Farmers get the latest advice at Hart field day

PROFESSOR Neil Fettell, (left) and Blyth farmers Simon Goldsmith and Joshua King discuss managing crop growth.

Sally Crowther reports

It was the scene of eagerness and education last Thursday as more than 500 growers and industry representatives gathered at the Hart field day.
More than 30 nationally and internationally renowned cropping experts gave farmers and others the opportunity to see and hear first hand about the latest trends and expertise.
On display were latest varieties in barley, wheat, durum, triticale, oats, canola and peas – along with disease control and agronomy.
The most sought-after advice came in the topic of making moisture count.
Trevor Clifford, who runs 2000 acres south of Balaklava was particularly interested in this subject.
“I came to have a look at the trials and the latest release in varieties, but mostly to gain insight in consuming moisture as it’s a pretty timely subject,” Trevor said.
Blyth local, Simon Goldsmith, who runs 6000 acres growing cereals, wheat, barley, legumes and peas, was also eager to hear the presentation.
“With the low rainfall we’ve had, I wanted to find out what I can do to improve my yields,” Simon said.
Neil Fettell, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Senior Research Agronomist, presented the popular subject to many eager farmers.
“We have had a good summer rain along with a dry, tough spring, so it’s important to let farmers know what they can do to increase yields,” Neil said.
While also speaking on how growers can best use stored water, Neil also gave advice to farmers in dry seasons.
“Delay nitrogen application, think about seeding late and also think about row spacing,” he said.
Even though the sun was shining, the day brought some fierce winds. However secretary of the Hart Field Day, Sandy Kimber, said this did not deter people from coming.
“We were very pleased with the turnout, despite the weather this has been one of our better years,” Sandy said.
With a variety of programs, farmers could choose eight out of 20 half hour sessions.
Jake Howie, presenting on pastures from the SARDI pastures group at Waite Campus, said there was quite a turn out to his sessions.
Speaking on about 36 different varieties of pastures, Jake also offered a bit of advice for farmers.
“Powdery mildew in annual medics is on the rise and it is important to check for mice damaged medic soil/seed reserves,” Jake said.

SARDI’s Jake Howie, Balaklava High School teacher AJ Wood, Hart’s Justin Wundke with BHS Year 10-11 Ag students. PICTURES: LIsa Redpath

However, it was not only farmers who flocked to the field day as students also came to learn.
Balaklava High School agriculture teacher, AJ Wood, said his year 11 class was eager to come.
“They all put their hands up to come, and it’s great to see all the presenters giving their time to give the kids a rough understanding of these farming techniques,” AJ said.
Balaklava High School student, Jordan Wilson admitted while he thought it might be boring, he found it quite interesting.
“It’s good to get a better insight into the industry and see the different methods,” Jordan said.
Amongst the crowd was also a group of boys from Balaklava Tafe, including Jordan Baker, who is undertaking Certificate three in Agronomy.
“It’s the third time I have been to the Hart field days. It’s great to see the different stages in crops,” Todd said.
With new advice to take home, growers are still holding out for good rains this week to restore some moisture in their crops.
To see how the trial site is progressing next month, join the Hart Spring Twilight Walk on Tuesday October 16. For more information go to

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Posted by on Sep 29 2011. Filed under Business, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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