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New SMS Harvest Fire Index Alert for members aims to reduce harvesting fires

NEW FIRE ALERT SYSTEM TO REDUCE RISK OF HARVESTING FIRES

In a first for the region’s grain growers, farming systems group Riverine Plains has launched a new text messaging service for members, alerting them to when conditions become dangerous for harvesting.

Riverine Plains Chair and Howlong farmer, Ian Trevethan, said the text service has been designed to update farmers on local weather conditions in real time, with an SMS alert sent to farmers when weather conditions become dangerous for harvesting.

“As farmers, we can get so focussed in the day-to-day running of harvest that we can easily become disconnected to the changing weather outside our air-conditioned cabins – getting a text message alert to changing weather conditions in real-time may help reduce the risk of a harvester-fire starting in dangerous conditions” he said.

The alert system was developed by Riverine Plains, in conjunction with IK Caldwell, and is based on the Grass Fire Index (GFI) system used by fire authorities and utilises the Riverine Plains Inc network of weather stations located across south eastern NSW and north east Victoria.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Corteva AgriScience, Riverine Plains members are able to access the new SMS service for free in time for the 2020 harvest.

Dan Dixon, Corteva Agriscience’s Marketing Director for Australia and New Zealand, said that Corteva Agriscience was proud to support the alert service, which would help minimise the risk of a fire starting through on-farm activities.

“Many of our farmer customers are active members of their volunteer local fire brigades and we are pleased to be involved in this project which will help protect the lives and properties of growers, their families and the wider community this summer” said Dan.

Riverine Plains weather stations linked to the new SMS Harvest Fire Index Alert include; Barooga, Berrigan, Culcairn, Henty, Howlong, Lockhart, Pleasant Hills and Rand in NSW, as well as Bungeet, Miepoll, Rutherglen, Telford and Yabba South in Victoria. The Riverine Plains network of weather stations and soil moisture probes can be accessed at www.riverineplains.org.au.

“Harvesting conditions can deteriorate quite quickly and the text service is designed to help farmers be more aware of the conditions which would quickly see a fire get out of control, should one start, even with protective measures in place” said Ian.

“That said, pulling up harvest is always the right course of action if you feel it is potentially dangerous to keep harvesting, with or without, an alert” he added.

For further information, please contact the Riverine Plains Office on 03 5744 1713.

Catherine Marriott appointed as inaugural Riverine Plains CEO

Date: 2 November, 2020

Word Count: 417

Riverine Plains appoints inaugural Chief Executive Officer

Catherine Marriott has been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of farming systems group, Riverine Plains.

Riverine Plains Chair, Ian Trevethan, said that in the 21 years since Riverine Plains was first formed, the organisation had become a leader in farmer-driven research and extension and that the decision to appoint a CEO was the next logical step in the group’s growth.

“We are very pleased to appoint Catherine to this new role as she brings a wealth of experience, leadership and engagement skills that will provide a dynamic fresh perspective to the organisation” he said.

“Importantly, Catherine’s values align with the culture of Riverine Plains and her enthusiasm and passion for agriculture is contagious. We are very much looking forward to her leading the organisation, and our existing team, into the future and delivering practical, innovative solutions to help farmers build profitable businesses” he added.

Over the last 15 years, Catherine has worked in management, strategic and leadership roles in the agricultural, research and regional development sectors, both in Australia and overseas. She is also UNE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and was the 2012 WA Rural Women of the Year.

Catherine also brings extensive networks and experience in building and maintaining relationships across the public and private sectors. Her appointment will help grow the organisation and bolster the group’s ability to attract practical and relevant research for farmers in the Riverine Plains region.

On accepting the role, Catherine said that there has never been a brighter time to be in agriculture.

“To have an opportunity to work with a member based, applied research organisation across two states is something I’m going to grab with both hands” she said.

“I’m also thrilled to be continuing the great work that Riverine Plains has done in bringing relevant research to the region and I look forward to developing the long-standing partnerships between Riverine Plains and its members and sponsors, as well as industry bodies and research organisations to ensure the region continues to lead in grains and mixed farming research and innovation” she added.

Catherine will commence as Riverine Plains CEO on 30 November, 2020 and can be contacted at the Riverine Plains office on 03 5744 1713.

Riverine Plains 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: Ian Trevethan, Riverine Plains on 03 5744 1713.

Catherine Marriott appointed as inaugural CEO of Riverine Plains

Catherine Marriott has been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Riverine Plains.

Riverine Plains Chair, Ian Trevethan, said that in the 21 years since Riverine Plains was first formed, the organisation had become a leader in farmer-driven research and extension and that the decision to appoint a CEO was the next logical step in the group’s growth.

“We are very pleased to appoint Catherine to this new role as she brings a wealth of experience, leadership and engagement skills that will provide a dynamic fresh perspective to the organisation” he said.

“Importantly, Catherine’s values align with the culture of Riverine Plains and her enthusiasm and passion for agriculture is contagious. We are very much looking forward to her leading the organisation, and our existing team, into the future and delivering practical, innovative solutions to help farmers build profitable businesses” he added.

Over the last 15 years, Catherine has worked in management, strategic and leadership roles in the agricultural, research and regional development sectors, both in Australia and overseas. She is also UNE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and was the 2012 WA Rural Women of the Year.

Catherine also brings extensive networks and experience in building and maintaining relationships across the public and private sectors. Her appointment will help grow the organisation and bolster the group’s ability to attract practical and relevant research for farmers in the Riverine Plains region.

On accepting the role, Catherine said that there has never been a brighter time to be in agriculture.

“To have an opportunity to work with a member based, applied research organisation across two states is something I’m going to grab with both hands” she said.

“I’m also thrilled to be continuing the great work that Riverine Plains has done in bringing relevant research to the region and I look forward to developing the long-standing partnerships between Riverine Plains and its members and sponsors, as well as industry bodies and research organisations to ensure the region continues to lead in grains and mixed farming research and innovation” she added.

Catherine will commence as Riverine Plains CEO on 30 November, 2020 and can be contacted at the Riverine Plains office on 03 5744 1713.

Applications for UNCLE TOBYS Scholarship and John Hanrahan Scholarship close 30 September. 

The Paperless Office Workshops – 17 & 24 September

Riverine Plains is hosting a two-part Paperless Office workshop series for people employed in farming and regional businesses.

Dates:    Thursday 17 September (Session 1) & Thursday 24 September (Session 2)
Time:     9.30am – 12.30pm
How:     Online via Zoom. To register, please click here

The Paperless Office workshop series will be delivered over 2 online sessions and will cover:

  • Current filing and document management systems
  • Paperless Office: Receiving information, saving and storing information, linking document
    management and accounting systems.
  • Online Programs.
  • Where is the future of online going?
  • Selecting the right option for you.
  • Reading financial statements.

These free workshops involve both theory and practical demonstrations and will be presented by Bernie McKenzie and Ben Clurey, Belmores Chartered Accountants.

For more information, please download the RP Paperless Office Workshop Flyer September 2020 or contact Fiona Hart, Riverine Plains, on 0407 919 842 or email Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.org.au

This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program, in conjunction with Federation Council.

Transforming Regions Mindsets, Skills, Businesses: Benchmarking – 11 September

Cover/Intercropping Virtual Field Day – 8 September

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, from 9:00-9:30am.

Increasing the diversity of crop species can have positive benefits on soil health compared to monocultures, or where break crops are used minimally, with summer cover cropping, green/brown manuring, intercropping or companion cropping all providing opportunities to increase species diversity at different points in the rotation.

To look at this in more detail, a long-term trial site has been established by Riverine Plains Inc at Burramine, Victoria, to examine how more diverse rotations can impact soil function and winter crop yields, as well as profitability.

The virtual field day aims to introduce growers to the benefits of increasing diversity in their systems and  also features a virtual tour of the trial site. Speakers include;

Jane McInnes (Riverine Plains Inc)
Dr Cassandra Schefe (AgriSci): Increasing diversity in cropping systems, site and project overview
Professor Terry Rose (Southern Cross University): Results from 2019
Nathan Lawless (Burramine): Benefits to farmers
Brendan Christy (Agriculture Victoria): Intercropping to exploit rainfall for profit trial (also sown at the
site) 

For more information, please download the Virtual Cover Cropping Field Day (Burramine) Flyer 2020, contact Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer Jane McInnes on 03 5744 1713 or email jane@riverineplains.org.au.

To register for this event, please click here.

To download the Riverine Plains Field Day notes on Increasing diversity in cropping systems, please click here.

To download the Agriculture Victoria Field Day notes on the Intercropping to exploit rainfall for profit trial please click here.

This trial is part of the Plant-based solutions to improve soil performance through rhizosphere modification project, supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) and led by Southern Cross University. This project is supported by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s ‘From the Ground Up’ program through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The Intercropping to exploit rainfall for profit trial is funded by the Victorian Grains Innovation Partnership with  Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

GRDC Hyper Yielding Crop focus-farm trials for the Riverine Plains

24 August, 2020

Word Count: 477

 GRDC Hyper Yielding Crop focus-farm trials for the Riverine Plains

A new, four-year project is set to examine the yield potential of different varieties grown under various agronomic packages as part of a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment into hyper-yielding cereal crops.

Following on from the success of Hyper Yielding Cereals (HYC) project in Tasmania, the Hyper Yielding Crops project has recently commenced on a national scale, with GRDC Centre of Excellence trial sites established in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, NSW, and Western Australia.

Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer, Kate Coffey, explained that a Centre of Excellence has been established at Wallendbeen (near Cootamundra), NSW, with the research site chosen because it had a water-limited yield potential of 10 t/ha for cereals and 5 t/ha for canola.

“Riverine Plains Inc has also worked alongside lead organization, FAR Australia, to establish three focus farm sites in southern NSW in support of the Wallendbeen Centre, with a canola site established at Gerogery and wheat sites established at Culcairn and Howlong” she said.

Grower involvement is a major focus of the project, and Riverine Plains Innovation Groups are being established to link local growers with the focus farm paddock trials at Gerogery, Culcairn and Howlong.

The 2020 focus-farm paddock trials will look at nitrogen and fungicides, while future focus-farm paddock trials will be based on ideas arising from the local Innovation Groups, as well as from growers visiting the Centre of Excellence.

“We are hoping to conduct small-group discussion field days at the farm paddock trial sites during September, 2020, however this will depend on COVID-19 restrictions during spring” said Kate.

Riverine Plains Inc are also seeking ten paddocks from across the region to be nominated for the 2020 Hyper Yielding Crop Awards. The Award will benchmark agronomic aspects of individual wheat crops, with participating growers to receive an agronomic benchmarking report comparing that paddock to all others entered, both regionally and nationally.

The project combines the expertise of several farming groups, including Riverine Plains Inc, with FAR Australia, SARDI, Brill Ag, CSIRO, DPIRD, TechCrop and CeRDI.

“This project will ultimately provide an opportunity to unlock yield potentials by providing a greater understanding of the possible constraints and the agronomic practices required to achieve potential yields in a given season” concluded Kate.

Riverine Plains Inc are currently taking expressions of interest from growers interested in joining the Innovation Group, as well as from those farmers interested in being involved in the Hyper Yielding Crop Awards.

For further information, please visit the Riverine Plains Inc website at riverineplains.org.au or contact Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer Kate Coffey on 03 5744 1713 or email kate@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:

Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains Inc (03 5744 1713)

GRDC Hyper Yielding Crop focus-farm trials for the Riverine Plains

A new, four-year project is set to examine the yield potential of different varieties grown under various agronomic packages as part of a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment into hyper-yielding cereal crops.

Following on from the success of Hyper Yielding Cereals project in Tasmania, the Hyper Yielding Crops project has recently commenced on a national scale, with GRDC Centre of Excellence trial sites established in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, NSW, and Western Australia.

A Centre of Excellence has been established at Wallendbeen (near Cootamundra), NSW, with the research site chosen because it had a water-limited yield potential of 10 t/ha for cereals and 5 t/ha for canola.

Riverine Plains Inc has also worked alongside lead organization, FAR Australia, to establish three focus farm sites in southern NSW in support of the Wallendbeen Centre, with a canola site established at Gerogery and wheat sites established at Culcairn and Howlong.

Grower involvement is a major focus of the project, and Riverine Plains Innovation Groups are being established to link local growers with the focus farm paddock trials at Gerogery, Culcairn and Howlong.

The 2020 focus-farm paddock trials will look at nitrogen and fungicides, while future focus-farm paddock trials will be based on ideas arising from the local Innovation Groups, as well as from growers visiting the Centre of Excellence.

Riverine Plains Inc are also seeking ten paddocks from across the region to be nominated for the 2020 Hyper Yielding Crop Awards. The Award will benchmark agronomic aspects of individual wheat crops, with participating growers to receive an agronomic benchmarking report comparing that paddock to all others entered, both regionally and nationally.

The project combines the expertise of several farming groups, including Riverine Plains Inc, with FAR Australia, SARDI, Brill Ag, CSIRO, DPIRD, TechCrop and CeRDI.

This project will ultimately provide an opportunity to unlock yield potentials by providing a greater understanding of the possible constraints and the agronomic practices required to achieve potential yields in a given season.

Riverine Plains Inc are currently taking expressions of interest from growers interested in joining the Innovation Group, as well as from those farmers interested in being involved in the Hyper Yielding Crop Awards.

For further information, please visit the Riverine Plains Inc website at riverineplains.org.au or contact Riverine Plains Inc Project Officer Kate Coffey on 03 5744 1713 or email kate@riverineplains.org.au

Events

Precision Agriculture Workshop – 1 March

We will be hosting a Precision Agriculture Workshop on Monday 1 March.

Further details will be available shortly