Southern NSW grain growers have explained to the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Northern Regional Panel how issues such as a dry season, frosts, mice and irrigation water costs are reducing farm profitability.
Listening to grower concerns and insights, assessing the impact of cropping constraints and visiting GRDC research investments were key parts of the recent GRDC Northern Regional Panel’s annual spring tour.
Panel members and GRDC northern regional staff met with growers, researchers, agronomists and other industry stakeholders as part of the tour through southern NSW to gain a greater understanding of issues affecting growers and identify and prioritise grains research, development and extension investments.
Panel chair John Minogue said issues raised by growers and agronomists included frost damage, the effect of the unseasonably dry winter, harvest options, mice, irrigation, pulse crops, subsoil constraints and concerns about spray drift.
Mr Minogue said while the GRDC couldn’t prevent frosts, it continued to invest significantly in the RD&E, like the $20million National Frost Initiative, which aims to deliver a combination of genetic and management solutions, along with tools and information to better predict, plan and manage frost events.
‘‘The frost impact this season has in many cases been exacerbated by the dry conditions, so it is a tough one for growers and consultants,’’ Mr Minogue said.