LOCAL no-tillage farming and national controlled traffic farming bodies will combine their annual conferences in Perth in August with the 2022 National Soil Amelioration, Controlled Traffic Farming Conference.
To be held at the Duxton Hotel, Perth, on Wednesday and Thursday, August 3 and 4, the conference will be jointly presented by the Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers' Association (WANTFA) and Australian Controlled Traffic Farming Association (ACTFA).
No-tillage and controlled traffic practices complement each other and many farmers follow protocols for both, so it made sense to combine conferences and speakers on subjects of mutual interest, said ACTFA chairwoman Bindi Isbister, who is also a Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) research scientist at Geraldton on soil amelioration projects and part-time precision agriculture consultant.
"Being a national organisation, our (ACTFA) conferences are held in different locations each year, so when it was to be held in Perth this year it was decided to incorporate WANTFA as well because the principles of no tillage and controlled traffic are similar," Ms Isbister said.
She said while soil amelioration might seem an unusual topic for a no-tillage conference, it was being presented as a one-off operation to help resolve particular soil constraints like acidity and non-wetting, to be followed by resumption of controlled traffic farming to minimise compaction and to help retain ground cover and soil moisture.
Ms Isbister, who is one of the authors of a controlled traffic farming technical manual, will present grower case studies at the conference and on the topic changing nutrition post amelioration with variable rate technology.
Southern Cross graingrower and WANTFA chairman Clint Della Bosca will present on low rainfall considerations for amelioration.
Mid-north South Australian controlled traffic farmer and ACTFA board member Luke Clark will explain the controlled traffic farming systems approach and Dr Dio Antilles, ACTFA board member, agricultural engineer and research fellow at the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture, University of Southern Queensland, will discuss compaction under different tyre systems.
Other speakers will include DPIRD research scientists, Dr Craig Scanlon on post amelioration nutrition, Dr Stephen Davies on results and adoption of soil amelioration in WA and Tom Edwards on soil amelioration changing behaviour of herbicides.
Bolgart farmer Trevor Syme, Kojonup grower and WANTFA vice-chairman James Heggaton and Frankland River farmer Ben Beech will outline various aspects from personal experience of no-till and controlled traffic farming under different conditions and in different farming systems.
Equii fertiliser and soils consultant, Wayne Pluske, will talk on fitting soil amelioration into a farm business, WeedSmart southern extension agronomist, Greg Condon, will talk on 'strip and disc' and weed management options and Evolution Agri Services consultant Keiran Grey will talk on tyre options and pressures in practice.
Machinery set ups, mistakes to avoid, wheel track management and wheel track renovation will also be covered at the conference.
Expert panels at the end of each session will discuss questions from the audience.
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