THE ability to run field days and crop walks is being celebrated in SA, as border closures and lockdowns have made it unworkable to run events in NSW and Victoria for the tri-state Mallee Sustainable Farming group.
Three field days will continue in SA beginning Friday, September 10, with a Deep Ripping Masterclass at Woodleigh in the Northern Mallee, then Thursday, September 16, for the Southern Mallee Driving Field Day and finishing Friday, September 24, with another Deep Ripping Masterclass, this time at Younghusband.
Given the tough season, characterised by a very late break delaying crop emergence by months and then patchy rainfall for winter, the focus of the field days will be deep ripping as once again good crop responses are visible from the practice that can give an average 1t/ha yield benefit in some constrained soils.
"The results show that ripping is working with significant yield responses observed over a number of years now," MSF program manager Tanja Morgan said.
"Farmers have been implementing this practice more so every year, and the MSF, CSIRO and Uni of SA implemented trial sites that we will visit will look at how farmers can now refine their ripping strategies for best results and to ensure cost efficiency."
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Field day organisers hope that farmers will leave the day with a better idea of how to get the most out of their deep ripping operations, including understanding their soils constraints and the machinery set up required to achieve the best outcome.
The field days will be an opportunity for farmers to come together to share their experiences in person and talk about how they might refine their current practices with leading researchers.
Trials have been funded by the National Landcare Program, SAGIT and the GRDC.
"We are extremely disappointed we have not been able to run events in NSW and Victoria, but due to lockdowns and border closures all events in these states have been cancelled," Mrs Morgan said.
"We still hope to deliver the latest research and development outcomes to our NSW and Vic MSF members by our 'Lockdown Lowdown' video series that is currently under development."
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