Event Wrap Up
Grower Group Alliance Summit 2017 – Growing Expectations
On 17-18 August 2017, fellow project officer Georgina Griffiths, as well as FBG chair, Jolene Daniel, and I attended the GGA National Summit for 2017 held at Pan Pacific Perth.
The focus of the summit this year was to set the scene for national investment trends in the research, development and extension area, as well as building on social capacity of local communities and looking at areas to improve profitability and longevity in an increasingly competitive funding market.
There was a strong message around collaboration between groups and the importance of strong and resilient partnerships amongst all stakeholders, from members, boards, with other grower groups and commercial arrangements.
For me the take-home messages were around the importance of collaboration for long term relevance and survival, maintaining relevance to our members, and that grower groups are still viewed as an approachable and integral form of the extension network.
A really informative and stimulating few days which I’d recommend to anyone interested in the future of our organisation.
Controlled Traffic Farming Conference Tour – Southern
August, FBG members were invited to attend a site visit at the Harding family farm on Corackerup Road, Ongerup as part of the Australian CTF Conference tour taking in southern WA.
Around 15 tour participants from both WA and from over East, along with tour facilitator, Quenten Knight (Precision Agronomics Australia) and DPIRD staff, including local guru Jeremy Lemon joined with around 10 local growers and 2 FBG staff members to hear from Wes Harding. Wes ran through his experience converting to CTF over the last 5 years.
DPIRD then gave an update on the ongoing trial site running at Ongerup.
It was also interesting to find out more about the issues faced around Ravensthorpe following the February floods and erosion in some of their CTF systems – the key to minimising the impact is around good surface water management, paddock planning and stubble planning.
Thanks to DPIRD, ACTFA, WACTFA and GRDC for making the day possible, as well as site hosts, John & Sally and Wes & Tina Harding.
One Paddock Challenge Pop Up Visit – Bailey Airseeder Trial
August, we checked into Brad & Jess Bailey’s airseeder comparison trial at Jacup, with around 20 local farmers showing up to scratch in the dirt and enjoy a mental health break.
This was an opportunity to look at the differences between the 4 plots put in on 2nd
Advisory board member, Dave Turner attended as our resident agronomist and gave some good insights into each of the plots. It certainly looks to confirm that good seed placement plays an important role in plant establishment
Thanks to State NRM, Dave Turner, and Brad & Jess Bailey for hosting.
FBG Spring Field Day
Thanks to everyone involved in our recent Spring Field Day held on 19th
Held in the Gairdner area this year, we started our day at Noel Keding’s shearing shed hearing from Claire Merrifield (Rabobank) around current market trends in grains and sheep, before heading up to Lawson Grains, Jerry South. There we heard from farm manager Andrew Wylie looking at the lentils forming part of his One Paddock Challenge project, as well as looking at the Controlled Traffic Farming system and the subsoil constraints experienced (with a soil pit insight from Jeremy Lemon, DPIRD Albany) before hearing from Russell Cavill (GM, Lawson Grains) around the company philosophy.
We toured the NVTs on both Trent & Tina Parsons (cereals) and Paul & Melissa Barrett’s (legumes and canola) before heading back to the Keding farm for the afternoon session. There we looked at Noel’s One Paddock Challenge paddock with its’ range of different soil treatments, and Jeremy Lemon’s insights into the subsoil with another soil pit.
We then had a change of tack from ag to NRM and heard from Geoff Woodall, native plant agronomist and his approach to reveg, before Nathan McQuoid launched his reveg guide to the Fitzgerald River catchment.
We ended the day with an CBH harvest update from Claire Teale, before having the opportunity for an informal subdowner.
A great day with plenty of variety, we would like to thank all our members, hosts, speakers and sponsors for your input, notably:
- Lawson Grains – Andrew Wylie and Russell Cavill;
- Trent & Tina Parsons;
- GRDC and all NVT speakers;
- Brian & Julie Keding;
- Noel Keding & Nicole Corcoran;
- DPIRD – Jeremy Lemon and Glenn McDonald;
- Geoff Woodall;
- Nathan McQuoid;
- CBH – Claire Teale
Women In Farming Enterprises (WIFE) Annual Seminar – Ongerup
October, a few of the FBG team attended the WIFE annual seminar, hosted this year by the Ongerup branch.
A beautifully presented town hall welcomed the 100+ women to a day of tasty treats, interesting speakers, great networking with like-minded women and of course plenty of laughs.
The theme for the day was around resilience, and we heard from a number of presenters ranging from WIFE members and their personal stories, technology gurus to building businesses and mental health hilarity.
Well done to all involved in organising, WIFE is certainly a formidable support network.