Grower panels a drawcard at regional Grains Research Updates


GRDC has released the programs for the highly anticipated Grains Research Update regional series in Western Australia, with events set for Yuna, Salmon Gums, Lake Grace, Mukinbudin and Darkan throughout March.

Grains Research Updates are GRDC’s flagship events and a key platform for communicating the latest information from research, development and extension (RD&E) investments made by the organisation. The western regional series follows the two-day Grains Research Update to be held in Perth on 26 and 27 February.

GRDC western region Panel Chair Darrin Lee says this year’s events will have a farm-ready research focus with several panel discussions featuring local growers and advisers.

“This year every regional Grains Research Update has a panel session that will inform grower-focused discussion on topics including ag tech, soil engineering and farming systems,” Mr Lee says.

“The issues and focus areas for each location have been informed by local planning committees, ensuring that each event will deliver regionally responsive and relevant content for growers, advisers and industry.

“The Updates are a fantastic opportunity to mix and learn from industry experts both locally and from afar, and to talk about the season just experienced, what worked, what failed, the challenges and the wins, as well as looking ahead to new ideas and practices that can make a difference on-farm.”

The regional Grains Research Updates will be held in:

  • Yuna, March 6, Yuna Community Centre
  • Salmon Gums, March 12, Salmon Gums Community Centre
  • Lake Grace, March 14, Lake Grace Sports Pavillion
  • Mukinbudin, March 19, Mukinbudin Sporting Complex
  • Darkan, March 21, Darkan Sport and Community Centre.

At the Yuna update, a panel session on amelioration will feature Stephen Davies, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Bindi Isbister, Agrarian, and Peter Newman, Planfarm, and will discuss what happens to ameliorated paddocks in low rainfall years, with specific examples from the 2023 season.

Highlights at the Salmon Gums update include weed and herbicide resistance management strategies and managing soil variability, as well as a new technology panel where growers will share their experiences with Swarm Bot, variable rate technology and other new technology for grain growing enterprises.

Darrin Lee

GRDC Western region Panel Chair Darrin Lee said the Updates were an opportunity to mix and learn from industry experts and to talk about new ideas and practices that can make a difference on-farm. Photo: GRDC

In Lake Grace, a panel session will look at soil engineering– which machine for which job – featuring Garren Knell, ConsultAg, and Gaus Azam, DPIRD, as well as a panel of growers to discuss local trials and experiences with different soil amelioration equipment.

At Mukinbudin, key focus areas include nitrogen management and marketing for grain, as well as a session from Ben White, Kondinin Group, on future innovations for farm machinery to improve productivity and sustainability of grain growing.

Mukinbudin’s panel session will feature Chris O’Callaghan from the Liebe Group with a panel of growers discussing strip and disc experiences.

To round out the series, the Darkan update on March 21 will feature lessons from the High Yielding Crops project in the high rainfall zone, precision agriculture in rocky and hilly country and a panel of growers facilitated by Andrew Ritchie, Icon Agriculture, reflecting on lessons from 2023 for cropping programs and farming systems in 2024 and anything new planned to be trialled.

The GRDC regional Grains Research Updates are hosted by local grower groups and partners including Yuna Farm Improvement Group, Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group, Lakes Information and Farming Technology, North Mallee Farm Improvement Group and Compass Agricultural Alliance.

To view the full event programs and register visit the GRDC website

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