A RECENTLY-released Grains Research and Development Corporation report provides new insight into on-farm practices across the nation.
The Farm Practices Survey Report 2012 outlines the adoption of key management practices used in Australian grain-growing regions.
Specific practices include:
- matching land use to land capabilities;
- reduced or no-tillage;
- stubble retention;
- crop rotation with pastures, oilseeds and pulses;
- controlled traffic and precision agriculture;
- nutrient budgeting and soil testing;
- use of soil conditioners;
- sowing dates;
- managing water use efficiency; and
- water budgeting.
GRDC executive manager, research programs, Steve Thomas, said Australian grain growers continually demonstrated their resourcefulness and success in managing challenging seasonal, industry and market conditions to deliver profitable and sustainable farm businesses.
"Farming practices are constantly changing to match these challenges," Dr Thomas said.
"The adoption of sustainable practices in tillage, fertiliser application, crop residue management, integrated pest, disease and weed management, rotations, precision agriculture, and other farming practice improvements has contributed to the resilience and success of grain businesses."
GRDC invests around $150 million of grain levies and government funds each year in research, development and extension (RD&E).
Of this, $37 million is invested in farming practices RD&E to provide grain growers with better tools and information to enhance farm profit and sustainability, Dr Thomas said.
The publication is the second of its kind following a national survey of growers carried out by GRDC and Kaliber Research to capture information about farming practices in use on grain and mixed farms across Australia.
"The report provides baseline data to monitor and evaluate which farming systems and practices are working well and where 'gaps' are evident," Dr Thomas said.
"It is a key source of information for identifying future investment opportunities to drive productivity, profitability and sustainability improvements on grain farms.
"GRDC will continue to work with growers, advisers and research partners to improve adoption and make our industry more sustainable and profitable."
To download the GRDC Farm Practices Survey Report 2012, visit www.grdc.com.au/farmpractices.
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