Tackling tough times

By Country News

Grain growers and advisers dealing with tough seasonal conditions in southern NSW can tune in for timely advice to guide crop management decisions, thanks to a four-part specialist podcast series developed by the Grains Research and Development Corporation and NSW DPI.

The podcasts feature specialist researchers recorded as part of a joint GRDC/NSW DPI Tough Season Questions Answered grower forum at the recent Henty Machinery Field Days.

GRDC northern grower relations manager Richard Holzknecht said the podcasts were recorded to give growers and advisers access to vital information as they considered their crop management options with dry conditions continuing to threaten grain yields and profitability.

‘‘Many southern NSW growers and advisers are currently weighing up the economics of conserving as hay or silage, grazing or harvesting their crops and the GRDC and NSW DPI are committed to playing a role providing access to the latest research data and relevant agronomic advice,’’ Mr Holzknecht said.

‘‘We understand it has been a very challenging season and the more information growers have, the better positioned they are to make strategic decisions that consider long-term management implications.

‘‘These podcasts have been developed to add to the resources available for growers and advisers and offer tips for considering the costs and benefits associated with various management options, such as nutrient removal and the value of ground cover.’’

The first podcast in this series, Assessing Biomass in the Paddock, features NSW DPI cereal physiologist Felicity Harris and highlights the need for growers and advisers to identify biomass in paddocks so informed decisions can be made to either take a crop through to harvest, cut for fodder or silage, or consider grazing options.

In the second podcast, NSW DPI southern pastures leader Nigel Phillips explains why A Tough Season Needs an Action Plan.

In his podcast, Mr Phillips encourages growers to think about options and reminds them that crops impacted by drought and/or frost could still be valuable as livestock feed.

NSW DPI feed lab analytical chemist Richard Meyer features in the third podcast, Optimising Feed Quality, where he applies lessons learned from past droughts and frost events to this season to assist in determining the feed quality of a crop.

The final episode in the series features NSW DPI research agronomist Graeme Sandral talking about the impacts of drought on Crop Nutrient Removal and Seed Quality for next season.

In this podcast, Mr Sandral explains how decisions made this season will potentially impact crop nutrition and fertiliser management for next year.

■The GRDC NSW DPI Tough Season Questions Answered podcasts are available at: