Welcome to the fourth phase of mixed farming work funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The project - GRDC9175516 – “Extension of knowledge and resources to manage risk and exploit opportunities to improve whole farm profit through successful integration of cropping and livestock enterprises in the GRDC Southern Region” – is being managed by Ag Excellence Alliance Inc., and runs from 2018 to 2020, with activities spread across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
The aim of the project is to provide growers and advisers across the GRDC Southern Region with information and tools to identify opportunities and strategies to better integrate cropping and livestock enterprises and increase the profitability and resilience of the whole farm business.
This will be achieved by conducting extension and communication activities to increase awareness and further extend the research outcomes, tools and information previously generated by the Grain and Graze program to build grower and advisor skills and knowledge, and drive adoption of improved management practices. The investment will also include strategic update and improvement of existing tools and resources as detailed in the project outputs.
There are a number of ways to get involved. These include:
Grower groups across the Southern GRDC Region will be hosting mixed farming speakers at their field days throughout 2019. Stay tuned to Facebook for more information on these events.
The Farm Options decision support tool is being upgraded to make it more user-friendly. This computer based tool allows advisors and growers to determine the financial and environmental impacts of different cropping and pasture rotations.
A series of meetings across the regions will outline to growers of the practical implementation and usefulness of Farm Options and other relevant tools and resources, to inform integrated cropping and livestock decisions and management.
A key part of the mixed farming integration program being offered to farmers and advisors in 2019 is the delivery of ‘Utilising the feedbase in a mixed farming business’, delivered through supported learning groups.
This integration program brings together key aspects of Grain and Graze into a whole farm package that addresses the management and matching of different feed sources with animal requirements.
The program is led by experienced deliverers; Cam Nicholson and Simon Falkiner in South West Victoria, Felicity Turner in South East South Australia and Jess Cretteden on the Eyre Peninsula.
The 12 month program includes six workshop sessions over the year along with 15 hrs of personal consulting time for each farm business.
The one to one consulting time enables the knowledge and tools from the workshop sessions to be customised to each individual farm.
The program explores what has been learnt about grazing crops, assessing the grazing value in stubbles, when and where to use short term pastures in crop rotations for weed control, nitrogen and soil improvement, as well as understanding the risk and volatility in your mixed farming system.
A range of simple tools will be use to compare the value of grazing a crop against possible grain yield loss, understanding how bringing short term pasture into a crop rotation affects overall profitability and risk and the use of approaches to assist in making tough decisions.
An important part of the program is identifying critical decision points and contingencies for when things don’t go according to plan.
For more information on the program and to register interest contact:
Cam Nicholson; firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be four regional Masterclasses hosted across Southern Australia (Tasmania, Victoria and SA) during 2019. The purpose is to bring the latest mixed farming research to regional areas.
They will highlight the research outcomes of the Grain and Graze program, and highlight the latest mixed farming research, tools and experience. It will give farmers and advisors the opportunity to explore the synergies and explain the compromises of mixed farming. It will allow advisors and growers the opportunity to explore different fodder strategies that support the livestock enterprise in a mixed farm.
More information will be available via Facebook and on this website.