Dairy

Mixed farming pros and cons

By Country News

Addressing some of the challenges and advantages of mixed farming systems in the Grains Research and Development Corporation Southern Region will be the focus of a mixed farming forum held this week.

It will be hosted by Riverine Plains at Rutherglen on Wednesday, March 13, and executive officer Fiona Hart said the past few years had seen some grain growers capitalise on strong meat and wool prices by introducing stock for the first time or by re-introducing or expanding their individual livestock enterprises.

‘‘There are a number of potential advantages that come from integrating both livestock and cropping enterprises into a mixed farming system, including reduced input costs, the potential to reduce climatic and economic risks, greater income diversity and increased resilience,’’ Ms Hart said.

‘‘However, these changes also require more complex decisions, a greater range of skills, a higher level of management and additional labour demands for mixed farmers compared to operations with a single focus.’’

The GRDC Mixed Farming Forum at Rutherglen aims to address a number of issues specific to mixed farming systems including sheep requirements in the cereal-sheep zone for optimal productivity, the importance of sown fodder on a mixed farm, and stubble grazing values.

A focus of the day will also be the discussion of information and results generated from the highly successful Grain and Graze programs, as part of a two-year project investment by GRDC to increase awareness of the outcomes of the project, which is being managed by Ag Ex Alliance.

■The Mixed Farming Forum will be held on Wednesday, March 13 in Agriculture Victoria’s Rutherglen Centre at 124 Chiltern Valley Rd, Rutherglen, from 8.45am to 1.30pm.

■The workshop is free but RSVP for catering to 5744 1713 or email: info@riverineplains.org.au