Panel talks industry issues

By Country News

A diversity of farming systems, rainfall zones, cropping constraints and profit growth opportunities for grain growers will be on the radar for the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Region Panel during its annual spring tour this month.

This year’s tour will be through north central, north-east and south-west Victoria, where panel members and GRDC staff will meet with growers, researchers, advisers, farming systems groups, agribusiness and other grains industry specialists.

Panel chair John Bennett said the tour, which will begin on September 17, would visit growers’ properties, research facilities and institutions, trial sites and downstream enterprises.

‘‘The tour serves an important function in terms of developing a greater understanding of issues facing growers and identifying research, development and extension priorities,’’ Mr Bennett said.

‘‘It also enables us to assess first-hand the impact and relevance of GRDC investments in RD&E in the regions.’’

Mr Bennett said spring tour participants would be exposed to barriers to profitability across a range of rainfall zones that not only affected growers in Victoria, but had broader relevance across the entire southern cropping region.

‘‘We will be discussing with growers various production issues they are dealing with in their farming systems — from constraints in irrigated cropping programs, through to the impact of this year’s dry growing season in many areas, as well as subsoil amelioration, soil acidity, precision agriculture and optimising canola yields,’’ Mr Bennett said.

One group will travel through Victoria’s north central and north-east regions, where locations for visits include Congupna, Numurkah, Yarrawonga, Rutherglen, Wangaratta, Glenrowan and Dookie.