You speak and we listen – local grower forum held in Mullewa

“Come and have your say, identify and validate activities and research that you think will make a difference to farming profitability in your area.”

This was the message that brought together more than 50 grain growers and industry representatives when the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) held its Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) forum in Mullewa recently.

This local event was the first in a series of forums and was organised by RCSN’s coordinator Julianne Hill in liaison with local GRDC’s panel and RCSN members.

The forum attracted an excellent line-up of speakers who covered a wide range of interesting and timely topics including GRDC investment priorities, strategies to deal with soil compaction, non-wetting soil, crop rotation, and spray fallow techniques for better moisture conservation and winter and summer weed control.

Attendees were treated to an excellent presentation by Bindi Isbister of the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development who generously shared some key lessons she learnt during the 2017 National Control Traffic Farming (CTF) Conference held recently in Perth.

Bindi said that many speakers and growers at the conference indicated that their works on CTF showed evidence of reduction in fuel costs per crops, increase in soil health and worm count, and reduction in nitrous oxide emissions and absorbed (rather than emitted) methane.

NACC’s Sustainable Agriculture Project Manager Callum Love who also attended the 2017 National CTF Conference said it was obvious that there were major benefits to a CTF system.

“The system is proven to work with decent return on investment over time while substantially improving soil health,” he said.

The RCSN forum concluded with an open workshop, with grain growers divided into groups to discuss the opportunities for grain profitability that have been identified through existing GRDC networks.

They also spent time identifying any additional issues of equal or greater importance to profitability and sustainability of grain industry.

NACC Regional Landcare Facilitator Stanley Yokwe who participated at the forum said the day was very informative and eye opening.

“It has helped boost my understanding of the needs of our local growers which I hope to incorporate in some of my future Landcare program planning,” he said.

For more information about the GRDC RCSN forum, please contact Julianne Hill at regionalcroppingsolutions@gmail.com, and to provide feedback about this article please contact Stanley Yokwe at Stanley.Yokwe@nacc.com.au.

 

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