2013 Archived News Page
Below is a list of BCG related news stories. If you would like to suggest a news item, please email BCG with the details of your event.
Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) has welcomed four new members to its Board.
Watchupga East canola variety results are now available here for members only (log in required)!
BCG took ownership of its brand new Wintersteiger Delta plot harvester in late October, just in time for harvest 2013.
Birchip Cropping Group has announced that chief executive officer, David Chamberlin, will leave BCG in January after almost three years with the organisation. Mr Chamberlin said he had enjoyed living and working in Birchip and contributing to many improvements at BCG.
To help cover the information that is most relevant to growers in your area, BCG needs to do a representative evaluation of the information that both growers and advisors need in regards to nutrition for the southern region. To help us do so, please complete an online questionnaire.
What factors and drivers are impacting on profit in the Wimmera and Mallee? BCG and ORM invites growers to attend a farm profit clinic to participate in analysis and diagnosis of real data from Wimmera and Mallee farms. Thursday 7 November
The 2013 BCG crop walk series has come to a close; these crop walks had outstanding grower participation with over 200 visiting the eight satellite sites from the end of August until 10 October. With a bounty of crop walks and field days held throughout spring, the participation that BCG experienced at our crop walks far exceeded expectations.
Lamb used to be a byproduct of the Merino wool industry, but after wool crashed in the 1990's there was a shift to lamb production, and it has only been in the last 3-4 years that the industry has become serious about meat quality. Markets in America and Europe are very strict on quality control, and whole consignments of export packaged lamb can be rejected if a lamb pack is identified as defect.
Farmers are invited to inspect research in their region when BCG and Agritech Rural host a spring crop walk through the Horsham research site this Thursday (October 10). The 2013 Horsham research site, which is a joint BCG/Agritech Rural initiative, was established to create stronger linkages between agricultural research organisations and agribusiness for the benefit of farmers. The site is one of BCG's largest and boasts more than 20 wheat, barley, pulse and canola trials and demonstrations investigating a wide array of agronomic, management and weed control issues.
BCG is currently seeking two research officers and is also looking to fill a position on its Board.
BCG's first ever Sheep Management Showcase was hailed a resounding success with a capacity crowd of over 200 filing through the gates of a Morton Plains paddock last week. Attracting graziers and mixed farmers from the Wimmera, Mallee and beyond, the event received rave reviews from attendees who relished the opportunity hear from an impressive line up of engaging and informative sheep industry experts. At the end of the day the majority of attendees said they had learned something new and would implement at least one practice change on their farm as a result of the event. This page contains the audio recordings from the days presentations.
BCG's 2013 spring crop walk series will begin at the end of this month with trial tours and discussions scheduled at seven BCG satellite trial sites spread across the Mallee and Wimmera. The crop walk series gives growers an opportunity to walk through BCG's satellite sites and hear about the research taking place in their region.
BCG's first ever Sheep Management Showcase saw a crowd of over 200 attendees pass through the gates of a Morton Plains paddock last week. Attracting graziers and mixed farmers from the Wimmera, Mallee and beyond, the event received rave reviews from attendees who relished the opportunity hear from an impressive line up of engaging and informative sheep industry experts.
Renowned sheep industry expert Jason Trompf is heading to Birchip next week to show local graziers and mixed farmers how they can get more from a livestock enterprise. Dr Trompf will headline an excellent line up of speakers booked for BCG's first Sheep Management Showcase at Morton Plains on August 15. As a livestock consultant (JT Agri-Source), BESTWOOL-BESTLAMB group chairman and the manager of a 3000 head prime lamb flock in north east Victoria, Dr Trompf has a wealth of knowledge and practical tips to share with farmers.
The very latest sheep industry technology and information will be on show at a Morton Plains shearing shed this month; and all graziers and mixed farmers are invited.
Growers planning to graze a barley, oat or wheat crop this season might now be contemplating when to let their sheep into the paddock, or even how to go about it. Following are a few factors to consider that might help with grazing management over the next few months.
O'Connors Farm Machinery will be hosting demonstration days in the Wimmera Mallee in July and August to showcase tillage products from Bourgault, Ausplow, Gason and more.
A well-attended event, the BCG Expo Dinner on Wednesday 3 July had 150 guests, including industry representatives and local growers as a prelude to the BCG Grains Research Expo. To give the audience an insight into farming in Mudamuckla on the Western Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, BCG welcomed the 2012 Australian Farmer of the Year, Peter Kuhlmann. Mr Kuhlmann, who said that his property has, on the odd occasion, been classified as the 'desert' by some climatologists, gave attendees an insight into farming in the low rainfall area around Ceduna, where they receive approximately 260mm of rain during the growing season (and 291mm annually).
Birchip P-12 School was transformed into the agricultural epicenter of north western Victoria last Thursday when BCG hosted its 18th Grain Research Expo. Farmers, researchers and industry exhibitors spent a full day attending discussion sessions, watching demonstrations, checking out a vast array of new products and services on display, or simply catching up with neighbours, colleagues and friends.
This Grain & Graze II initiative is aiming to understand more about the impact of livestock enterprises on business performance and the risk profile of Wimmera and Mallee farms. An analysis of whole farm financial and physical data will be conducted utilising real farm data collected from across the region.
The annual Best Wool Best Lamb conference, is being held in Bendigo on Wednesday 26 June. This conference is a key event on the BWBL calendar as it draws everyone across the sheep industry together. This year four high profile keynote speakers have been booked and there will be 12 concurrent discussion sessions.
New Grain and Graze 2 case studies are now available to read. The case studies look at growers grazing crops with livestock, and livestock in no-till enterprises.
The GRDC Research Update for Growers (Manangatang and Warracknabeal) is about providing quality information on topical and practical issues relevant to the productivity and profitability of grain enterprises.
Farmers are invited to learn how to farm smarter, not harder by applying lessons learnt from five years of BCG research at the 'Water Use Efficiency: five years on' workshop on Friday, June 14. The GRDC funded, 'Yielding Benefits through Partnerships' project began in 2008, and explores the impact of farming systems and how crops can make better use of 'out of season rainfall'.
The inaugural BCG livestock season research results handbook, a culmination of BCG livestock research from 2012. Additionally, we have included invited articles from other farming systems groups and a number of farmer case studies from producers who we recognise as ambassadors for Grain & Graze.
Birchip will become the epicentre for hundreds of bustling, information-eager farmers, agronomists and grains industry representatives as they visit the town for BCG's annual Grains Research Expo.
Since the first trial (early sown wheat) was sown in late February at Curyo, BCG has now begun the bulk sowing program, especially in the last fortnight. The research team is focussed on getting seed packed and striving for good time management as this is the key criteria for the sowing program to run smoothly.
Nufarm has joined forces with BCG to support local research and development in the Wimmera and Mallee.
The 'Yielding Benefits through Partnerships' project funded by GRDC began in 2008, and delves into the impact of farming systems and the subsequent crop use of 'out of season rainfall', break crops and their effect on water use efficiency.
The GRDC funded initiative More Profit from Crop Nutrition II (MPCN II) is a national project aiming to increase nutrient use efficiency and have growers making better fertiliser decisions. This initiative includes 24 projects across Australia, and BCG is responsible for the Extension and Training (South) project, which aims to deliver up-to-date information to help growers and advisers make better fertiliser decisions to increase efficiency and profitability.
A workshop presented by the Nullawil Prime Lamb Group including a presentation by Declan McDonald, Productive Soil Specialist, Vic DPI and soil profile mapping with DPI Farm Plan 21 team.
Membership renewals are now due.
BCG has made an extra early start to its trial sowing program this year with the first research trial sown on February 25. This trial will compare the early grazing and yield potential of winter wheat varieties sown very early in response to summer rain.
'Farming for Tomorrow' is BCG's theme for 2013. Looking towards helping farmers to secure a productive, sustainable and profitable future, this year BCG will focus on identifying ways growers can refine their systems and improve efficiencies. BCG will investigate ways to farm smarter, drawing on grower knowledge and experience as well as information from industry experts and research findings.
2013 main research site - Watchupga East This year's main research trial site is at Watchupga East. John and Sammi Mitchell have kindly agreed to allow BCG to use their paddock for the main site, which is 25km north of Birchip on the corner of Birchip-Sea Lake and Watchupga East Road. The paddock selected for this year's main site features a lighter soil type than the 2012 main site, being a Mallee sandy loam. BCG is looking forward to getting into the season, working with the Mitchell family, and delivering findings that will benefit local growers.
The Australian Grain Free Air CO2 Enrichment (AGFACE) program was established in 2007 to investigate how field grown crops would respond to future elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. However, as knowledge about how plant growth was effected by elevated CO2 came to light, it became evident that little was known about soil-crop interactions and nutrient dynamics under elevated CO2. To fill this knowledge gap, SoilFACE, a sub-project of the AGFACE program, was established in the Wimmera four years ago.
A glittering Roaring 20s ball was enjoyed by a large crowd at Birchip last Saturday night to celebrate BCG's 20th anniversary. The atmosphere was jubilant and joyful as former and current members of the Board, staff, sponsors and BCG members gathered to toast 20 years of local farmer-driven research.
BCG is once again offering a pre-cropping soil sampling service to members in 2013. Sampling will take place mid-late February, beginning with northern Mallee farmers and moving south through the Wimmera. We encourage all farmers to sample their paddocks in order to gain a good indication of their soil nutrient and moisture availability.
BCG will hold its invaluable annual Trials Review day and launch the 2012 BCG Season Research Results handbook at the Birchip Community Leisure Centre on February 15.
One of the most valued days in a BCG member's calendar will be held on Friday 15 February at the Birchip Community Leisure Centre. Held exclusively for members, Trials Review is a thought-provoking day where results and key findings from 2012 research will be released. In 2012, BCG was responsible for over 100 trials at more than 15 sites across the Wimmera and Mallee, the largest number in its history. With a full program, this year's Trials Review will deliver a great and varied amount of information ready for farmers to put to use in the 2013 season.
A celebration to mark BCG's 20th birthday will be held in early February, and we warmly invite you along to help us celebrate. This year marks 20 years since the first BCG (formerly Birchip Cropping Demonstration Sites) farmer-driven agricultural research trials were sown, and BCG members and associates are invited to celebrate this milestone.