On Wednesday 7th March, FBG ran its annual Farmer Updates event, joined by 15 local farmers, and 15 industry representatives.
The afternoon was kicked off by Christine Kershaw and Ken Drummond, from Stirlings to Coast Farmers, who gave us an update on the Regional Cooperatives Pilot Program and where the project is headed next. Expressions of interest in being involved are being actively sought.
This was followed by an update on production in the Black Sea region delivered by Cheryl Kalisch Gordon of Rabobank, Orange NSW. She has an extensive background in the global grains industry and gave us a fascinating insight into the global trade, and in particular out of Eastern Europe.
Our agronomy update on the National Variety Trials and new products was delivered by the enthusiastic Kyran Brooks, agronomist with Foreman Rural, Landmark Jerramungup. This was followed by Stu Bee, who gave an insight into his One Paddock Challenge project: the investigation into whether vetch will produce enough natural N so that the subsequent 1-3 cereal crops do not require any synthetic fertiliser applications.
Following on from this, Andy Duncan, whose family farms in the West River area, but who is now a member of the GRDC Western Regional Panel, gave us an update on the strategic direction of GRDC investments, and provoked some interesting discussion from a few other audience members.
This discussion helped to stimulate some interesting topics in our farmer and speaker panel which came next. Unfortunately, a couple of the farmers who were due to take part could not attend on the day. However, it was an informative and thought-provoking session for all.
One of the topics brought up was how a couple of last years’ One Paddock Challenge trials had fared. In particular, Brad Bailey’s airseeder demo which had generated much interest amongst neighbours and those further afield. Alice Butler, DPIRD Albany, had some information on a similar trial conducted by a group of farmers at Toolbronup, and this will be covered in an article on pages 8-9 in this Sustainabulletin.
Finally, the day ended with some entertaining updates on ag technology from the very engaging Ben White and Josh Giumelli of Kondinin Group. Both had attended Agritechnica held biennially in Germany, showcasing upcoming technology in the ag space.
Thank you to all our members who attended, presenters, industry representatives as well as the day’s sponsors (thank you Foreman Rural for the sundowner). Your continued support of FBG events is much appreciated.