What’s it all about?

The GRDC National Risk Management Initiative (RiskWi$e) is a 5 year program funded by growers through GRDC. MSF is delivering the project across the MSF region of SA, Victoria and NSW. Farmers are invited to participate in the project through on-farm research, demonstrations and group based workshops and activities.

RiskWi$e aims to challenge the decision-making processes of growers. The intent is that future grower decisions will then be better informed by the likelihood of positive returns (rewards) versus the associated downside variability and uncertainty (risk). With the right tools, knowledge and insight, the level of risk of a farming decision can be better quantified, allowing it to be managed more effectively.

Aims of the RiskWi$e project

The aims of the RiskWi$e include;

  1. Develop an improved understanding of the risk-reward relationships for important on-farm management practices and decisions through involving growers & their
  2. Challenge grower decision-making so future management decisions are thought of in terms of probability of upside returns offset against the associated downside risks.

Theme areas

The project has 5 key themes that will be addressed over the 5 years of the project. These are summarised;

  1. N decisions: whole of system view.
  2. Sowing decisions: developing long term strategies.
  3. Enterprise agronomic decisions: crop sequence decisions.
  4. Enterprise financial decisions.
  5. Managing natural resource capital.

So what is planned for Mallee farmers?

Over the next 18 months, the project activities will be gradually rolled out to farmer groups across the Mallee. This staged approach will allow workshops, discussions and on-farm demonstrations and trials to be introduced, all of which will relate back to the 5 themes that the project aims to address (depending on farmer priorities in the regions). Groups will have access to other resources, tools and research findings that come out of the project regionally and nationally.

Examples of group activities

Grower groups will be invited to participate in an initial introductory workshop. The workshop will provide an introduction to the project (overview, objectives and outcomes). A grower needs analysis will be conducted, based on introducing the topic of managing risks both on-farm and within the business. This will help set the scene for defining the risks and identifying which risks are of greatest concern to growers. This will help to prioritise and set longer term risk priorities and learning outcomes for the groups.

Groups will be introduced to common cross-cutting themes that will form the initial focus for the groups. A common theme across all groups will be nitrogen. On farm trials and demonstrations will be conducted in selected areas. Activities will also be planned according to the needs and interests of groups.

Groups across the MSF region will also be provided with the option of participating in the establishment of a limited number of on-farm weather stations linked to three moisture probes at a site agreed to by each of group involved. The purpose of this activity is to examine how better time of sowing and agronomic management decisions can be made linked to an improved knowledge of available soil moisture prior to, and through the growing season.

Interested in becoming involved?

If you’re interested in becoming involved in the project, contact the RiskWi$e Project Team at Mallee Sustainable Farming.

Dr Jay Cummins – jay@msfp.org.au

Tanja Morgan – tanja.morgan@msfp.org.au

Dr Nick Paltridge – nick@msfp.org.au

Find more information here



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