A Word From The Chair

I would like to congratulate the BCG staff on their completion of the full 2020 cropping trials program in the current Covid-19 environment.  

BCG look forward to presenting in season trials and results through numerous communication methods to our members, the agricultural community, sponsors and collaborators later in the year. 

I made comment during the 2020 sowing program that I could not hear the hum of tractors in the air, unlike my early farming career during the 1970s and ’80s when it took days to complete one or two paddocks. 

However, what I did observe was the efficiency of a well-planned logistical plant program of the 2020s. Large hi-tech machinery, working in tandem, efficiently seeding hundreds of hectares in a twenty-four hour period, moving swiftly from one part of the farm to the next, requiring all hands on deck to move machinery to the next farm. 

Logistics, technology and timely decisions play a major role in the success of our farming systems and if any of these fail it disrupts the processes. 

We learn from our success and well as our mistakes, and as such I have compiled a list of the hiccups, highlights and challenges of the Ferrier Plant 2020. I encourage you to do the same.

Hiccups 

  • At the commencement of the seeding program the Coronavirus Pandemic had been announced, so a set of procedures were put in place for the health and safety of our agricultural workplace. 
  • The GPS enabling 2cm guidance on the sowing tractor failed. This caused minor stress until it was replaced. 
  • The occasional blocked hoses. 

Challenges 

  • Timely management of insect populations in emerging canola 
  • Timely procurement of inputs for the seeding program  

Highlights 

  • Timely rainfall equals timely seeding and emergence before the end of May 
  • Opportunity to use chemicals for double knock 
  • Pre-emergent chemical use is showing good results 
  • Setting up and using Variable rate technology for trial work 
  • The opportunity to plant a new crop, SHO Safflower, in the Southern Mallee. 


As farmers we are gamblers, weather forecasters, agronomists, marketers, mechanics, laborers, financial managers, fixers of all things broken. 

The season to date is setting us up to have a rewarding result, but history has taught us to be realists. To know that we could be thrown a curveball at some stage to challenge us. However, our intuition, our skill sets and valuable resources such as BCG, enable us to manage ourselves and make informed decisions to get us through. 

I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the 2020 season. 

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