Global Agriculture

Australia: Victoria’s grain growers to converge on Bendigo

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13 February 2023, AU: Bendigo will host Victoria’s premier grains research forum for growers and agronomists to meet experts and network and gain advance access to the latest research findings.

The 2023 GRDC Grains Research Update – Bendigo will be held on February 21 and 22, with more than 200 people expected to attend.

Keynote presentations will also be livestreamed and will cover topical issues from maximising wheat yields to maintaining a healthy mindset under pressure.

The event aims to ensure growers, whose levies support Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investments, can benefit from the emerging technologies, innovations in best practice and new knowledge generated by those investments.

Victorian grain grower and GRDC Southern Panel Chair Andrew Russell will attend the Bendigo Update and is looking forward to sharing stories and learning from others’ experiences.

“The past season has been a dynamic one with growers across the state affected differently,” says Mr Russell.

“At the Update we’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly, and be able to talk to other growers and advisers about how they managed the season they faced and what worked well – so we can learn from each other to improve our own businesses.

“I’ve been in this industry for more than 25 years and I’ve never missed an Update – it’s a vital part of my business to keep informed about the very latest research to help growers.”

Mr Russell says he encourages young people to attend and for business owners, employers and research leaders to bring along their junior staff and students.

“It’s a great opportunity for young people and a unique networking opportunity for them to meet all sorts of people across the industry in person for the first time.”

Around 25 speakers will cover a range of topics at the Bendigo event including the latest practical insights into weed and disease management, soil nutrition, and soil amelioration.

Big topic issues will explore the grain variety classification systems, maintaining and increasing productivity without glyphosate, and the impact of soil properties on pre-emergent herbicides.

Keynote speaker and agronomic consultant Allan Mayfield will review international practices to maximise wheat yield and their potential to improve wheat yield in Australia’s high yielding environments such as southern Victoria.

“Two growers in the UK and New Zealand who are consistently achieving the highest yields in the world of 16t/ha put in a lot of time thinking about crop management,” says Mr Mayfield.

“In short, their success is due to attention to detail, particularly in relation to crop nutrition.

“But it is not as simple as just chasing high yields by applying more nitrogen fertiliser – other limiting factors come into play.

“Growers could use grain nutrient testing in addition to soil and leaf testing, they can target good soil condition by building up organic matter and soil nutrient reserves, and run in-paddock test strips to try different fertiliser strategies.”

He also warns that higher yields are never guaranteed.

“Restrictions on agricultural inputs in Europe has seen their crop production go backwards.

“We shouldn’t assume crop productivity will continue to get better and we must support our industry leaders to keep advancing and innovating.”

Another topical and pervasive issue facing growers is mental health – especially after the wet spring. Keynote speaker Kim Huckerby of The Wellbeing Affect will share insights on how to maintain a healthy mindset under pressure.

“Growers face a continuous onslaught of unexpected challenges, just when you think things are OK, something else comes up,” says Ms Huckerby.

“Identifying and breaking down the specific challenges you face and implementing an action plan to help is key to keeping a healthy mindset.

“We often know what we ‘should’ be doing to stay well – but that’s different to knowing how to do it and in a way that works for you.”

During her talk Ms Huckerby will offer a range of small achievable actions and strategies growers and others can implement to say well.

Following the Bendigo event, the Grains Research Update – Rokewood, Victoria, will take place on February 23.

GRDC Grains Research Updates in Victoria are organised by ORM with the support and involvement of many research and industry organisations and individuals.

Also Read: Developing Agricultural Research Institutes

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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