EPARF Member Day 2011
The ‘Choices for Mixed farming systems - Best Bets’ event at Minnipa Agricultural Centre was held to focus on options farmers could take if their cereal on cereal systems were failing due to problems including weeds, diseases, nutrition and whole farm profitability.
140 people attended the day to listen to a wide range of informative speakers and interactive sessions on how to maintain cereals and determine the economics of individual enterprises and the impact on overall farm business profitability.
Matthew Dunn, Chairperson welcomed everyone and introduced Pauline Mooney, Executive Director SARDI to address the crowd and open the day.
Allen Buckley, farmer Waikerie presented information on rotations in the cropping system focusing on innovative sustainable farming techniques.
Daryl Smith, SARDI Turretfield spoke on the benefits of sheep breeding technology and how research on the Minnipa Agricultural Centre flock was providing an opportunity to communicate these benefits to the sheep industry and the importance of promoting increased adoption of innovation in the future.
Roy Latta, SARDI Minnipa presented the value of annual medics in mixed farming systems affirming that the deliberate use of self generating annual legume-cereal rotations is an essential component of a cost effective farming system.
Andrew Ware, SARDI Port Lincoln delivered messages on the benefits that break crops can offer, opportunities with newer varieties and development management techniques more suited to the upper Eyre Peninsula.
These presentations were followed by Craig James, farmer Cleve delivering messages on the economics of maintaining the cereal system and Brian Wibberley, accountant Port Lincoln presenting the economics of different enterprise mixes outlining a practical frame work for farmers to use in assisting decision making when evaluating different options in changing mix of farming enterprises.
Group sessions were provided on:
- Nutrition by Nigel Wilhelm and Cathy Paterson, SARDI Minnipa;
- Disease with Amanda Cook and Linden Masters, SARDI Minnipa;
- Weeds with Ken Webber, Nufarm Australia; and
- Kym Perry, SARDI Waite by conference link on insects and snails.
Concurrent demonstrations followed on pastures, sheep, breakcrops, maintaining cereals and cost of production scenarios. Ed Hunt, consultant Wharminda concluded the program with a profit and risk presentation then facilitating a panel session on best bet of the day.