This year’s SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre Annual Field Day provided a first-hand glimpse of the effect of the dry start on delayed crop growth and poor canola emergence.
Braving rather chilly conditions, more than 100 people including farmers, advisors, researchers and agricultural industry representatives looked at the impact of the season so far across the farm and in the trials.
While conditions improved during August, the growing season rainfall to date at Minnipa is still approximately 100 mm less than the average.
A long wet spring with not too many hot days will allow many crops to produce reasonable yields, but well below levels of the past few years.
During the day researchers presented at some of their trial sites, with the research aiming to answer some questions.
These included the impact of controlled traffic farming on yields in low rainfall areas, the under-performance of medic pastures, stubble impact on herbicides and wheat varieties that can be sown at different times to avoid heat and frost stress.
Answers for how to deal with issues including Rhizoctonia and barley grass was also discussed.
Attendees also viewed broad acre demonstrations of pre-emergent herbicides, new wheat varieties including the new winter wheat RAC2341, lentils and vetch.
Minnipa Agricultural Centre Farm Manager Jake Hull and SARDI Livestock Research Officer Jessica Crettenden presented the improvements being made to the productivity of the sheep flock at the centre and the cost of feeding sheep as a result of the dry start to the season.
Jarrad Murphy, a compliance officer with the Department of Transport, opened the floor to farmers to ask any questions about machinery movement and heavy vehicle rules, and highlighted the best resources to access for information.
Despite lower attendances than usual, and the cool conditions, feedback was strongly positive about the day, in regards to both content and the opportunity to catch up with others from across the Eyre Peninsula.