GROWERS at last week's WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) spring field day came to see crop trials but it was the high amount of industry involvement on-site that had people talking.
Long-term no-till farming systems were supposed to be the focus of the field day but less than ideal growing conditions meant crop trials didn't look favourable.
The long-term annual rainfall average for the Cunderdin based trial site was 365mm.
So far this year the site received less than half its annual average with 123mm falling over the months of March, May, June, July and August, with only 102mm of that recorded during the growing season.
Significant weed emergence and slow growth due to frost conditions also significantly hampered the trial site this year.
Positive attention soon turned to the range of tractors, boomsprays, air seeder equipment and the popular Harrington Seed Destructor on display even though most people were "just looking" and "tightening their belts this year."
Suncorp Bank was on hand to offer support and advice about farm finance during tough times and other major supporters like the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) had representatives on hand to liaise with growers.
Presenters still forged ahead and demonstrated the impacts of tillage on crop vigour and nutrient uptake despite the condition of the crops.
Presentations on the effects of soil disturbance and residue treatments on weeds after the application of pre-emergent herbicides and the impact of water rates and spray quality in tall stubble were popular with growers.
As with most cropping field days national wheat and canola variety trials were held to determine which new varieties would best suit local growing conditions.
"Today we've had great support from agricultural industry people," former WANTFA president Toll Temby said.
"It's been about learning how to make your farming system more profitable whether it's been a good year or a bad one and I think we've achieved that today.
"Although things have been a bit tough it isn't the end of the road and the fact people have shown up and taken interest shows they're not just going to lay down."