PADDOCK CHAT Episode Five: The advantages of late season of late season soil amelioration

Submitted by author on Thu, 07/09/2020 - 11:31

In this episode, we caught up with Dandaragan grower Duncan Glasfurd to delve into his experience with ameliorating soils, and late-season amelioration in particular. We cover why they choose to wait for rain when ameliorating, the preparation of a paddock prior to amelioration, how management changes following amelioration and all the things to consider before giving it a go that will save you time and money. This conversation was recorded on the 29th of June, 2020.

LISTEN via Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

PADDOCK CHAT Episode Four: Don't let mastitis cost your flock this season

Submitted by author on Fri, 06/26/2020 - 13:47

In this episode, we caught up with Nutrition & Production Specialist Bronwen Fowler from Nutrien Ag Solutions to talk about mastitis in ewes. Following the dry summer, sheep producers should keep an eye out for this highly contagious and damaging disease in their flock. We caught up with Bronwen in mid-June 2020 to get her advice on preventing, recognising, managing and treating mastitis.

PADDOCK CHAT Episode Three: The highs and lows of improving pastures with Zac Roberts

Submitted by author on Tue, 06/09/2020 - 10:54

This week's episode has literally come from a paddock near you! We caught up with Dandaragan farmer, Zac Roberts in a paddock full of perennials on Strathmore in Dandaragan to talk all things pasture improvement. Zac farms with his father Wade and brother Jeremy on approximately 10,000 hectares spread across four properties within the Dandaragan Shire. The Roberts family run a mixed enterprise made up of 30% cropping and 70% livestock, and have been experimenting with pasture improvement for roughly 15 years, with much success! Recorded on the 4th of June 2020, this conversation covers Zac's experience improving pastures with perennials and annuals. 

PADDOCK CHAT Episode One: Pest Management Starts At Home

Submitted by author on Wed, 05/13/2020 - 11:13

This is the first ever episode of Paddock Chat, the West Midlands Group podcast that takes a closer look at what is happening in a paddock near you.
In this episode, our host Kirra Holley caught up with Chris O’Callaghan and Jim Miller to chat about how the Midlands Biosecurity Group is tackling wild dogs in our region. Our conversation was recorded in mid-April and due to restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this interview was recorded via Zoom so the audio quality isn’t amazing. We do talk about the extermination of feral pests so if you don’t want to hear about the nitty gritty of animal control, maybe skip this one.

Movement of water under irrigation in the West Midlands region

Submitted by author on Thu, 03/26/2020 - 11:14

The limitation of centre pivot irrigation systems currently is that water can only be irrigated as a blanket application across the whole site, or be limited into ‘pizza slice’ sub-sections of the paddock. This creates severe restrictions in being able to apply water to meet the specific needs of each soil type, and often results in some soil types being over-watered or under-watered depending on the location on the site. The over-watering of soil types can result in the leaching of unused water and nutrients down the soil profile and can potentially cause off-site impacts of nutrient enrichment. The aim of this project was to better understand the movement of water in the soil profile for three distinct soil types in the West Midlands region and assess the potential for the leaching of nutrients and water below the rooting depth of potatoes. This could then guide the implementation of variable rate irrigation in the region, where irrigation can be varied across the landscape to match water applied to soil water holding capacity.

Assessing new varieties and mixes to increase pasture production in the West Midlands Region: Part 1- Economic Analysis

Submitted by author on Thu, 03/26/2020 - 10:59

Matching pasture production and livestock requirements can dramatically improve animal production while reducing the cost of supplementary feeding. The aim of this trial was to evaluate a range of pasture mixes that have the potential to fill niche pasture production windows in the West Midlands region. This pasture demonstration site was located at the 2019 Spring Field Day site near Dandaragan on a sandy loam soil type. The site was established on the 5th May using a plot seeder to dry seed 12 pasture mixes, with a volunteer pasture adjacent to the site as comparison. Up to three pasture cuts were taken from each plot during the season to assess pasture production.  The site was mowed in August to simulate grazing, and NKS21 fertiliser was broadcast to each treatment.

Assessing new varieties and mixes to increase pasture production in the West Midlands Region: Part 2 - Dry matter production

Submitted by author on Thu, 03/26/2020 - 10:23

Matching pasture production and livestock requirements can dramatically improve animal production while reducing the cost of supplementary feeding. The aim of this trial was to evaluate a range of pasture mixes that have the potential to fill niche pasture production windows in the West Midlands region. This pasture demonstration site was located at the 2019 WMG Spring Field Day site near Dandaragan on a sandy loam soil type. The site was established on the 5th May using a plot seeder to dry seed 12 pasture mixes, with a volunteer pasture adjacent to the site as comparison. Up to 3 pasture cuts were taken from each plot during the season to assess pasture production. The site was mown in August to simulate grazing, and NKS21 fertiliser was broadcast to each treatment.

GRDC: Legume demonstrations for reliable profitability in the Western Region 2019 - Grain Yield

Submitted by author on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 16:30

Legumes can provide value to the crop rotation through the fixation of nitrogen, and there is the need to evaluate a wider range of legumes that could be grown in WA. Nine demonstration sites were established across the wheatbelt region as part of a GRDC project led by Liebe Group. In 2018, demonstration strips of field pea, lupin, lentil, and chickpea were grown and then followed by Scepter wheat in the 2019 season.
The West Midlands Group demonstration site was located at ‘Kayanaba’, 1 km east of Dandaragan on a clay loam soil type. The site was sown and harvested by the grower and managed similar to the remaining area of the paddock. The Gross Margin was calculated for 2018 by Farmanco as part of the overall project, while Gross Margin was calculated in 2019 based on grower supplied data, and including machinery costs at contract rates.

GRDC: Legume demonstrations for reliable profitability in the Western Region 2019 - Gross Margin

Submitted by author on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 16:25

Legumes can provide value to the crop rotation through the fixation of nitrogen, and there is the need to evaluate a wider range of legumes that could be grown in WA. Nine demonstration sites were established across the wheatbelt region as part of a GRDC project led by Liebe Group. In 2018, demonstration strips of field pea, lupin, lentil, and chickpea were grown and then followed by Scepter wheat in the 2019 season. 

GRDC Wheat National Variety Trial 2019

Submitted by author on Wed, 03/18/2020 - 16:20

The aim of the National Variety Trial (NVT) program is to generate independent information for growers and industry about newly released varieties of winter field crops relative to the current commercial varieties grown in the area. The data generated can be compared by year/s, location and variety, providing an important decision support tool for growers when assessing if they are growing the right varieties for their farm business. This trial was sown onto a high yielding, burnt barley stubble on the 7th June. 
The soil type was a high quality dark Dandaragan sand/loam. Unlike many areas of the state in 2019 this site had reasonable subsoil moisture from some earlier localised rain so germinated and grew exceptionally well. The late start to the season and dry spring tended to suit the quicker varieties, however exceptional yields of >4t/ha were returned by all varieties in the trial.