Updating growers on seasonal outlooks

By Country News

Local farming systems group Riverine Plains will host its annual In-Season Update in Mulwala next week.

‘‘The In-Season Update is an important event on our calendar and provides an opportunity for grain growers to consider the issues likely to affect grain crops this spring,’’ Riverine Plains executive officer Fiona Hart said.

‘‘With grain growers experiencing very different conditions across the region in terms of moisture availability, the spring rainfall outlook will inform key decisions around pest and disease management as well as crop nutrition,’’ she said.

This all-important spring outlook will be delivered by Agriculture Victoria seasonal variability agronomist Dale Grey who, in a first for the In-Season Update, will speak via videolink.

Riverine Plains project officer Jane McInnes will provide a snapshot of current soil moisture availability, using data from the Riverine Plains’ weather station network, to help understand how much water is currently being held in the region’s soils.

Spring and the run-up to harvest is also a critical time to consider broader farming strategies.

‘‘Weed management is a perennial issue and James Manson from Southern Farming Systems will discuss the long-term economics and impact of harvest weed seed control techniques using results from a Grains Research and Development Corporation project involving Riverine Plains,’’ Ms Hart said.

Nick Ennis from Lawson Grains will discuss the application of precision agriculture technologies for targeted soil amelioration.

Earlier this year, Riverine Plains research co-ordinator Cassandra Schefe received the prestigious GRDC 2019 Southern Region Recognising and Rewarding Excellence Award, through which she visited Canada and the United States.

Her observations on cover cropping, soil research, regenerative agriculture and pulse research and development will provide a global perspective on these topics.

A joint presentation by Dr Schefe and Ms McInnes will provide an update of Riverine Plains’ current local research program, while Riverine Plains project officer Kate Coffey will review the economic results from a GRDC project looking at applying sulphur to canola crops in southern NSW.

The In-Season Update will be held at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort in Mulwala on Thursday, August 8 from 9am to 1pm; registrations open at 8.30am.

After lunch a Soil Health Workshop will take place from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Farmers are invited to discuss the importance of soil health as well as how to improve the local relevance of soil improvement research.

For catering purposes, pre-registrations must be received by August 5. Cost is $25 for Riverine Plains members and $35 for non-members (payable online or on the day) and includes morning tea and lunch.

■To register, email Fiona Hart at or phone 5744 1713.