AS the field day season draws to a close, the Liebe Group and its members have been reflecting on all the research that has been seen across the region in 2018.
This season, the Liebe Group and its research partners, worked hard to develop trials and research that met the priorities of its members, and were showcased at the 2018 Liebe Group Spring Field Day at Kalannie on September 13.
More than 170 growers and industry representatives travelled to Kalannie for the annual event where they were greeted by a structure (pictured) that had been designed and erected by host growers Rowan and Jorden McCreery and their worker Alex Harms.
This created an exciting talking point for the day, which not only framed the Main Trial Site but also doubled as the social gathering point for all those who attended.
It certainly took the ‘IBC Challenge’ to the next level.
With a little help from mother nature, the Kalannie Main Trial Site had 14 exceptional trials, ranging from nutrition management, impacts of summer herbicides on crop establishment and safety, National Variety Trials (NVT), cultivation demonstrations, crop rotations for low rainfall zones, disease management in wheat, pre-emergent herbicide work and much more.
This year’s Spring Field Day also included bus tours to satellite sites at the Dodd family property at Xantippe and the Nixon family property south of Kalannie.
Attendees were guided through Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded projects at these sites including profitable legume break crops, and deep cultivation and incorporation of lime to ameliorate subsoil constraints.
Marquee sessions emphasised the technological path that the agricultural industry is taking, with CSIRO agriculture and food deputy and science director of CSIRO Agriculture and Food Dr Michael Robertson and Rabobank agricultural analyst Wes Lefroy talking to growers about the use of technology to provide transparency, traceability and provenance throughout the entire supply chain.
ARQUUS owner and weather data consultant Richard Riddle, CSIRO farming systems scientist Dr Roger Lawes and MapIQ founder Joel Andrew, also focused on how simple technologies such as weather stations, Control Traffic Farming and variable rate can be adopted on-farm to improve precision nitrogen applications and other decisions that impact the quality and health of crops and livestock.
The research and development session that was held at the Spring Field Day highlighted the need for long-term investment and grower scale demonstration of whole farm system agronomy management, soil amelioration, herbicide resistance, and the adoption of new technologies that enable growers to improve the productivity and profitability of their business.
Almost 40 per cent of Liebe members continue to run mixed farming businesses, where legumes play a key role.
This was evident with the numbers attending the GRDC Legume Demonstration site, where Liebe research and development coordinator Alana Hartley spoke about how crops such as chickpeas, field peas and lupins might have a fit within a crop rotation.
Growers who visited this site were also keen to know more about the value of pasture legume species, herbicide management and improving the overall long term profitability of such legume break crops.
Strong attendance at events such as the Spring Field Day provide the Liebe Group an ideal platform and opportunity to capture growers’ priorities for future research, development and extension (R, D & E).
The Liebe Group said it is the support of the Main Trial Site hosts, event partner Elders Scholz Rural, Diamond partners; CBH, CSBP, Rabobank, AFGRI and RSM, gold and silver partners, project partner GRDC and, all those who attended the day that made this event a successful extension of agricultural research.