News

Crop walks to focus on emergence and vigour

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July 27, 2017

Michael Straight, FAR Autralia, speaking to farmers at one of the July 2016  series of stubble walks.

Grain farmers looking to improve the profitability and sustainability of their stubble retained systems are invited to the August series of paddock walks being run by local farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc.

“In our region, farmers are continually challenged by how best to deal with the volumes of stubble produced when growing cereal crops,” said Riverine Plains Research and Extension Officer Dr Cassandra Schefe.
“While retaining stubble has many benefits, heavy stubble loads can cause issues with equipment, and the emergence and vigour of the following years’ crop can be compromised if stubble isn’t managed effectively.
 “The dry start to the 2017 season means that variable surface moisture has most likely influenced crop establishment, and the upcoming paddock walks provide an ideal opportunity to discuss establishment, as well as crop vigour, under retained stubble systems.”
The paddock walks will take place on August 1 and 2 at on-farm trial sites located near Yarrawonga, Dookie, Coreen and Henty.
These trial sites have been established by Riverine Plains Inc as part of a 5 year GRDC project comparing the effect of a number of stubble management strategies on crop growth and development.
“We are in our final season of this project and a picture is starting to emerge in terms of how crops respond to the different stubble treatments,” Dr Schefe said.
“Our August paddock walks provide a chance for farmers to see how plants in the various stubble treatments have emerged and how well they are responding to various inputs. The walks also provide an opportunity to discuss previous year’s results.”
Dr Schefe will be facilitating the walks with Michael Straight from FAR Australia who will discuss the early season data from the trial plots, and discuss overall trends in early crop development from across the 2014 to 2017 seasons.
Results from the in-canopy temperature sensors installed at the Yarrawonga, Dookie and Coreen sites in 2017, will also be presented.
There will also be a visit to a related demonstration site at Rennie which is looking at practical and economic ways of lowering stubble heights.
The dates for the upcoming on-farm discussion groups are:
- Coreen, Tuesday, August 1, from 9.30am to midday starting at Tomlinson Ag’s property Emu Park Road (gate is on the western side of the channel, between Minns and Straherne roads), before moving on to Adam Davis’ property at Rennie to view the Fast-Track Ag Demonstration Site.
-  Henty, Tuesday, August 1 from 2pm to 4pm at Peter Campbell’s property. Meet at the sheds, 452 Henty-Pleasant Hills Road, Henty (‘Avondale’ on the mailbox).
- Yarrawonga, Wednesday, August 2 from 10am to midday at Telewonga Pty Ltd, 292 Reillys Rd, Yarrawonga.
- Dookie, Wednesday, August 2 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Ludeman Brothers property, Dookie-Devenish Road (gate is between Dookie-Nalinga Road and Proctors Road), Dookie.
The walks are being held as part of the project Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains, funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The Rennie demonstration site has been established though The Sustainable Agriculture Victoria: Fast-Tracking Innovation initiative, which has been made possible with the support of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) together with the William Buckland Foundation.
The events are free and all are welcome.
For more information please contact Cassie at [email protected] call (03) 5744 1713 or 0419 238 798 or visit the website at riverineplains.org.au.

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