ELDERS Merredin and the Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group (MADFIG) hosted a field walk in the Hines Hill area, 25 kilometres west of Merredin on August 19.
About 130 people attended including 85 farmers, 25 agronomists/consultants, supplier representatives and others from the agricultural industry.
Organisers said agricultural research and development spending in eastern parts of the Central Wheatbelt had fallen away in recent years, reducing opportunities for growers to see the latest products, varieties and techniques first-hand.
Elders and MADFIG saw this research vacuum as a challenge and formed a working partnership earlier to address the issue.
With assistance and input from MADFIG members, Elders was able to co-ordinate and with the backing of key suppliers, fund several trials that were seen as relevant to local growers.
"Field walks like these give us an opportunity to showcase our ability to provide farmers with agronomic expertise that ultimately results in improved farm profitability," said Keith Perry, Elders Merredin.
"I think that given the excellent attendance we were also able to demonstrate to our suppliers that there is widespread farmer support for those companies willing to direct some of their research budget into eastern areas now and in the future."
MADFIG members provided suitable farmland in the immediate vicinity to host a National Variety Trial and long coleoptile wheat variety trial that were both viewed with considerable interest on the day.
Other trials included pre and post emergent wild radish control in wheat, Overwatch herbicide tankmixes for ryegrass and radish control, group G knockdown spikes in pasture, pre and post emergent matricaria control in wheat, and crop response to Phosphorus and humates.
With such a large trial program the event ran all day and attendees took a bus from site to site.
They were treated to barista-made coffee and lunch before Elders and its suppliers hosted a sundowner and barbecue dinner.
Feedback from both farmers and suppliers was positive and encouraging to organisers.
Early indications are that this will become an ongoing event and organisers thanks groups and companies that were involved including Bayer Cropscience, Nufarm, FMC, Adama, GRDC, AGT, SLR Agriculture and CSBP.