Can small data be used to make big decisions for improved farm profitability in Victoria’s cropping belt?
That will be the question posed to the state’s grains industry by Terry Griffin from Kansas State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics who will headline the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Grains Research Update in Bendigo on February 27 and 28.
Dr Griffin, an assistant professor, will explain how small data can be collated and analysed for important on-farm decision making, reflecting on lessons learnt from the United States’ experience.
Dr Griffin will be one of many world-leading experts at the GRDC Grains Research Update who will deliver revealing insights and new knowledge emerging from investments in grains research, development and extension.
GRDC’s Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley said the update would present information critical to informing growers’ tactical decision-making for the 2018 cropping season and into the future.
‘‘The update each year plays a key role in influencing practice change and uptake of new technologies by growers, to underpin continued improvements within their farming systems and opportunities for profit growth,’’ Mr Pengilley said.
With the theme of ‘‘strategic steps – enduring profit’’, Mr Pengilley said the update would be attended by hundreds of agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel.
Keynote speakers include Pulse Australia chairman Ron Storey, who will provide his thoughts on the status of the nation’s rapidly expanding pulse industry.
In another keynote address, Chris Preston from the University of Adelaide will bring the Victorian grains industry up to date on the state’s herbicide resistance situation.
Dr Preston will also explain the measures that can be taken to help reduce the risk of resistance occurring in the future.
The art of communicating science and maintaining peak performance will be the subjects of additional sessions during the update, presented by Jennifer Metcalfe, from Econnect Communication, and former AFL high-performance coach Mark McKeon respectively.
Management of Septoria tritici blotch and powdery mildew will be among the relevant agronomic issues to be covered on day one, along with management tips for pulse crops, a review of high-rainfall wheat and barley, cereal diseases in 2018 and new knowledge on Russian wheat aphid.
Agronomic topics to be delved into on day two include insights into sclerotinia disease in canola, refining nitrogen placement in cereals, control of insects such as mites and aphids, glyphosate effectiveness, critical agronomy management for optimal canola growth, and practical use of agricultural machinery technology.
The GRDC’s Grains Research Update will be held in Bendigo on February 27 and 28 at Ulumbarra Theatre, 10 Gaol Rd, Bendigo.