Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Mixed farming
GROUND COVER MIXED FARMING 2 Solutions for the big questions Ground Cover is brought to you by growers and the Australian Government through the publisher, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). GRDC: 02 6166 4500, fax 02 6166 4599 Write to: The Editor -- Ground Cover, PO Box 5367, Kingston ACT 2604 Executive Editor: Ms Maureen Cribb, Publications Manager, GRDC, 02 6166 4500 Coretext: 03 9670 1168, fax 03 9670 1127, email@example.com, www.coretext.com.au Managing Editor: Brad Collis Editor: Emma Leonard, 08 8834 1233 Production editor: Cassandra Humble Advertising sales: Max Hyde, Hyde Media Pty Ltd, 03 9870 4161, fax 03 9870 4163, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising is subject to terms and conditions published on the rate card, available from Hyde Media, and on the website www.coretext.com.au Circulation: Ms Maureen Cribb, 02 6166 4500 Printing: Cadillac Printing, Adelaide ISSN 1039-6217 Registered by Australia Post Publication No. NAD 3994 Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared in good faith by the GRDC on the basis of the information available to us at the date of publication, without any independent verification. Neither the Corporation and its editors nor any contributor to this publication represent that the contents of this publication are accurate or complete; nor do we accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents, however they may arise. Readers who act on information from Ground Cover do so at their own risk. The Corporation and contributors to Ground Cover may identify products by proprietary or trade names to help readers identify particular types of products. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturer referred to. Other products may perform as well as or better than those specifically referred to. Copyright: © All material published in the Ground Cover supplement series is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the GRDC. All pesticide applications must accord with the currently registered label for that particular pesticide, crop, pest and region. UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED ALL ARTICLES ARE BY EMMA LEONARD BY MARTIN BLUMENTHAL, TANYA ROBINSON AND TOM GILES The majority of Australia's broadacre farmers also run some stock. Reasons for running stock vary from business to business and region to region, but diversification and risk reduction are commonly quoted reasons. Risk reduction can relate to cashflow, not having 'too many eggs in one basket' and response to changing climatic conditions. However, without careful management and attention to detail the challenges of running two dynamic production enterprises can result in neither being optimised. While mixed farming is not a new concept, running a mixed-farming system with no-till, controlled traffic and precision agriculture provides new challenges as well as opportunities. The GRDC's investments in mixed-farming research aim to provide growers with practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by running modern stock and cropping systems across the same farm, while also dealing with a changing climate. Much of this investment is associated with the more than 60 projects that make up Grain & Graze 2, which is partly funded by the GRDC and the Australian Government's Caring for our Country initiative. Grain & Graze 2 follows on from the success of the earlier Grain & Graze initiative. For example, one outcome from the original five-year program was the finding that farmers who adopted -- or ceased -- practices based on recommendations from Grain & Graze, on average increased profit by nine per cent. The Grain & Graze 2 projects are organised under five themes, reflected in the sections of this Ground Cover supplement. The five themes are: farm management support; grazing cropped land; suitable land use for land type; crops, pasture and fodder; and transition between crops and pasture. Run across seven regions, Grain & Grain 2 aims to provide solutions to the mixed-farming challenges experienced in different locations. The program has a specific, but not exclusive, focus on higher water use efficiency. Grain & Graze 2 aims to improve whole-farm profitability, sustainability and ground cover while meeting regional catchment management targets. These aims will be achieved by encouraging faster adoption of management practices and technologies that support integrated livestock and cropping enterprises. As the focus of Grain & Graze 2 is adoption, projects are required to generate new information and answers that can feed through into the adoption program. Such investments by the GRDC include research trials on grazing crops, the management of livestock in no-till systems and a better understanding of pest-suppressive landscapes. Another important area of investment is breeding dual-purpose crops that are more suited to grazing and/or conservation and grain production. With approximately 65 million hectares of Australian agricultural land dedicated to mixed farming, it is essential that land managers understand and implement robust and sustainable mixed-farming systems. INTRODUCTION More information: Martin Blumenthal, 02 6166 4500, m.blumenthal @grdc.com.au COVER PHOTO: EMMA LEONARD CORRECTION On page 23 of the last Ground Cover supplement on crop protection the description of Figure 1a belongs to Figure 1b and vice versa.
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