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Syngenta Growth Awards study tour to the UK and Switzerland
This week we’re catching up with two of the 2017 Syngenta Growth Awards winners. We were very proud that our Extension Agronomist Kirrily Condon nabbed the Adviser award in the Sustainability category. For Junee-based Kirrily, the goal is always the same. If she can provide advice that is making farming more profitable as well as sustainable, then she’s set out what she aimed to achieve. AHRI and WeedSmart Extension Agronomist Kirrily Condon We also caught up with Duncan Young who farms out of Beverley in Western Australia with JT Young and Sons. He received the Grower award in the Sustainability category. Duncan has always been passionate about agriculture and practices sustainable farming. He’s put a self-imposed ban on some chemicals in certain places next to a river, he uses technology like knife rollers over his paddocks instead of burning stubble and he has established a significant buffer on his property of up to 100m along the nearby Avon River. Grower Duncan Young who won the Syngenta Grower Sustainability Award in 2017 Each year, Syngenta profiles growers and farm advisers from different regions across Australia and New Zealand, showcasing their contribution in one of the following categories: Productivity: Recognises growers and advisers who use best practice in achieving consistent productivity gains. Sustainability: Recognises growers and advisers who are committed to addressing industry issues to create a sustainable and profitable future. Community & People: Recognises growers and advisers who make a leading contribution to their community, workers and fellow growers. Nominations for the Growth Awards are invite-only and 25 regional winners are chosen from the pool of nominees and announced in October each year. The regional winners attended The Growth Awards dinner last November and recently went on their study tour to the UK and Switzerland. The winners are chosen by an independent panel comprised of industry representatives and stakeholders. Join your host Jessica Strauss and guest co-host Greg Condon to find out about Kirrily and Duncan’s approaches to agriculture and what they learned on their study tour.
The unsung hero – crop competition
We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. A competitive crop will suffer less yield loss at the hands of the weeds, and will also reduce seed set of the weeds compared to an un-competitive crop. In other words more crop, fewer weeds. In this week’s podcast, AHRI Extension Agronomist Greg Condon and AgriVision Agronomy Consultant Matt Bissett (pictured) provide excellent overviews on the different crop competition approaches that can be employed. There are six main aspects of crop competition: Seed rate Row spacing Orientation (north-south vs. east-west) Crop variety/species Soil health Time of sowing – early sowing is usually best It’s hard to get all of the six points above right, and growers need not aspire to practising all six of these competition factors, but they can use a range of these practices to ensure that their crops have a fighting chance against the weeds. Crop Competition is one of the Big 6, which you can learn all about here, but first, let your regular hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman take you on the crop comp journey in the podcast below!
Blackgrass control in the UK and the pros and cons of paired rows
We have two diverse topics for this week’s podcast. Firstly we’ll hear from Peter Aikman (pictured above), who is a Mallee grain grower. He will share his experience on using the Rootboot for his paired rows, revealing the positive impacts and some of the negatives too. We also hear from Nuffield Scholar recipient Richard Hinchliffe. Richard is a grower and agronomist based in Yorkshire in the UK. By using a variety of diverse tactics, he’s had a major win with controlling the very problematic weed blackgrass on his farming property. You’re joined once again by your two co-hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman. Richard Hinchliffe on his farming property in Yorkshire, UK Richard Hinchliffe hand roguing blackgrass from his farming property in Yorkshire, UK
Herbicide degradation in dry soil and volunteer and ratoon cotton control
With dry conditions in many parts of the country, we catch up with WANTFA Executive Director Dr David Minkey to find out if herbicides do in fact degrade in dry soil over time. We also chat with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Principal Scientist Paul Grundy (pictured) about controlling volunteer and ratoon cotton. Join your co-hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman to learn more! Music: bensound.com
Getting dry seeding right
With many parts of the country facing little to no Autumn rainfall events so far, many growers are dry seeding. ConsultAg Agronomist Geoff ‘Fos’ Fosbery joins us in this podcast and provides some great tips on ensuring you get dry seeding right, including tips on herbicide application, such as trifluralin. We also hear from WA Farmer Kit Leake, who has been dry seeding for many seasons. He shares his insights and explains how he plans out his program well in advance. Music: bensound.com
The future of robotics in broadacre ag and herbicide resistance in the US
In this podcast, we learn about what’s happening in the robotics space for broadacre agriculture from Professor Salah Sukkarieh, who is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems. He discusses how regulation now, rather than where the technology is at, is the biggest barrier to progress in this space. We also hear from University of Illinois Crop Sciences Associate Professor, Aaron Hager. He gives us an update on how growers are dealing with herbicide resistance in the US and how metabolic resistance has been a real driver for change. He also shares what’s happening in herbicide resistance research in the states. What some of the latest robots look like in ag RIPPA, the Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application is the production prototype for the vegetable growing industry. Based on the Ladybird design, the platform configuration for RIPPA was modified to make it lighter, rugged and easier to operate. Mounted on RIPPA is VIIPA, Variable Injection Intelligent Precision Applicator, used for autonomous spot spraying of weeds at high speed using a directed micro-dose of liquid. RIPPA has also been demonstrated in an apple orchards showing autonomous row following and changing rows, autonomous real-time apple detection and targeted variable rate fluid dispensing using VIIPA. According to Professor Salah Sukkarieh, robots in broadacre agriculture could become more mainstream, if the regulation is such that it is not a barrier to that happening. This is RIPPA, which stands for Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application Music: bensound.com
Pre-emergent herbicide application tips with Chris Preston & Heidi Gooden
With seeding and pre-emergent herbicide application kicking off around the country, we got in touch a couple of herbicide application experts to share some timely advice on getting spraying right this season. Dr Chris Preston from the University of Adelaide gives a preview of his WeedSmart Webinar “Use pre-ems to maximise winter crops in the South”, sharing valuable insights into management strategies around pre-em application and also gives us an update on the resistance levels to pre-ems. Dr Chris Preston DeltaAg Agronomist and Consultant Heidi Gooden, who is based in Lockhart, runs us through the current dry spell conditions being experienced in the Southern Cropping Region and what impact this has on pre-em herbicide application. She also provides insights into knocking down lingering Summer weeds and more. DeltaAg Agronomist and Consultant Heidi Gooden in the field As mentioned earlier, our first Webinar Series for 2018 is next week and features Mark Congreve from ICAN and Chris Preston from the University of Adelaide. Both experts will be joined by AHRI’s Peter Newman and will be discussing pre-emergent herbicide tactics in the North and South, respectively. You can find out the full details here. Take a listen
Mixing herbicides with David Gooden
With seeding around the corner (or potentially already started for some!), keeping weeds at bay will also be on the agenda. In this podcast, we chat with Lockhart farmer David Gooden. David not only farms but also developed the Sprayer Mate batching plant with his brother Owen. David is a Nuffield Scholar Recipient and has studied spray application technology. In this podcast, we learn about the benefits of using a batching plant, as well as receive a few reminders on best practice for mixing herbicides. You can download the GRDC’s factsheet on mixing herbicides here. Take a listen Music: bensound.com
Harvest seed destroying mill technology explained
Harvest seed destroying mill technology has been the talk of the town among harvest weed seed control enthusiasts. For the podcast, we normally stick to seasonal issues, but in February, the Kondinin Group released a cracker Research Report, “Residue Management at Harvest” (you can find it here). In this report, the Research Team (comprising of Ben White, Mark Saunders, and Josh Giumelli, who are pictured above), tested and reviewed a number of harvest weed seed control tools, including mill technology, which is the focus of this podcast. Jessica Strauss chats with agricultural engineer and Manager of Research and Development for the Kondinin Group, Ben White, about how mill technology works; the operational practicalities in the field; weed control; and mill wear issues. We also hear from two farmers who have invested in different branded mill machines, using them in both the 2016 and 2017 harvests. Farmers Roger Newman and Andrew Todd, both from WA, give candid insights into the pros and cons of their machinery thus far. Take a listen with your usual hosts, Peter Newman and Jessica Strauss! Music: bensound.com