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Birchip Cropping Group expo explores opportunities

INFORMED: Minyip farmer Paul Petering spoke at a BCG Future Farmers Expo about how weather stations are assisting farm decision making. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

INFORMED: Minyip farmer Paul Petering spoke at a BCG Future Farmers Expo about how weather stations are assisting farm decision making. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Visitors to Birchip Cropping Group Future Farmers Expo heard conditions across the Wimmera and Mallee for the next three months would be drier than previous years.
Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Catherine Ganter explained the influence of the Southern Annular Mode, SAM, on rainfall in southern Australia, indicating conditions for July, August and September would be slightly drier.
The 21st BCG event, at Birchip P-12 school last week, provided growers and industry members with an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics, including weather and machinery.
Data access and management was a key theme for the day, with Minyip farmer Paul Petering and BCG technical officer Chris Cook providing insight into how weather stations are assisting farm decision making.
BCG chief executive Chris Sounness explained how others can become involved in the weather station network and outlined the potential for a farmer data co-operative.Continuing with the farm data theme, Kaniva grower and Nuffield scholar Jonathan Dyer demonstrated how yield and protein monitors are showing a return on investment in his business.
Innovation
A panel session on innovative approaches to incorporating family members into farm businesses generated plenty of discussion on the day.
Kirby Kaye from Settler and Sons, Karen Inkster, Aubrey and Areegra, and Matt Cain, Dad’s Oats, discussed how non-farming family members could bring diverse skill sets gained from other career experiences into the farm business.
This has allowed their businesses to value add, diversify and risk manage, all while taking a keen focus on informing the consumer.
Machinery was also a hot topic for the day with Simon Craig from Farm 360 joined by Rupanyup farmer David Matthews and Kooloonong farmer Alistair Murdoch to discuss advantages and disadvantages of owning, co-owning and contracting machinery.
“Simon and the panel raised some critical points for discussion that will help people identify the true cost of owning different types of machinery and also consider alternative ways of accessing machinery while being aware of potential pitfalls,” Mr Sounness said.
The BCG Technical Bulletin, a highly-valued BCG ‘members only’ publication, went live on stage with BCG research manager Claire Browne facilitating a session with regular contributors, Lubeck farmer Ian Taylor, Normanville farmer Bronwyn Hunt and Simon Craig.
Different approaches to nutrition management given recent dry conditions was discussed in depth and the panel also stressed the importance of correct identification of insects before deciding to spray to minimise harming beneficial insect populations.
The event concluded with a social event at Birchip Hotel where guests celebrated BCG’s 25th birthday.

The entire July 12, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Jul 12 2017

Posted by on Jul 12 2017. Filed under Agriculture, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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