Cropping

Cropping update

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February 16, 2017

Intensive continuous cropping is undertaken for a number of different reasons across NSW, and growers will have the chance to hear of some of the opportunities, risks and challenges it can present.

Intensive continuous cropping is undertaken for a number of different reasons across NSW, and growers will have the chance to hear of some of the opportunities, risks and challenges it can present at the Grains Research and Development update in Corowa on Thursday.

CSIRO Agriculture & Food chief research scientist and farming systems team leader John Kirkegaard will speak at the update.

Dr Kirkegaard said he wanted to have a discussion about the detail, rather than a debate about mixed versus continuous cropping.

‘‘Australian broadacre farms have intensified, doubling our crop area and halving our sheep numbers in the two decades from the mid-1980s,’’ he said.

‘‘Many farms or part of the farm are now continuously cropped, often for varying reasons — be it for economic, social, logistical or biophysical.

‘‘The major challenges we foresee from our research is maintaining soil fertility, managing weeds and diseases and managing economic risk and resilience.’’

Dr Kirkegaard said continuous cropping could be sustained for decades, but required careful management.

■The GRDC update is on Thursday, February 16 at the Corowa RSL at 9am.

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