With the 2022 harvest now largely behind us, many Mallee farmers are now enjoying a brief pause before turning their minds to the 2023 season.
Mallee Sustainable Farming is inviting Mallee farmers to a “must attend event” to be held at the Lake Cullulleraine Yacht Club on Feb 22, titled ‘Getting the Crop In’.
According to MSF Project Leader Dr Nick Paltridge, farmers will hear about the latest research updates from high profile agricultural researchers including Michael Moodie, Sean Mason, Peter Treloar and Kondinin’s Ben White.
“Topics to be covered will include using EM38 soil mapping to manage input costs and reduce erosion risks, how best to maintain soil cover after different crop types, using vetch as an alternative to bagged nitrogen, and the use of variable rate technologies in low rainfall areas” said Nick.
“For farmers across the Mallee and Millewa the 2022 season was like no other, with plenty of challenges associated with the unseasonal rains, and many farmers still seeing soil moisture in the profile” according to Nick. The Getting the Crop In workshop will provide the opportunity for plenty of discussion and Q&A on how best to prepare for this season’s challenges.
According to farmer and local MSF Board member Chris Hunt, there are many additional issues to consider for this coming season. At the top of Chris’s list are understanding and managing crop diseases, which were a big problem in 2022, and could carry over to cause problems in 2023.
“The most important issue affecting profitability this year was disease, with such a huge difference last year between crops that made feed versus those that weren’t down-graded; this led to a halving in income from some crops. For many farmers in our district this largely related to how the diseases were managed” according to Chris.
According to Nick, another focus at the workshop will also be the new Future Drought Fund supported Robust Groundcover Project. This project will provide a limited number of farmers in the northern Victorian Mallee with free access to EM38 soil mapping and advice on VRT, helping them to manage soil erosion risks through a ‘Community of Practice’.
“This new project has been designed specifically for farmers in the Millewa-Carwarp district and will be delivered by the Mallee Sustainable Farming team. The project is supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. Remember the date, February 22, 9am sharp at the Lake Cullulleraine Yacht Club” concluded Nick.
‘GETTING THE CROP IN’, Wednesday 22nd February 2023, 9am – 12pm, Lake Cullulleraine Yacht Club, followed by a free lunch.