GRDC Crop Update attracted crowd to Mingenew

With the recent summer rains, it’s not very often you get farmers away from their farms as they will be involved in spraying  weeds or moving and preparing their machinery ready for an early seeding in April. But the recent GRDC event has proved otherwise.

Last Friday the first series of GRDC Updates, held in Mingenew, kick off with a fantastic turnout of participants and excellent line-up of speakers who covered a wide range of interesting and timely topics.

These included: topics on strategies to deal with soil compaction and deep ripping, putting controlled traffic farming into action, managing common crop diseases – especially powdery mildew in wheat and sclerotinia in canola, using the best crop varieties and sowing times and dealing with frost.

Of key interests to our region’s grain growers is an excellent presentation by an international keynote speaker – Emeritus Professor David Hughes of Imperial College of London who spoke about global consumers’ trends – what are consumers and retailers looking for in grains.

Professor Hughes said, “The world food trade is undergoing significant change and there is increasing demand from Affluent Asian and Middle Eastern countries looking for safe, healthy, convenient and premium food products.”

Professor Hughes highlighted that consumers like to express a strong preference for food and drinks products that are intrinsically healthy i.e. healthy by nature.

“WA grain growers are well placed and will have significant opportunity for growth in this area,” Prof Hughes said.

Another highlight was a presentation by Lise Jorgensen a leading Danish researcher from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University who spoke about fungicides resistance in cereals and outlined the strategies used by European farmers to manage fungicides experience.

NACC was represented at this event by Stanley Yokwe and Sarah Gilleland who both agreed that the event was remarkable and inspirational.

Mr Yokwe said, “it was one of the excellent events he had attended this year, and it was a valuable opportunities for our growers to quiz and network with each other and experts on wide-ranging topics of importance to their farming enterprises.”

Upcoming crop updates:

 If you live in the NAR, and did not manage to attend the events in Mingenew and Dalwallinu, please don’t feel like you have missed out. There are plenty of events lined up in March. These include:

  • West Midland crop update on 14 March in Badgingarra. For more information about this event, please contact Shae Butler of WMG on admin@wmgroup.org.au
  • Northern Agri group crop update on 15 March in Binnu. For more information about this event, please contact Raylene Burns on northernagrigroup@bigpond.com
  • Soil Restoration Farming Forum on 7-8th March in Dandaragan. For more information about this event, please contact Rachelle Armstrong on soilrestortionfarming@gmail.com
  • Mingenew Irwin Group’s Cattle Stress Free workshop on 13-14 March in Mingenew. For more information about this event, please contact Brooke Forsyth on Brooke@mig.org.au
  • Evergreen Farming Tagasaste workshop on 31 March in Jurien Bay. For more information about this event, please contact Bob Wilson on bobwilson5@bigpond.com

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