Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Profit from crop nutrition 2013
3 Crop nutrition extension extension the foCus for new Crop nutrition researCh A strong extension focus for the second phase of the more profit from Crop nutrition program is being realised through regionally relevant workshops and training programs across Australia by Janet Paterson NORTHeRN ReGION More Profit from Crop Nutrition (MPCN II) extension leader Dr Kaara Klepper, from the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, says crop nutrition ranks just below rainfall as the second-highest factor influencing crop profitability in the northern cropping region. “Growers and their advisers want tailored crop nutrition information to better inform fertiliser strategies on-farm,” Dr Klepper says. The northern region has recently started to roll out its MPCN extension package with two crop nutrition workshops held in Central Queensland in November 2013 and six more planned for early 2014 in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. eight workshops will be offered per year until the MPCN program ends in 2017. Similar regionally tailored workshops and on-farm training days are planned in the western and southern regions during the MPCN II program. Dr Klepper says the training workshops are fully integrated with MPCN research projects and are being designed in consultation with Queensland-based Grains BMP, grower solution groups and local advisers so that content is relevant to farm- level nutritional issues and soil constraints. “The link with Grains BMP has been especially useful in Central Queensland because we have been able to tap into nutritional issues highlighted by the Grains BMP process as requiring specific attention.” Similarly, issues identified by local grower groups and advisers are also helping to focus the workshop content. Feedback from recent workshops held at Capella and Biloela in Central Queensland has been very positive, with the vast majority of attendees stating the training had improved their capacity to tackle crop nutrition issues. “Participants bring soil-test results to the workshop and we use these as a means to discuss many aspects of soil and plant nutrition. This process helps them develop a strategy to foster the long- term nutritional status of their soils.” After attending the training workshop many participants decided to carry out more soil testing on-farm to better inform their fertiliser strategies and a small group indicated they were likely to implement a new approach to crop nutrition in coming seasons. “The training isn’t just about how much nitrogen or phosphorus to apply in response to a soil test, it’s also about understanding the principles behind soil and crop nutrition and implementing a long-term nutritional strategy on-farm using ongoing soil testing, nutrient budgeting, and crop yield and grain protein targets as guides,” Dr Klepper says. □ Grdc research codes daW00223, daQ00183, bWd0021 More information: Dr Kaara Klepper, 0428 112 579, email@example.com phOtO: queensland daFF Storm approaching rainfed sorghum on the Darling Downs. accredited tests and advisers For soil tests such as Colwell-P, DGT-P, nitrate nitrogen and exchangeable cations, it is important to select laboratories with current Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) certification for these tests and possibly National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation. ASPAC certification attests to proficiency in testing. NATA accreditation examines the record-keeping and methodologies used by laboratories to carry out soil testing. Three times a year a set of four soil samples is sent to laboratories seeking certification. Results from the soil tests carried out by the laboratories are then compared and certification for each test is granted to a laboratory where proficiency is proven. ASPAC does not accredit or certify the laboratory – it provides certification on a year-by-year basis for specified tests. A list of participating laboratories and the test methods for which they are certified can be found on the ASPAC website (www.aspac-australasia.com). It is a bonus if your adviser has, or is working towards, the Fertcare® Accredited Advisor standard. Fertcare® is a training, quality assurance and accreditation program delivered by independent third parties on behalf of the fertiliser industry. The program focuses on providing high-quality advice to users of fertilisers to allow them to maximise productivity and minimise environmental and food safety risks. The Fertcare® Accredited Advisor program tests the competence of advisers against national competencies and standards, and provides a regular quality assurance audit program. Ultimately, it will provide advisers with a level of accountability for the recommendations they make.
GC Supplement - Farm business management 2013
GC Supplement - Frost