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Past projects undertaken by the BCG

This page contains archived projects that the BCG has undertaken. Please contact the BCG for more information on any of these projects info@bcg.org.au ph: 03 5492 2787.

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

         

 

2013

 

WATER USE EFFICIENCY

The Water Use Efficiency project is a five year investigation, currently in its final year. The project aimed to address two research areas of potential improvement in whole-farm water use, relevant to the Wimmera-Mallee and beyond.


2012

 

FUNGICIDE DIAGNOSTIC WORKSHOPS

BCG presented fungicide diagnostic schools and technical workshops at Quambatook, Horsham and Westmere in 2012. These events aimed to provide farmers and agronomist with a rare opportunity to hone their crop disease identification, foliar disease management and fungicide management skills without leaving their local region. At each of the schools fungicide diagnostics, disease identification, efficient spray operations and pulse and oilseed phenology were covered.

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2011

 

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

We have recently harvested the first season’s crop in this trial, after a year starting dry and becoming progressively wetter. In early winter, pests such as redlegged earth mites and lucerne flea were present and were effectively controlled in the Conventional plots by the two broad spectrum insecticide applications, whereas in the Strategic plots there were some pests present however the seed treatment meant they did not significantly limit seedling vigour.

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2009

 

DISC SEEDING

BCG, the Hindmarsh Landcare Network and the Agricultural Machinery R&D Centre (AMRDC) of the University of South Australia have received funding to research the potential of disc seeders and new pre-emergent herbicides in the western Wimmera. This project will address weed management limitations encountered with low soil disturbance disc seeders in zero-till cropping systems and will demonstrate and evaluate the benefits of combining novel pre-emergent herbicides with more competitive crop canopies enabled by disc seeders, to promote more sustainable and more robust farming systems.


 

CLIMATE CHANGE ROADSHOW

The 'Climate Change Roadshow' is the latest project focused on climate communication to be undertaken by BCG, supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under its Australia's Farming Future program. Commencing in July 2009, the project involves a series of climate forums in regional towns in the Victorian Mallee and Wimmera region.


 

HEALTHY SOILS FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMS

Healthy Soils – Leaving a Legacy for South Eastern Australia (HSSF) was aimed at improving the health of soils in our region in an attempt to promote the sustainability of agricultural productivity into the future. This project was one of the six key areas within the ‘Making Conservation Pay’ program. More information

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2008

 

PERRENIAL PROFIT IN THE MALLEE

Livestock have been an integral component of cropping systems since the advent of agriculture in Australia; however with the intensification of cropping rotations, the emphasis on the animal component of farming systems in the Mallee Wimmera has declined. In addition, the pasture systems that have evolved have been developed primarily as a means of improving crop performance. In recent times there have been higher than average returns to be gained from livestock renewing interest in their role in cropping systems, however the farming systems that have developed have exacerbated the livestock feed gap between February and May. This gap is especially evident in poor seasons.

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2006

FLEXIBLE FARMING SYSTEMS

A six-year Farming Systems trial, supported by the Grain Growers Association between 2000 & 2006, entered a new era in 2006. The new phase is known as the 'Flexible Farming Systems' trial and was supported by the GRDC as part of a project managed by Ben Jones. Vic No Till began work with BCG in February 2006 on this three-year project.


DEMONSTRATING SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

In this project, BCG works with the Hopetoun and Waitchie Landcare Groups along with DPI to implement at a paddock scale sustainable practices that have been identified to be successful at small scales. The project works at applying these practices at an appropriate scale, involving a range of partners. Two sites were established at Hopetoun and Waitchie, with a third established at Sea Lake in 2006. This project was supported by Mallee CMA.


BCG DROUGHT INITIATIVES (SUPPORTED BY THE VICTORIAN STATE GOVERNMENT)

Through various activities, BCG aimed to reduce the feelings of hopelessness and the negative impact of social isolation on farmers and their families by developing a support network for farmers which encouraged farmers to support each other in a way that ‘forced’ them to re-engage with their families, peers and community. We designed and developed a number of drought support initiatives, some of which were completed in 2005 and several of which continued in 2006. Find out more...


SOUTHERN MALLEE AND NORTHERN WIMMERA FLEXIBLE FARMING SYSTEMS

The aim of the project was to demonstrate four contrasting farming systems in the southern Mallee and northern Wimmera; to analyse the short- and long-term profitability of the four major farming systems in the region; and to identify the key biophysical parameters of sustainability of the farming systems in the region. In February 2006, this trial became known as the Flexible Farming Systems trial. It continues with GRDC funding in collaboration with VNTFA More information about the Flexible Farming Systems Trial

 


FARMING SYSTEMS TO REDUCE RECHARGE

This project (Mallee Catchment Management Authority) took place in 2004 and 2005. It supports work at our northern sites. Water balance investigations – in paddock and modelled – were undertaken along side trial work that trialled management options within minimum tillage systems. This work was built upon in 2005 and continued in 2006.

 


ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

BCG is one of the pilot groups working with the North Central Catchment Management Authority on a project titled "Linking on-farm EMS with catchment targets, a farmer-catchment-government partnership in Victoria". More info

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2005

 

INNOVATIVE COMMUNICATION TOOLS PROJECT (SUPPORTED BY GRDC 2002 - 2005)

This project funding ceased in 2005. BCG worked with Hart (SA) and CWFS (NSW) along with existing partners to bring in new ideas to broaden the knowledge of rural communities. An innovative research and extension program recognised different learning styles and used three main extension tools: hands on (eg. field days, specialised training), hard copy (eg. results manual) and electronic (eg. Virtual Agronomy).

IMPROVING LAND MANAGEMENT DECISIONS THROUGH A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF FACTORS LIMITING PRODUCTION AND THE EFFECT OF CLIMATE ON PRODUCTION AND RECHARGE

The project (North Central Catchment Management Authority) commenced in the second half of 2004 and ran for 12 months. It built upon existing climate and in-paddock variation investigations taking place in the region, and combined real data with modelling to improve our understanding of current systems. Read the full report

VIRTUAL AGRONOMY

In 2004, BCG members were given access to the Virtual Agronomy section of the website. This allowed them to follow the progress of current trials throughout the season from their home, plus keep updated on current issues (eg stripe rust) with photos, advice and assistance in diagnosis and treatment. This project funding ceased in 2005, however the BCG continued to support this innovative communication tool for several years afterwards.

The full report 'Internet Field Days - helping farmers to make better decisions' is available on the RIRDC website Full report Summary

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2004

 

FACILITATING ADOPTION OF ON-FARM CAHNGE IN GREENHOUSE GAS ABATEMENT (COMMUNITY ACTION FUND)

This project concluded in 2004. It supported the 2003 Expo and in 2004 undertook an intensive investigation of nine farms in the Wimmera and Southern Mallee for their Greenhouse Gas emissions, modelling a number of scenarios to identify how best existing farming systems can address emissions on farm. Read the full report

 

ECONOMIC ANALYSISAND COMMUNCATION OF BEST PREACTICE IN THE WIMMERA AND MALLEE AGROECOLOGICAL ZONES (GRDC)

This three-year project built upon the Farming Systems Trial and undertook intensive economic analyses of farming systems in the region. The final year of the project was completed in 2004.

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2003

IMPROVING THE PROFITABILITY OF CROPPING ON HOSTILE SOILS (FUNDED BY GRDC)

In collaboration with the DPI, BCG began a five-year project in July 2003 that will investigate improving the profitability of cropping on hostile subsoils (ranked second to rainfall variability as the cause of poor and variable yields across the neutral to alkaline soils of southern Australia). One of these sites is 5km from Birchip on the Sunraysia Hwy, the other is on the Lubeck-Stawell Road, Lubeck. The completed Identifying, understanding and managing hostile subsoils for cropping manual is now available. Download the manual in sections: Section 1, Section 2, Section 3.

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2002

 

CONTROL OF GROUNDWATER RECHARGE FROM DRYLAND CROPPING PADDOCKS IN THE SOUTHERN MALLEE (NATURAL HERITAGE FUNDED)

The aim of this project (2001 - 2002 seasons) was to identify water use efficient farming systems in the southern Mallee. The outcomes of the project are assisting in the development of sustainable farming systems in the southern Mallee with a target to reduce recharge into groundwater. The project established 22 focus paddocks with 11 farming enterprises. The farming enterprises were chosen on the basis of their farming system and were linked to the Farming Systems Project carried out by BCG (funded by Grain Growers Association and the GRDC).

 

DEVELOPMENT OF ON-FARM TRIALS TEMPLATE FOR GRAIN ZONE (GRDC FUNDED)

The GRDC Grain Zone website was a pilot project where the results of trials and demonstrations undertaken during the 2000 season by four farming systems groups (BCG, Eyre Peninsula, Central West Farming Systems, and Mingenew-Irwin) are presented. Forty trial results (10 from each group) will be on the Grain Zone website by late January, 2002.

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1999

ROW SPACINGS AND SEEDING RATES

What is the optimum row spacing and sowing rate for cereals and other crops? 

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OTHER PROJECTS (YEAR N/A)

 

OPTIMISTIC ECONOMIC YIELD RESPONSES THROUGH DISEASE MANAGEMENT IN WINTER CEREALS (SUPPORTED BY GRDC)

We have recently harvested the first season’s crop in this trial, after a year starting dry and becoming progressively wetter. In early winter, pests such as redlegged earth mites and lucerne flea were present and were effectively controlled in the Conventional plots by the two broad spectrum insecticide applications, whereas in the Strategic plots there were some pests present however the seed treatment meant they did not significantly limit seedling vigour.


 

DIAGNOSTIC FIELD SCHOOLS (FarmBis SUPPORTED)

Two Herbicide Diagnostic and Fungicide Diagnostic Field Schools are held annually. In the past these focused on optimising herbicide and fungicide use and crop impact/disease identification.


THE REAL PROJECT - RELEVANT, EXPERIENCED, APPLIED LEARNING (GRDC FUNDED)

This project aims to provide timely, applied and real information to farmers, advisors and consultants through the ongoing establishment of relevant and credible demonstration and experimental agronomic sites across the southern Mallee and Wimmera. Our main site hosts 40 trials and demonstrations across 20ha, conducted by the BCG and DPI. Our satellite sites are smaller versions of the main research site located up to 100km radius from Birchip with trials addressing agronomic issues identified as having local significance to members in these areas. Where are the sites?


 

CAFE GRAINS (GRDC FUNDED)

BCG’s internet site Discussion Forum Bulletin Board provides a platform for innovative and interested grain growers, researchers and agronomists to discuss topical issues affecting the grains industry. Issues such as long term weather forecasting, crop nutrition, and in crop pest control were posted as discussion forum themes on the Bulletin Board.

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