Dr Cassandra Schefe will present local research information on best practice stubble management.

GRDC research update focus on profitable farming systems

Growers and advisors to hear latest in local research on retaining stubble at Corowa GRDC update

There is an air of positivity across southern NSW and northern Victoria crop farming districts heading into the 2018 sowing season.

That confidence was evident at the annual Sykesy’s Buraja Meeting which drew dozens of farmers to the Buraja Recreation Ground hall on Thursday, February 1, and was likely to continue when Grains Research Development Corporation hosts a research update in Corowa on February 15.

“Looking back, at the end of September if someone had told us of the yields we’d be having at harvest we wouldn’t have believed them,” Howlong mixed farmer Ian Trevethan said.

“The fact we got a wet, and more to the point cool, October that’s what got us over the line and set us up really well.

“We really did dodge a bullet. At the end of September we were expecting an ordinary sort of a year to be honest.”

​Mr Trevethan is chair of grower group Riverine Plains, which was part of the Buraja meeting and one of 16 farming systems and research organisations involved in GRDC’s flagship stubble investment, Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble.

GROWTH: Howlong farmer and Riverine Plains chair Ian Trevethan at Sykesy's Buraja Meeting. He says there is a positive feeling in the farm sector. Picture: MARK JESSER

Growers and advisors at the Corowa update will hear the latest research on nitrogen use, yield gaps, dryland productivity and more.

Riverine Plains research and extension officer Cassandra Schefe will outline findings across the past four years at the group’s large scale field trials at Yarrawonga, Henty, Coreen and Dookie.

“These trial sites compared different stubble management practices and plant establishment, growth and yield,” Dr Schefe said.

“The large plot field trials were always placed into a cereal stubble, so the sites didn’t continue in the same location every year, but were placed in different paddocks to maintain the same rotation position, with the trial crop being sown into wheat stubble.”

Lockhart farmer John Stevenson, a 2016 Nuffield Scholarship winner, will talk about boosting productivity, drawing on his scholarship research.

He thought Long Range Wireless Area Networks which allowed remote monitoring of thousands of in-field sensors at very low cost, now in use in Israel, had exciting potential for adaption to Australian farms. 

The update will be at Corowa RSL Club, from 9am, February 15.

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