Riverine Plains Inc funded research into the early sowing of winter wheat cultivars and the potential for winter barley cultivars.

The Open Day will run from 9am – 12pm on 27 September at the Riverine Research Centre, corner Forges Road and Odeas Road (Beatties Road), Burramine, Victoria. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.

The Riverine Research Centre is a partnership between Riverine Plains Inc and FAR Australia.
For more information please contact Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.com.au, or (03) 5744 1713 or download the 2018 Riverine Research Centre Open Day Flyer

John Hanrahan Scholarship for agriculture students – applications close 31 August

Earlier this year, farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc, launched the John Hanrahan Scholarship in support of tertiary students studying an agriculture or agribusiness bachelor or diploma degree course.

Riverine Plains Inc Treasurer and Scholarship Fund Trustee, Mr Barry Membrey, explained that the Scholarship is named in honour of John Hanrahan, a successful and experienced farmer and respected community member from Coreen, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014.

“John was a great friend and supporter of Riverine Plains Inc and he had a real enthusiasm for the types of ongoing research that Riverine Plains Inc is involved with”, said Barry.

“Through a generous donation made by the Hanrahan family, Riverine Plains Inc has been able to establish a Scholarship in John’s name to honour his passion for farming, his thirst for knowledge and his sense of community”.

The Scholarship, awarded annually, recognises and encourages agricultural excellence in the Riverine Plains region through the support of a local second year student in their agriculture/agribusiness bachelor or diploma degree studies.

The Scholarship includes a bursary of $5,000, access to work experience opportunities either with Riverine Plains Inc, its partner organisation FAR Australia or through our networks, opportunities to network and gain knowledge with free access to all Riverine Plains events and networks and mentoring from one of our current board members.

The John Hanrahan Scholarship is open to current first year Agriculture or Agribusiness degree or diploma students, who will be entering their second year of studies in 2019.

Students aged between 18 and 30 from the Riverine Plains region of north eastern Victoria and the southern Riverina region of NSW are eligible to apply.

Applications for the John Hanrahan Scholarship open on 1 July and close on 31 August, 2018, with details available from the John Hanrahan Scholarship – Information and application page.

The John Hanrahan 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 info@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

Events

GRDC Grains Research Update – Corowa

The GRDC Grains Research Update will be held at Corowa RSL on Thursday 21 February, 2019.

The program and further information will be advised closer to the date.