Farmers hear of crop predictions, results

About 150 farmers and industry professionals

TAFE Certificate 3 on-farm trainees Todd Baker, Wild Horse Plains, John Heinjus, Freeling, Nathan Pengilly, Farrell Flat, and agriculture lecturer Jason McLean, went along to the Hart Field-Site Group’s Getting The Crop In seminar to hear all the latest agronomic updates.

gathered in Clare last week (March 16) for the Hart Field-Site Group’s annual Getting the Crop In seminar.
Guests heard from a variety of speakers about market and cropping predictions for the year ahead as well as trial results from the Hart Field Site and an insight into the farming operations of a progressive young Yorke Peninsula/ Kangaroo Island farmer.
Sponsored by Rabobank, the Getting the Crop In seminar aimed to provide farmers with relevant and practical information before the coming sowing season, according to Hart Field-Site Group chairman, Matt Dare.
“We had another solid program for participants and it’s really good value, not just because it is free as a result of the sponsorship from Rabobank, but because it’s quality information on a range of cropping issues,” he said.
“The annual seminar is a great way to update our farmer members on the latest trial results and variety performance in addition to providing some timely grain commodity forecasts for the upcoming season.”
Keynote speaker was Rabobank senior analyst, economics and commodities, Wayne Gordon, who spoke about global grain markets as well as some of the vital predictors for farmers to consider before deciding on hedging strategies for the upcoming crop.

Kevin Hayes, of Kybunga, and Mark Williams, of Blyth, take a break during the seminar.

Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island farmer Grant Pontifex gave a detailed insight into his family’s farming operations including their business structure, the shift away from fertiliser to using only chicken litter to improve their soils and also the KI Pure Grain company formed by his father.
Other speakers included Hart Field-Site Group trials manager, Peter Hooper, who summarised the key outcomes from the group’s 2010 trials. SARDI senior pulse pathologist, Jenny Davidson, gave a presentation about pulse diseases and effects on grain quality in 2010, and SARDI research officer Mick Lines talked through some of the new pulse varieties and agronomy trial results.
Australian Grain Technologies wheat breeder, Haydn Kuchel, also gave a wheat variety and agronomy update. The Hart Trials Results 2010 book is now available for $10. Contact Sandy Kimber on 0427 423 154 or email admin@hartfieldsite.org.au for a copy.

Catching up are Carol and Roger Mattschoss, of Barabba, via Owen, and Wilf Gregor, of Hoyleton.

The Hart Field-Site Group has three more important events planned for the year and farmers are urged to put them in their diaries, including the Winter Walk on Tuesday, 26 July, the Hart Field Day on Thursday, 22 September, and the Spring Twilight Walk on Tuesday, 18 October.