Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Growers sharing knowledge
19 GROWERS SHARING KNOWLEDGE GROUND COVER COLLABORATION BETWEEN FARMERS, researchers and industry can result in some very dynamic activities that respond to a regional need. The Toowoomba- based Conservation Farmers Inc. (CFI) has been responding to growers’ needs by interpreting research and technology, and bringing together practical experience and rigorous economic appraisals. The non-profit organisation has many successes to its credit, including a recent publication on chemical adjuvants. In February, it organised the Grain Harvesting and Handling Expo, considered to be the first of its kind in Australia. A unique part of the expo was the demonstration of six combine harvesters from Massey Ferguson, Caterpillar, Case IH, New Holland and John Deere in a 770-hectare sorghum crop near Goondiwindi. The harvesters, supplied by local contractors or dealerships, harvested nearly 500ha of crop during the day. “The expo provided a unique opportunity for growers to sit in six different headers working in the same conditions,” says Michael Burgis, executive officer for CFI. CFI member Daryl Carrigan of Garah, NSW, provided the location for the expo, including the crop of Buster sorghum that was grown without fertiliser and yielded 2.96 tonnes per hectare. “The crop looked fantastic and having such a large area provided a great medium and test for the headers.” In addition to being able to assess the harvesting ability of each machine, growers could see a range of yield monitoring equipment in action. One harvester was also fitted with auto-steer while a grain protein monitor was demonstrated in the static displays. The expo also included working demonstrations of chaser bins, augers, grain stackers and an auger- mounted electronic weigher, which attracted much interest as it allowed a truck to be loaded accurately. “The harvested sorghum was transported to the on-farm silo complex where an array of augers, conveyers, grain vacuum handlers, silos and other storage equipment handled the grain, allowing real- life demonstration of the capability of each piece of equipment,” Mr Burgis says. Grain storage is becoming an integral part of many farms so that ‘peaks’ in both domestic and international grain markets can be captured. Therefore, manufacturers of grain storage and drying equipment were represented, as were the manufacturers of moisture meters and other harvest equipment. “An extraordinary amount of money is spent on machinery and in-field technology,” Mr Burgis says. “The CFI demonstrations provided growers and contractors with the opportunity to make informed decisions on the capabilities of the harvest and handling equipment.” More than 500 farmers and industry people from the district, interstate and even the UK and South Africa attended the event, which they rated very highly. “Finding a willing farmer with a suitable crop and facilities are keys to the success of the expo; without the involvement of farmers in CFI, such an event would be very hard to organise.” The Grain Harvesting and Handling Expo was sponsored by GrainCorp, ANZ Bank, Pacific Seeds and the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority and supported by GRDC. GRDC Research Code CFI00009 More information: Mike Burgis, 07 4638 5356, firstname.lastname@example.org Working demonstrations help buying decisions CONSERVATION FARMERS INC. HELPS GROWERS SOURCE INFORMATION -- CREATING, INTERPRETING AND EXTENDING INFORMATION IN VARIOUS FORMATS ON TOPICS RELATING TO PROFITABLE AND SUSTAINABLE FARMING -- IN SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND AND NORTHERN NSW SOCIAL REWARDS PHOTO: MIKE BURGIS Six harvesters reaped nearly 500 hectares of sorghum at an innovative machinery expo run by Conservation Farmers Inc. in February 2006. Disclaimer This publication has been prepared in good faith by the Grains Research and Development Corporation 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.
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