On a cool and windy 18th of September, a group of committed farmers and industry representatives gathered at the Jerry CRC for FBG’s annual Spring Field Day. After an opening address from our Chair, Jolene Daniel, we started the day with a market update from Sam Chambers, part of Rabobank’s respected Agribusiness Risk and Treasury team based out of Sydney. We heard the impact that the East Coast drought is having on basis, and that we can expect overseas competition from the Black Sea will continue to be a rising concern for Australia grain exports. From there, we hopped on the bus and headed out to Brad Bailey’s air seeder demonstration (part of our One Paddock Challenge, supported by State NRM) where we were joined by a few more Jacup locals. We looked at the differences between the Flexicoil, DBS, Bourgault and Seed Hawk airseeder bars that were taking part in this year’s trial, as well as discussing the outcomes from last year’s activities, which were surprisingly uniform. Our next stop was hosted by Louis Poiron and the Hassad “Amarinya” team where we looked at some Longsword wheat they had in, before focusing on break crops further into the farm, and were given further insight by Mark Seymour, DPIRD Esperance. It was interesting to note that there a number of legumes that would be potentially well suited to the Jerramungup district, but uptake has not been widespread to date. Some of these include PBR Bolt lentils and different types of vetches. Our focus for the day was on deep ripping so after being updated on the GRDC Tactical Break Crop project, we moved onto Stu Bee’s farm where we looked at a soil pit dug on a site that had been originally deep ripped in a very wet 2016. It was too wet for the soil structure to support the deep ripping trial and it was abandoned for that year. This year, it has been revisited by Glenn McDonald, DPIRD Albany, as part of his soil research activities in the port zone. It was then interesting to compare this site to Mick and Mark Lester’s deep ripping activities. They had experimented with a couple of sites in different paddocks, focussing on areas that tended to perform poorly for a number of reasons. However, the implement they had
An overview of 2018 Current Projects We are currently running four externally funded projects; One Paddock Challenge (State NRM) Subsoil Constraints (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development [DPIRD]) Weed Action Plan for Bremer Bay (State NRM) Bremer Bay Community Foreshore and Estuary Protection Project (Coastwest). We are in the process of finalising the contract for a fifth project, the Regional Land Partnership Program, which is the continuation of our NLP project. The funding is from South Coast NRM and jointly administered by the Federal Department of Environment and Energy and Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Projects completed During the year three projects were completed: National Landcare Program (NLP) Phase 1 (South Coast NRM from funding jointly administered by Department of Environment and Energy and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources) Grass-fed Lamb Marketing Feasibility Study (Agricultural Sciences Research and Development Fund, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development [DPIRD], Regional Development Australia). Linking Bremer Bay to Point Henry walk trail (Lotterywest, Great Southern Development Commission, with administrative assistance from Shire of Jerramungup and Greenskills Albany). Events and workshops The group coordinated nine events throughout the year, from Bremer Bay to Jacup, Needilup, Jerramungup and Gairdner. In addition to our Farmer Updates, Spring Field Day and Fitzy Fox Shoots, we held a dry season workshop, an economically driven revegetation field walk, a low stress stock handling course and an airseeder demonstration field walk. We’ve had stalls at market days and the skate park opening in Bremer Bay. We celebrated the opening of the Native Snail Trail in Bremer Bay and participated in the Biosphere launch in Hopetoun in March. We took advantage of social media training offered by South Coast NRM to better extend our reach into the digital world. By the time this year is over we will have launched our new website. Governance training through South Coast NRM also assisted us with another necessary action we had to complete this year: the update of our constitution to meet new Incorporations Act legislation.