Lisa GRDC Bendigo

GRDC Research Update – Bendigo

On the 20th of April, five SFS staff, Ashley Amourgis, James Palmer, Lisa Miller, Grace Evans and Cameron Barr, attended the GRDC Grains Research Update in Bendigo. This event was an excellent opportunity for researchers, consultants and growers from around the state to learn from the main findings of the latest grain research and extension work conducted around the country.

Throughout the day, the SFS team split up to cover as many of the presentation topics as possible, with a view to bringing new knowledge and ideas to SFS’ own trials program, projects and extension work.

SA grower and researcher Andrew Barr opened the update with a presentation on the challenges the agricultural industry is facing around the world, and how these can impact global food production and sustainability. Andrew used the EU’s ‘Farm to Fork’ policy as an example, in which proposed actions include 50% reduced pesticide usage, 20% reduction of fertilisers and 10% reduction of the total land used for crops. In detailing the concepts of conventional, regenerative, organic and precision agriculture, Andrew concluded that growers, researchers and consultants must be accustomed with alternative views on farming systems and continue to participate in the debate to ensure good future decision making.

Early in the day, Audrey Delahunty from Agriculture Victoria explained some fundamentals of effectively identifying pulse growth stages, which is essential for safe application of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Audrey talked about the progress towards a unified pulse growth stage key for consistent use among growers and agronomists.

Roberto Busi from the University of Western Australia showcased his work in herbicide resistance trials where his findings showed the effectiveness of double knock strategies and mixing paraquat with a number of different modes of action.

Dale Grey from Agriculture Victoria had a large turnout tohis presentation on the climatic conditions of season 2023, revealing the global weather patterns that contribute to El Nino and La Nina events in Australia and what we can expect from El Nino conditions based on history.

SFS Research and Extension Officer, Lisa Miller, presented on the findings from a long term lime response research trial held at Mt Mercer, in which various sources of lime and methods of application were used and tested. Lisa shared the importance of soil testing in 5cm increments down to 20cm to identify stratified soil acidity layers that may disrupt root growth. Lisa also presented on this trial at the Bannockburn Update held on the 22nd February. Keep an eye out for the 2023 SFS Results Book to read more about this trial and Lisa’s findings.

Overall, the 2024 GRDC Bendigo Grains Research Update provided SFS staff with a valuable insight into the ongoing research workaround the country, and generated ideas that can be integrated into the SFS community for continuous improvement.

By Cameron Barr, Graduate Research & Extension Officer

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