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John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarship recipients announced

Riverine Plains and Uncle Tobys are pleased to announce that two outstanding students have been named as the 2021 recipients of the John Hanrahan Scholarship and the Inaugural Uncle Tobys Scholarship.

The recipient of the John Hanrahan Scholarship is Jessica Ryan from Estella, NSW, while the recipient of the Uncle Tobys Scholarship is Thomas Hatty, from Tocumwal, NSW.

Riverine Plains Chief Executive Officer, Ms Catherine Marriott, said that both the John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships recognise the excellence shown by local students studying for an agriculture-related qualification, while also providing additional opportunities for these students within the industry.

“As well as being capable students, both Jessica and Thomas have shown themselves to be active community members who are both passionate about their future roles in agriculture” said Catherine.

“These characteristics were especially important in the case of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, which was established by Riverine Plains in honour of the late John Hanrahan, from Coreen, whose community spirit, passion for agriculture and thirst for knowledge was renowned” explained Catherine.

Similarly, the Uncle Tobys Scholarship is an initiative designed to help make agriculture an attractive career choice for young people.

“We are passionate about supporting young people who have the enthusiasm and mindset to improve both farming economics and sustainability. Both of these attributes are essential to build a successful farming industry for the future” said Scott Boxshall, Nestlé Wahgunyah Factory Manager.

John Hanrahan Scholar, Jessica Ryan, is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University.

Jessica has an interest in agricultural advocacy and politics, and is looking to help shape the future of agriculture by speaking up on issues affecting farmers. Jessica has worked across the livestock, cropping, machinery and infrastructure components of her family’s mixed farming enterprise and her background in agriculture gives her a very practical understanding of the challenges involved in farming.

Uncle Tobys Scholar, Thomas Hatty, is undertaking a combined Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Agricultural Science at LaTrobe University.

Thomas also has a farming background, with experience in cropping and other agricultural businesses. His initiative and resourcefulness has seen him travel overseas and take on quite significant levels of responsibility in his employment experiences, while his involvement in local sport and with local students has seen him give back to the community. Thomas has an interest in grains and crop agronomy and hopes to work directly with farmers to address production and operational issues, with a focus on sustainability and continued improvement using technological innovations and research outcomes.

As 2021 Scholarship recipients, both Jessica and Thomas receive a bursary of $5,000.

Both students expressed their appreciation of the financial support provided by the Scholarships and the opportunity to further develop their networks and learning experiences.

Riverine Plains would like to thank the Hanrahan family for the generous donation that led to the establishment of the Scholarship, as well as all those who have made financial or in-kind donations to the Scholarship Fund over the past few years.

Riverine Plains also thanks Uncle Tobys, for their commitment to supporting local tertiary students and for providing development pathways in support of regional agriculture.

Applications for the 2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships will open in July 2021, with further details available from www.riverineplains.org.au closer to this date.

John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarship Recipients Announced

21 June, 2021

Word Count: 592

2021 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarship recipients announced

Riverine Plains and Uncle Tobys are pleased to announce that two outstanding students have been named as the 2021 recipients of the John Hanrahan Scholarship and the Inaugural Uncle Tobys Scholarship.

The recipient of the John Hanrahan Scholarship is Jessica Ryan from Estella, NSW, while the recipient of the Uncle Tobys Scholarship is Thomas Hatty, from Tocumwal, NSW.

Riverine Plains Chief Executive Officer, Ms Catherine Marriott, said that both the John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships recognise the excellence shown by local students studying for an agriculture-related qualification, while also providing additional opportunities for these students within the industry.

“As well as being capable students, both Jessica and Thomas have shown themselves to be active community members who are both passionate about their future roles in agriculture” said Catherine.

“These characteristics were especially important in the case of the John Hanrahan Scholarship, which was established by Riverine Plains in honour of the late John Hanrahan, from Coreen, whose community spirit, passion for agriculture and thirst for knowledge was renowned” explained Catherine.

Similarly, the Uncle Tobys Scholarship is an initiative designed to help make agriculture an attractive career choice for young people.

“We are passionate about supporting young people who have the enthusiasm and mindset to improve both farming economics and sustainability. Both of these attributes are essential to build a successful farming industry for the future” said Scott Boxshall, Nestlé Wahgunyah Factory Manager.

John Hanrahan Scholar, Jessica Ryan, is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University.

Jessica has an interest in agricultural advocacy and politics, and is looking to help shape the future of agriculture by speaking up on issues affecting farmers. Jessica has worked across the livestock, cropping, machinery and infrastructure components of her family’s mixed farming enterprise and her background in agriculture gives her a very practical understanding of the challenges involved in farming.

Uncle Tobys Scholar, Thomas Hatty, is undertaking a combined Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Agricultural Science at LaTrobe University.

Thomas also has a farming background, with experience in cropping and other agricultural businesses. His initiative and resourcefulness has seen him travel overseas and take on quite significant levels of responsibility in his employment experiences, while his involvement in local sport and with local students has seen him give back to the community. Thomas has an interest in grains and crop agronomy and hopes to work directly with farmers to address production and operational issues, with a focus on sustainability and continued improvement using technological innovations and research outcomes.

As 2021 Scholarship recipients, both Jessica and Thomas receive a bursary of $5,000.

Both students expressed their appreciation of the financial support provided by the Scholarships and the opportunity to further develop their networks and learning experiences.

Riverine Plains would like to thank the Hanrahan family for the generous donation that led to the establishment of the Scholarship, as well as all those who have made financial or in-kind donations to the Scholarship Fund over the past few years.

Riverine Plains also thanks Uncle Tobys, for their commitment to supporting local tertiary students and for providing development pathways in support of regional agriculture.

Applications for the 2022 John Hanrahan and Uncle Tobys Scholarships will open in July 2021, with further details available from www.riverineplains.org.au closer to this date.

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, Chief Operating Officer, Riverine Plains on 03 5744 1713.

Riverine Plains to partner in Federal Government southern NSW and Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs

Riverine Plains will play an important role in two of the Federal Government’s Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs being established in North East Victoria and Southern NSW.

The Hubs are being established through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund and will focus on addressing drought resilience research and innovation priorities. Each Hub will receive $8 million over four years, with the Hubs anticipated to be up and running by the end of April.

Riverine Plains will lead the North East node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, to be established by the University of Melbourne at Dookie, and will also partner in the southern NSW Hub being established at Wagga Wagga by Charles Sturt University.

The Hubs will work by connecting farmers, industry and researchers, with the resulting collaborations helping to drive development of innovative on-farm R&D technologies and practices that can improve future drought resilience, as well as their on-farm adoption.

It is planned that the Hubs will offer resources, including staff and programs, across areas such as water management, food security, farming systems, agribusiness, community support, regional development and environment, delivering improved drought resilience and greater adaptation to a changing climate for farmers, agricultural businesses and communities.

The Victorian Hub will be led by the University of Melbourne Dookie campus, in partnership with Deakin University, Federation University, La Trobe University, Agriculture Victoria, Riverine Plains, Birchip Cropping Group, Southern Farming Systems, Food and Fibre Gippsland and Mallee Regional Innovation Centre. Hub nodes will be established in Mulwala, Mildura, Birchip, Inverleigh and Warragul.

The southern NSW hub will be led by Charles Sturt University (CSU) at Wagga Wagga, with partners; the Australian National University, Farming Systems Groups Alliance, First Nations Governance Circle, Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Rural Aid, University of Canberra and University of Wollongong. The Farming Systems Group Alliance includes Riverine Plains, FarmLink Research, Central West Farming Systems, Holbrook Landcare Network, Irrigated Cropping Council, Irrigation Research and Extension Committee and Southern Growers.

For further information, please contact the Riverine Plains office on 03 5477 1713

Riverine Plains to partner in Federal Government southern NSW and Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs

22 April, 2021

Word Count: 689

Riverine Plains to partner in Federal Government southern NSW and Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs

  • Riverine Plains to partner in Federal Government southern NSW and Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs
  • Riverine Plains will lead the North East Victorian node of the Victorian Hub being established by the University of Melbourne at Dookie, and will partner in the southern NSW Hub being established by Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga
  • The Hubs will focus on delivering innovations to enable farmers and communities to become more drought resilient and to better respond to a changing climate
  • The Hubs are an initiative of the Federal Government’s Future Drought Fund

Mulwala-based farming systems group, Riverine Plains, will play an important role in two of the Federal Government’s Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs being established in North East Victoria and Southern NSW.

The Hubs are being established through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund and will focus on addressing drought resilience research and innovation priorities.

Riverine Plains Chair and Howlong farmer, Ian Trevethan, explained that Riverine Plains will lead the North East node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, to be established by the University of Melbourne at Dookie, and will also partner in the southern NSW Hub being established at Wagga Wagga by Charles Sturt University.

“Farmers understand all too well how difficult it is to manage and then recover from drought and the Hubs will play an important role in supporting farmers and communities to better prepare for future droughts and climate challenges” Ian said.

“The Hubs will work by connecting farmers, industry and researchers, with the resulting collaborations helping to drive development of innovative on-farm R&D technologies and practices that can improve future drought resilience, as well as their on-farm adoption” he added.

Each Hub will receive $8 million over four years, with the Hubs anticipated to be up and running by the end of April.

The Victorian Hub will be led by the University of Melbourne Dookie campus, in partnership with Deakin University, Federation University, La Trobe University, Agriculture Victoria, Riverine Plains, Birchip Cropping Group, Southern Farming Systems, Food and Fibre Gippsland and Mallee Regional Innovation Centre. Hub nodes will be established in Mulwala, Mildura, Birchip, Inverleigh and Warragul.

Victorian Hub co-director Professor Tim Reeves, from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, said the Dookie Hub will focus on delivering improved drought resilience and greater adaptation to a changing climate for farmers, agricultural businesses and communities in the region.

“This is a unique state-wide partnership which also involves an unprecedented level of co-operation between the partners to co-design and govern the project, with these connections increasing the project’s potential to make a real difference to our regional industries and communities” he said.

The southern NSW hub will be led by Charles Sturt University (CSU) at Wagga Wagga and will support farmers and communities from Broken Hill to Cobar, the Macquarie catchment to the Hawkesbury and to the Victorian and South Australian state borders.

Partners in the southern NSW hub are Australian National University, Farming Systems Groups Alliance, First Nations Governance Circle, Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Rural Aid, University of Canberra and University of Wollongong.

The Farming Systems Group Alliance includes Riverine Plains, FarmLink Research, Central West Farming Systems, Holbrook Landcare Network, Irrigated Cropping Council, Irrigation Research and Extension Committee and Southern Growers.

It is planned that the Hubs will offer resources, including staff and programs, across areas such as water management, food security, farming systems, agribusiness, community support, regional development and environment.

“Drought and climate variability can massively impact the profitability and sustainability of farmers and communities across the Riverine Plains region and we are looking forward to being involved in both the Victorian and southern NSW Hubs and helping to drive innovation in drought preparedness” Ian concluded.

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, Chief Operating Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713)

Report into pH, soil organic carbon helps improves local understanding of carbon farming

Report into pH, soil organic carbon improves local understanding of carbon farming

Riverine Plains has recently completed a region-first project looking into the viability and practicality of increasing soil carbon for trading through the Australian Government’s Emission Reduction Fund.

As part of the project, and with the support of the Cool Soil Initiative, paddocks were sampled to determine baseline soil pH and soil organic carbon using the  methods set out in the Carbon Farming Initiative.

Stocks of soil organic carbon were calculated for each paddock, with a specific paddock example used to determine what a 0.5% increase in soil carbon might look like in terms of the Australian Carbon Credit Unit, (the unit of trade for the Emission Reduction Fund).

The calculations, based on a pasture paddock near Springhurst, showed the potential financial gains from carbon farming to be modest, with the returns also weighed against the sampling, auditing and reporting costs of participating in the Emission Reduction Fund.

The project highlighted how complex it can be to measure and validate any increase or change in soil organic carbon over time, and that trading carbon through the Emission Reduction Fund requires a thorough understanding of the process before committing.

Aside from carbon farming, one of the most important take-home messages from the project was that interactions between soil pH and soil organic carbon are complex, and that soil pH is a key parameter driving the soil’s ability to increase soil carbon, with low pH soils having reduced microbial activity and organic matter turnover.

For the full report, visit https://riverineplains.org.au/quantifying-the-carbon-gains-from-mixed-cropping-systems/

This project was completed within the Cool Soil Initiative with partners Mars Petcare, Kellogg’s, Manildra Group and Allied Pinnacle, through the Sustainable Food Lab and Charles Sturt University (CSU), with additional funding through the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and participating growers. This project was also supported by the North East and Goulburn Broken CMAs through funding provided by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Soil organic carbon & pH online workshop – 23 March

An online workshop with Dr Cassandra Schefe (AgriSci Pty Ltd)  will present the key findings from the Riverine Plains project “Quantifying in-paddock variations of soil organic carbon and pH” project. The project was funded through Goulburn Broken CMA’s “From the Ground Up” project and commenced in 2019.

The workshop will present the research results from this project and aims to increase the understanding of the interaction between soil organic carbon and pH, as well the need for updated sampling practices and opportunities for increasing soil organic carbon.

When: Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Time: 9.00am – 10.15am

Where: online

To register for this workshop, click here or contact Karen Brisbane – Bullock on 0409 955 396 or email karenb@gbcma.vic.gov.au

To download a pdf copy of the flyer, please click here.

Hyper Yielding Crops meeting – key points from 23 February meeting

Riverine Plains hosted Hyper Yielding Crops project meetings at Brocklesby and Rutherglen on Tuesday 23 February, 2021. Results from the Hyper Yielding Crops On-farm Focus Trials, as well as the results from the Hyper Yielding Crops technology centre at Wallendbeen were discussed, with presentations by Nick Poole and Tom Price (FAR Australia), Jon Midwood (TechCrop) and Kate Coffey (Riverine Plains).

More detailed results and information from the Hyper Yielding Crops field day are available by downloading the following presentations NSW HYC Grower meeting 23 Feb 2021 and 210223_HYC RP Innovation Groups

Key points from the On-farm Focus trials were;

Nitrogen trial, Howlong (Accroc wheat)

  • There were clear differences between the northern and southern parts of the paddock, based on the old fence line. The differences could be paddock history, soil type or past management or all of the above.
  • In the northern half of the paddock, there was a negative yield response to extra 100kg/ha urea (46kg N/ha) at GS30 in the strip trial. Yield decreased by 0.45t/ha and gross margin loss was $147/ha.
  • On the southern half of the paddock, the addition of 200kg/ha urea (92kgN/ha) at GS30 produced an extra 0.55t/ha, compared to the Nil urea at GS30 strip to the south. This gave break-even situation.
  • Grain protein (N content of the grain) of the highest yielding strip was only 8.3%.  With different N timings maybe the highest yielding treatment could have been even higher?

Fungicide trial, Culcairn (Trojan wheat)

  • Based on this trial, if stripe rust was left uncontrolled,  yield loss was up to 4.0t/ha.
  • Cogito at GS30, Prosaro at GS32 and Opus at GS39 gave the highest, significant (p<0.05), yield of 7.67t/ha. The additional gross margin from the application of fungicide was: $800/ha.
  • If farmers continue to grow susceptible varieties such as Trojan and Bennett, adding flutriafol on the fertilizer gives the grower significant improvement in levels of control. Fungicides will still be required at GS32 and GS39.

Nitrogen trial, Gerogery (HyTTec canola)

  • Based on this trial, an additional 80 kg/ha of urea at the yellow bud stage gave a significant (p=0.005) yield advantage over the overall paddock strategy. The gross margin of the additional applied nitrogen was $29/ha.
  • Increasing the rate of urea at yellow bud to 160 kg/ha urea didn’t increase yield significantly.
  • To optimize yield,  aim for a target flowering dry matter of 5t/ha. The trial reached this optimum amount of dry matter at flowering. Hybrids offer the potential for higher and more resilient yields over the open pollinated varieties.

 

Free Hands-on Precision Agriculture Training – Yarrawonga, March 1

23 February, 2021  

Word Count: 314 

 FREE HANDS-ON PRECISION AGRICULTURE TRAINING FOR FARMERS IN YARRAWONGA 

 Registrations are now open for an introductory Hands-On Precision Agriculture (PA) Training workshop on Monday 1 March in Yarrawonga. 

 Adrian Roles, from JMAJ Consulting, a leading PA consultant and educator from Young in New South Wales, will facilitate the Riverine Plains and the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) workshop funded by Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).  

This free, interactive workshop will provide growers with an overview of precision agriculture, and hands-on experience with a range of PA technologies and how they can be used to improve the productivity and profitability of their farm business. It will feature case studies from local farmers and PA experts,” Mr Roles said.  

 “Attendees will learn how to develop a basic PA plan, assembling a PA team, and identifying the tools and technologies they either have, or will need, to successfully implement PA on their farm,” Mr Roles finished.  

 Workshop sessions will focus on proven technologies and practices currently in use by growers and advisors including: 

  • how to identify variability (yield mapping, remote sensing, soil and pH mapping, in season monitoring) 
  • how to identify the key causes of yield and profit variability (including acidity/alkalinity, nutrient deficiencies, weed pressure, water logging etc.) 
  • techniques to address yield and profit variability (variable rate, in paddock blending) 
  • predictive analytics (yield forecasts, input management, pest and disease forecasts) 
  • mobile device, tablet and computer based integrative/farm management platforms. 
  • case studies from local farmer Adam Inchbold and PA experts. 

 A second, more advanced workshop will be held later in the year and will build upon the experience gained and the data collected during the 2021 growing season. 

 For more information please visit the Riverine Plains Inc website at riverineplains.org.au or contact Riverine Plains, on (03) 5744 1713. Registration is essential as attendancis limited to 20 people.  Register by email to Fiona Hart at info@riverineplains.org.au  

Ends 

More Information or Interview: Fiona HartChief Operating Officer, Riverine Plains (03 5744 1713)  

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