Farmers focus on the future at BCG Trials Review


BCG, hosted a capacity crowd for its annual trials review day which was held at Birchip on February 19.

The event motivated robust discussion, not only about the challenges of 2015, but also the opportunities the industry presents going forward.

Farmers Adam Campbell (Corack) and Alistair Murdoch (Piangil), who shared their experiences in 2015 with the audience, agreed that while 2015 had been difficulties, farming offered a bright future with agricultural research and new technologies and farm practices empowering food producers to adapt to a changing climate.

Despite the dryer than average season BCG produced valuable research in 2015 which was well received by growers.

The results from wheat, barley, pulse and oat variety trials, frost and weed control research motivated a good deal of discussion with growers gaining a good understanding about crop varieties and weed management practices that could benefit their farming system.

The trials review day also featured a presentation from farm business specialists Phil O’Callaghan (ORM) and Harm van Rees.

Mr O’Callaghan highlighted how rising farm costs were impacting business risk profile.

He said effectively, farm business risks were higher and risk management was implicitly linked to cost management.

Mr van Rees said the good news was that risk profile planning could help to minimise business risk.

He presented a model being developed through the Farm4Prophet initiative which promises to be a good tool to enable farmers to highlight risk, production and cash flow in whole farm scenarios.

A popular presentation from University of South Australia machinery research Jack Desbiolles showcased a range of seeder configurations and how they might be best matched to stubble load and soil conditions.

Dr Desbiolles said that both disc and knife point seeders could perform as well as the other so long as they were set up appropriately and used in the correct situation.

A highlight of the day was a climate forecast delivered by Agriculture Victoria climate agronomist Dale Grey.

Mr Grey said that while it was difficult to make an accurate seasonal forecast this early in the year, the models looked promising and the chances of another El Nino year were small.

It was a positive note on which to conclude the 2016 Trials Review Day, and one which farmers hope will come to fruition. 

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