MANAGING crop diseases and overcoming soil constraints are some of the challenges to optimising grain production in high rainfall areas of the Albany port zone.
These issues may be among areas for discussion between local growers, advisers and other industry stakeholders when the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Western Region Panel tours the region from Monday, September 17 to Thursday, September 20.
The road trip is part of the panel’s annual fact-finding missions to help identify priority areas for GRDC investments into grains research development and extension (RD&E) and follows a similar tour through WA’s Kwinana West port zone in July-August.
GRDC Western Region Panel chairman Darrin Lee said the panel tours were held each year to help collect grower and stakeholder feedback about how grain levies could be best invested to ensure sustainable grower profitability.
“Areas GRDC invests in with relevance to WA include, but are not restricted to farming systems and rotations, agronomy of cereal and grain legumes, soil amelioration, crop nutrition, weeds, frost, disease and pests,” Mr Lee said.
The Albany port zone tour delegates will comprise GRDC Western Region Panel members and key GRDC personnel who will visit Hay River, Manjimup, Frankland, Woogenellup, Mount Barker, Gairdner, Bremer Bay, Wellstead and Green Range.
Mr Lee said feedback collected from growers and wider industry representatives during this tour would help refine the GRDC’s RD&E investment priorities and plans at a local, regional and national level.
“Fungicide use and dealing with fungicide resistance are also commonly raised as issues in high rainfall zones including the Albany port zone, and the GRDC is making significant investments to address this with Curtin University at the Centre for Crop and Disease Management,” he said.
“Many growers in the Albany port zone have also previously indicated they want cost analysis and assessment of the effectiveness of deep ripping and other soil amelioration tactics to maintain the longevity of treatments and not reverse improvements, especially in areas prone to waterlogging.”