Three new research opportunities at BCG


Three BCG staff have received an exciting opportunity to pursue their own ideas for research thanks the generous support of the Hugh DT Williamson Foundation.

Brooke Bennett, Genevieve Clarke and Kate Finger have each received a scholarship worth $30 000 to deliver a project of their own design and choosing based on the needs of BCG members.

“This is a unique opportunity for staff to show off their interests and skills” said BCG CEO Fiona Best.

“BCG prides itself on delivering research outcomes that growers in the Wimmera, Mallee, North Central Victoria and beyond can apply to their farming systems. BCG staff work closely with our members to respond to their needs so I am thrilled that the Hugh DT Williamson Foundation will assist Brooke, Genevieve and Kate to bring relevant and timely information to growers and develop their own skills along the way” Ms Best added.

Management techniques of intercropping system

For her research project, Ms Bennett will examine how different management techniques of the legume component in a temporary intercropping system affects the stored soil water, mineral nitrogen and the yield of the non-legume crop it is grown alongside.

Management techniques to be examined include different temporary intercrops, termination timings of the intercrop and different sowing rates of the intercrop.

Cultivar suitability in the low rainfall zone

Ms Clarke will be undertaking two projects. The first aims to develop a better understanding of the influence of sowing time, grazing and cultivar suitability in the low rainfall environment of north west Victoria to aid grower decision making around logistics at sowing, cultivar selection and grazing management.

The second looks at the potential yield loss from blackleg upper canopy infection in the Mallee environment of canola cultivars sown at different timings and the economics of fungicide application. This work is in response to the increased prevalence of upper canopy infection (UCI) of blackleg in canola in recent years.

On farm profit maps

Kate Finger’s project will investigate the application of profit maps on farm.

A profit map shifts the management decisions away from maximising yield across a paddock to how profit can be maximised for each part of the field by combining all the data available for a farm (e.g. yield maps, as-applied input maps etc.) and generating a map highlighting areas where growers are making or losing money and breaking even.

Kate will work with a small number of growers from across the Wimmera and Mallee to see how profit maps can be practically applied to better inform on-farm decision making.

BCG is grateful to the Hugh DT Williamson Foundation for their continued support of our young researchers.

For more information or to become a BCG member, contact the office on 03 5492 2787.

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