Soil, Mice and Canola were the focus of BCG Women”s Agronomy Group Meeting

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Women were well informed on some current agronomy issues facing farmers at the BCG Women’s Agronomy Group meeting on Wednesday 11 May. Approximately 15 women came along to learn about soil, mice and canola agronomy – all important topics for the current season.

Melissa Cann from DPI in Swan Hill described the characteristics of the various soil types and their importance in growing crops. Understanding your soil is the most important aspect to ensure you are growing the best crop possible. The outdoor component put the presentation into practise where women used the ribboning tool to understand the difference between clay, sand and loam soils. Soil pH, dispersion and slaking tests were also conducted using A and B horizons of soil brought by each of the women.

The main highlight of the day was to visit a local farm and see an emerging canola crop. After the picnic lunch, De-Anne Price from BCG spoke about some different canola varieties, herbicide resistance and important factors to canola growth. Canola cards were placed in the canola crop the previous night to enable us to monitor mice levels and stress the importance of control, especially where canola is concerned. A small soil pit was dug on the farm and Melissa showed the group the soil profile and described its characteristics.

The new CEO of BCG, David Chamberlin came along to Women’s Agronomy Group to understand the concept behind it and meet some women in the industry and region. ‘It was great to see so many professional women take time out of their busy days as an occupational therapist, accountant, doctor, lecturer, banker and many more, to learn about farming in the rural communities in which they live’ David commented. David then went on to say ‘I’m sure we all enjoyed the move through from simple information to a scientific level; and from the classroom to the ‘lab’ and out into the field where we really got our hands dirty’. David said ‘This is a wonderful way to meet other interesting ladies and build some dinner table conversation topics’.  

The BCG Women’s Agronomy Group (WAG) is for all women involved in the agricultural industry in the region, irrespective of their knowledge level or BCG membership. There are meetings bi-monthly which always have relevant topics and issues covered by well recognised industry speakers. For more information on up-coming Women’s Agronomy Group meetings, contact Margaret O’Keefe at BCG on (03) 5492 2787.

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