The final Cox Rural Pasture Workshop took place on September 12.
The day kicked off with an engaging panel session, with expertise coming from Penny Roberts (SARDI), Emma McInerney (NRM), Tom Robinson and Dan Hammat. This session considered all aspects of mixed species cropping from the challenges and trade-offs associated, scientific research backing the concept and on-farm experiences and observations made by the two farmers on the panel. This session ended up running over time, with numerous questions resulting in a great conversation.
Next up, I briefly introduced the Upper North Farming Systems Pasture Suitability Trial, running for the next three years out at Caltowie. This trial hosts fifteen various pasture species from grasses, brassicas and various legume species both annual and perennial. Over the next three years, these species will be monitored to eventually make an overall assessment of their suitability to our local farming systems. If you would like further information on this trial, please do not hesitate to give me a call and head out there to have a look!
It was then out to the trial site where we heard from the landowner, Andrew Kitto, with regards to the sowing of the trial and more background of his management. Next up, Rehn Freebairn from Pasture Genetics gave us a technical review of each species. In this, we touched on the benefits of each species regarding animal health and persistence. Additionally, growers were able to ask any questions, turning this session into more of a conversation where various growers were able to contribute personal experiences and learn from one another.
Lastly, Jay Iwasaki, University of Adelaide, summaries the previous trial work completed on Andrews property, which looked as soil organisms and the interactions with various fungicides and insecticides. Additionally, Jay discussed pollination biology touching on Australia’s current position with honeybees.
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