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Grower Group Alliance Newswire
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MAY 2016

Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

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ACROSS THE GGA DESK


Welcome to a new look Newswire

April has provided us with some great opportunities to spend some time in the office, reflecting on the busy start to the year and planning for the next three months. We are excited to be delivering some high level training next week in time management and leadership, and have a great program coming together for the Annual Forum in August. 

Last week I attended a workshop in Wagga Wagga delivered by RIRDC to discuss the major trends, changes and opportunities in extension and adoption in primary industries across Australia. It really highlighted the need for better partnerships and co-investment, particularly between public and private, and the challenge we face in synthesizing and translating knowledge in an information overloaded environment. 

Finally, while spending time in the tractor (or the office) this month, think about the coming season and how you can become better involved in your local grower group - what issues are you facing in your farming enterprise or agribusiness organisation and how can you collaborate with others, through your local group, to address these? 

- Rebecca

GGA NEWS
STAKEHOLDER MAPPING RESOURCES

What are some of the important considerations to think about when undertaking stakeholder mapping with your organisation?
 

As a follow up from the Stakeholder Mapping workshops held alongside the 2016 Regional Meetings, the GGA has uploaded a discussion paper on their website to share key learnings captured during the workshops. The discussion paper is there to assist grower groups in undertaking their own stakeholder mapping sessions and in developing a stakeholder engagement plan going forward.

Click here to read more, and stay tuned for further resources to be released by GGA over the coming months, including 'How to run a stakeholder mapping session' and 'How to develop an effective stakeholder engagement plan'.

 
 


This one day workshop on next week will focus on enhancing the capacity of the management team within grower groups across WA. Delivered by Rural Directions on behalf of the GGA, this is a not to be missed opportunity! Click here for further details or contact Rebeccal Wallis, T: 6180 5759 E: rwallis@gga.org.au
 

GGA EXTENDING ITS REACH INTO NEW SECTORS

With a new project scope for GGA comes the opportunity to support and work with new grower groups across different agricultural sectors in WA. Traditionally having a broadacre focus, the new project allows the GGA to expand its network to reach organisations working in livestock, horticulture, dairy and other ag industries.

Some examples of industries and organisations the GGA have connected with so far are the WA Goat Meat Industry Council, the WA Lot Feeders Association, the Southern Agricultural Indigenous Landholder Service and a Geraldton horticultural group.

If you know of a farmer-driven group who would benefit from being a part of the GGA network, feel free to forward our details. For more information, contact Rebecca Wallis, T: 6180 5759, E: rwallis@gga.org.au.

 

NEW ADDITIONS TO GROWER GROUPS AROUND WA

A number of new faces have been appearing at grower groups around WA over the past four months. We thought it a good idea to introduce some of the latest additions to help our network keep up to date with the changes. Please make them feel welcome!
  • Tracey Hodgkins - CEO, Southern DIRT
  • Emma Russell - Project Officer, Southern DIRT
  • Christine Kershaw - Executive Officer, Stirlings to Coast Farmers
  • Cameron O’Neill - Project Officer, Mingenew Irwin Group
  • Jenni Clausen - Research Agronomist & Coordinator, Liebe Group
  • Chloe Turner - Agricultural Research & Extension Coordinator, Facey Group
GENERAL NEWS
VERY EARLY SOWN CANOLA TRIALS UNDERWAY

A canola trial in the Northern Agricultural Region, funded through GRDC, has been planted to validate preliminary research that shows it is better to choose the highest yielding variety for the area than to match long season varieties to the planting date.

Click here for more information or contact Jodie Thomson, T: 9368 3937.

 

COMPREHENSIVE STUDY REVEALS THE COST OF WEEDS TO WA GROWERS

Australia's most comprehensive analysis of the cost of weeds in cropping systems has shown that the overall annual cost to WA grain growers is $927 million or $117 per hectare. GRDC commissioned report Impact of weeds on Australian grain production shows that growers are investing heavily in weed management. GRDC General Manager Crop Protection said the industry study into the cost of weeds, including yield losses and the costs of weed management practices had input from 600 grower, as well as agronomists, consultants, agribusiness data experts and researchers.

Click here for more information or contact Natalie Lee, T: 9864 2034, E: nataliel@coxinall.com.au.

 

CBH CROP QUALITY REPORT 

CBH Group has released its first annual Crop Quality Report as part of an initiative to provide enhanced information to the grains industry. The Crop Quality Report provides grain quality results for each of the primary grades of wheat; malting barley; feed barley; GM canola; and non-GM canola. 


The link to the report can be found here. For more information contact Rob Dickie, T: 9416 6313, E: Rob.Dickie@cbh.com.au
 

TOOLS FOR WORKING OUT PLANT AVAILABLE WATER CAPACITY

A GRDC-supported project has developed a practical toolbox of methods growers can use to help characterise their soils for plant-available water capacity, and these new technologies are now complementing old ways of making crop management decisions.  

Plant-available water capacity for many soil types can now be found online. To help growers and agronomists take advantage of the current data the national soils database APSoil was created and features information on more than 1000 soils across Australia. The database software is free and can be downloaded here.

For more information on the project click here or contact Brett Cocks, T: (07) 4688 1580, E: brett.cocks@csiro.au.
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS


2016 GGA ANNUAL FORUM:
COLLABORATION · VALUE · SUCCESS


The date and theme has been set for the 2016 GGA Annual Forum. This year, the focus will be on creating value through collaboration for success. Mark this not to be missed event in your calendars now and stay tuned for more information!

GRDC REGIONAL CROPPING SOLUTION NETWORK OPEN MEETINGS 

The Regional Cropping Solutions Network has announced the dates of their Open Meetings to be held during June - August in all port zones. To see the dates and find out more, click here.


2017 NUFFIELD SCHOLARSHIP NOW OPEN

Nuffield is Australia's premier scholarship for primary producers. People between the age of 28-40 (there is some flexibility around age) involved in farming as an owner, manager or active member of the business are invited to apply. 

To find out more
click here or contact Jim Geltch, T: 03 5480 0755, E: enquiries@nuffield.com.au

Applications close Tuesday 30 June.

 
REGIONAL ACHIEVEMENT & COMMUNITY AWARDS

The Western Australian Regional Achievement & Community Awards are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions individuals, communities and businesses are making throughout regional and rural Western Australia.  

Click here for more information.
Nominations open Wednesday 11 May.
MURESK INSTITUTE SHORT COURSES

The Muresk Institute continues to deliver a range of short courses to provide training in areas such as broadacre precision farming techniques, use and adoption of UAV technology, low stress livestock handling, first aid, operating farm machinery and more.

For a full list of the available courses click here. For more information contact Prue Jenkins, T: 9690 1556, E: prue.jenkins@dtwd.wa.gov.au.
OUR COMMUNITY TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Our Community has developed a wide range of affordable training programs for people working in the not-for-profit sector. The courses available in Perth include the following:
EVERGREEN FARMING PASTURES TOUR TO SOUTH AFRICA

Evergreen Farming will be undertaking a study tour to visit South Africa to explore the vast pasture and grazing initiatives that are prevalent within 500km of Cape Town.

The tour will take place in July/August 2016 (exact dates TBA). Click here for more information or contact Phil Barrett-Lennard, T: 0429 977 042, E: evergreenfarming@agvivo.com.au.
2016 COMMONWEALTH BANK NOT-FOR-PROFIT TREASURERS' AWARD

Our Community and the Commonwealth Bank and their Not-for-Profit Sector Banking team believe Australia's treasurers deserve some recognition. The 2016 Commonwealth Bank Not-For-Profit Treasurers' Awards are designed to provide that recognition.

You can nominate for your treasurer to receive a Certificate of Appreciation, or have your treasurer share their idea for a chance to win one of three $5000 donations for their not-for-profit group.  

Click here for more details. Nominations close Friday 29 July.


RABOBANK EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Applications for the Rabobank Executive Development Program are now open. Click here for more information. Applications close Friday 27 May
FUNDING 
COGGO RESEARCH FUNDING OPENING SOON

The Council of Grain Growers Organisations (COGGO) established the COGGO Research Fund to invest in innovative research and development projects across the whole supply chain that can demonstrate a direct benefit to Western Australian grain growers. 

Applications for the COGGO Research Fund are due to open in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for further correspondence through the GGA newsletters and other networks. For more information contact Ian Longson, E: CoggoResearchFund@giwa.org.au. Applications will close Friday 22 July.

 

COGGO PIPER GRAINS INNOVATION AWARD

COGGO has announced a commitment of $150,000 every two years to the Piper Award which aims to identify and assist the commercialisation of innovative ideas benefiting WA grain growers. Applicants are invited to submit ideas for consideration for a $25,000 Piper Award to spend on developing their innovation. After the first year, those who have secured a Piper Award are invited to apply for the biennial Piper Prize, offering $75,000 to help commercialise the idea. 

For more information
click here, or contact Hugh Lennarts, E: hugh.lennerts@coggo.net.au. Applications close Friday 20 May

 

LANDCARE AUSTRALIA SPECIAL PROJECT GRANTS

The Landcare Australia Special Projects Grants 2016 are intended to support Landcare and farming groups in undertaking projects and activities that protect environmental assets, address priority issues and improve the health of the environment.

Groups are invited to apply for a grant of up to $15,000 to support projects that focus on biodiversity or sustainable agriculture.

For more information click here, or contact the grants team, E: grants@landcareaustralia.com.au. Applications close Friday 20 May

 

INDUSTRY SKILLS FUND - OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

The Industry Skills Fund, supported by Australian Government Dept Education and Training, aims to assist businesses to invest in training and support services, and to develop innovative training solutions. There are funds available for co-contribution to training. Although not available to not-for-profit organisations, this opportunity would be highly relevant for farming business and agribusiness.
 
For more information click here, or contact Lee Jackson, T: 0498 064 189, E: lee.jackson@navitas.com.
GROWER GROUP SPOTLIGHT
RAIN STUDY TOUR TO TASMANIA

Nearly one third of Tasmania’s land area (68,300 sq km) is committed to agriculture. Tasmania has some of the world’s most productive soils and the people who work in the agricultural sector take pride in using cutting-edge technology in their production methods, packaging and marketing.

The Ravensthorpe Agricultural Initiative Network (RAIN) sent a group of sixteen growers to Tasmania in late February for an eight day study tour travelling by bus and visiting a variety of sites from Launceston in the north to Hobart in the south east. 


RAIN study tour group at the storage shed of Tasmanian Agricultural Producers in Powrana

The tour started in the northern region near Cressy where they stopped by Heazelwood Seeds, a family business that cleans, dries, treats and packages seed. This was followed by Eastfield Lamb Feedlot, and on to the property of grower Rob Henry, which among other things included growing and processing peppermint and a compost operation designed to utilise the by-products of poppy, peppermint and canola plants. 

A day spent to the north west of Launceston saw the group visit Botanical Resources Australia, producers of pyrethrum (used to make a botanical insecticide), the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and vegetable growers and processors Premium Fresh Australia.

On the drive south, the tour stopped at Tasmanian Agriculture Producers in Powranna, a PTY LTD company comprising of 16 growers as shareholders. The company coordinates the receival, storage and transport of grain from the surrounding area, with a total storage capacity of 35000 tonnes and a view to expand in the future. 

Further south, the RAIN group arrived In Hobart where they met with Evan Evans aka "the Tassie Beer Doctor". Evan shared his strong belief in making better quality beer and more of it. He works closely with growers in Tasmania to improve the finished product through seeking barley with better malting qualities. Evan accompanied the group for the rest of the day to the historic Cascade Brewery (Australia’s Oldest Brewery) for a tour of their operation. The day concluded at Lark Distillery, a boutique business utilising the fine produce and ideal conditions Tasmania has to offer, such as the rich fields of barley, pure water, highland peat bogs and an ideal climate, to produce world-class, award winning whiskey. 

Next stop was the property of the Gunn Brothers near Richmond in the Coal River Valley, a sixth generation mixed farming enterprise who have been involved in a biosolids project since 2005. Their 50km distance from Hobart puts them in an ideal position to utilise the cities sewerage treatment plants and use the recycled water for production purposes.  

Other stops visited in the south of the state included Port Arthur, Salamanca Markets, Get Shucked Oysters, Bruny Island Cheese and the Museum of Old and New Art. 


RAIN members enjoying a tour of The Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Australia's Oldest Brewery. Pictured here with the brewery and Mt Wellington (Kunanyi) in the background.

The group returned home to WA inspired and perhaps grateful for their lower cost land and less complex operations. It was evident that there are similar issues across the various agricultural sectors observed in Tasmania, with some of the common themes being leasing vs owning land, power and water supply issues, staffing, market access and security, weather variability and biosecurity. The Lark Distillery motto of ‘relentlessly educating ourselves and each other’ was a key take home message, and something the group aims to continue to strive for.  

The trip was partially funded by GRDC through their Industry Development Fund.

For more information contact Elisa Spengler, T: 9838 1018, E: 
rainoffice@westnet.com.au

To view the full Grower Group Alliance Calendar of Events, please go to the GGA Website

If you found this newsletter helpful, please feel free to send it on to your friends and fellow community groups in your area.

People can subscribe to Newswire or contribute by contacting the editor Rebecca Wallis, E: rwallis@gga.org.au

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