A CROWD of more than 100 people was drawn to the Liebe Group’s Crop Updates and Trials Review Day on Wednesday, March 7.
The day started with Dowerin farmer Andrew Todd, Laharna Farms and Kondinin Group writer Ben White providing an in-depth look at the latest technology to manage harvest weed seeds.
Rabobank’s Agri-Commodity Market Research head and Grains and Oil Seeds Global Sector strategist Stefan Vogel then updated the audience on the influence Russian and the Black Sea Grain will have on Australia’s access to evolving and traditional markets.
With global trends favouring the giants of grain production throughout the Black Sea region, increased yields and capacity to export from port facilities, Mr Vogel noted that strength remains in Australia’s traditional grain markets, including South East Asia.
But he said growers and Australian grain marketers need to be savvier in their ability to remain competitive.
An agronomy panel finished the morning session reviewing the challenges of 2017 and discussing what growers should consider for the 2018 season.
This was facilitated by Elders-Scholz Rural co-owner David Scholz, who challenged the panel of Peter Borstel (Farmanco), Clint Hunt (Marchagee farmer) and Alex Keamy (Watheroo farmer) with different scenarios that growers might face when managing their paddocks and their business after a season like 2017.
With key messages including careful consideration of carry-over herbicides, using soil testing to ground truth nutrient status of paddocks and optimising 2018 crop performance by utilising fallowed paddocks which have retained subsoil moisture, those in the room had an air of confidence about tackling the season ahead.
Researchers and Liebe Group trial partners gathered for small round table discussions, highlighting the results and key outcomes of the research which had been conducted at the 2017 main trial site and from trials across the Liebe region.
Discussions included managing crop nutrition, alternative on-farm lime sources, managing soil-borne diseases, profitable crop sequencing, cultivation, legume crops and National Variety Trial results.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development economist Dr Elizabeth Petersen introduced growers to a new soil economic model, Ranking Options of Soil Amendments (ROSA), which aims to help growers make decisions about adopting certain amelioration practices on their paddocks, with a focus on the return on investment.
CBH Group chief executive officer Jimmy Wilson provided an overview of the global market and highlighted CBH’s priority areas, including providing better service, reduced costs and a more transparent marketplace.
To finish the day, Nuffield scholar and Mingenew farmer James Dempster discussed his Nuffield study on how to grow the family farm and experience from his travels.
He talked about how a family farm can leverage expansion plans off the great external interest in farmland and suggested looking outside the box for potential investment partner scenarios.
The day concluded with a barbecue and beer, sponsored by CBH Group, which offered a chance to network with growers, presenters and industry partners.
The Liebe Group would like to thank event partners GRDC, Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, CBH Group and diamond partners.