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AUGUST 2016

Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

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ACROSS THE GGA DESK


As an industry, we seem to be busier than ever - but don't let that stop you from joining 100 plus like-minded grower groups, researchers and industry at the GGA Annual Forum 18-19 August! It is a fantastic program, maybe even our best yet. All the information you need is below - don't forget to register!

In other industry news, it was fantastic to attend the inaugural event for the Sheep Alliance of WA as they strive to provide industry leadership in addressing the sheep population decline. We will see more changes to the RD&E landscape over the coming months and years and its important to recognise and support the role grower groups play in providing sustainable, locally delivered RD&E in WA. 

As I board the plane to Sydney to attend a National RIRDC Extension and Adoption project steering committee meeting, I look forward to reporting back next month on a successful Annual Forum, a new direction for the GGA and the start of a busy spring field day period where growers will get up to date information on new technologies and practices to adopt on farm. 


- Rebecca

GGA NEWS

The GGA Annual Forum will kick off on Thursday 18 August with a half-day grower group member only workshop to discuss the future strategic direction of the GGA. On Friday 19 August, grower groups will be joined by industry professionals from across WA for a full program of speaker sessions and networking, concluding with the CBH Group Sundowner. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with a leading grass roots RD&E network!



Guest speakers featuring at the Forum will include:
  • Alexandra Gartmann - CEO & Managing Director, Rural Bank
  • Peter Cooke - Director, AgKnowledge
  • Catherine Marriott - Kimberly Pilbara Cattleman's Association
  • Nigel Herring - CEO, AMPS Agribuisness Group (NSW)
Breakout and plenary sessions will cover topics such as:
  • Funding opportunities and challenges
  • Understanding and measuring impact
  • Collaboration for successful R&D - how to work effectively with partners
  • Extension tools and tricks to effectively engage and influence change 
Also in 2016, introducing the inaugural Grower Group Excellence Award, presented to a grower group that has made a significant contribution to the industry and is excelling in achieving their group vision.

     

Tickets only $150 for full conference package + sundowner! 
GGA grower group members send up to three people FREE!

To view a range of accommodation options in Scarborough click here.  

For more information visit the GGA website here, or contact the GGA office, T: 6180 5759, E: admin@gga.org.au.


Follow us on Twitter @GGA_WA for event updates and speaker profiles. 

Thank you to our event sponsors:

            
 

SUCCESSFUL RECIPIENTS OF THE GROWER GROUPS R&D GRANTS PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to all the successful recipients for Round 1 of the Grower Group R&D Grants Program. Of the 20 projects approved in this round, 10 will be managed by GGA grower group members, including: Click here for a full list of recipient organisations and project titles. 

The grants are part of the Agricultural Sciences Research and Development (R&D) Fund, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program and managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA). The Agricultural Sciences R&D Fund is one of 15 programs under the $350 million Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative.

To view the official media release 
click here.
 
GENERAL NEWS
YIELD FORECAST SYSTEMS TRIALS IN ESPERANCE 

In the Esperance port zone last year, SEPWA worked with four local growers to test five in-season yield predictive systems as part of a GRDC-funded RCSN project. The focus was on the practicalities of implementation, complexities of the tools, accuracy of crop responses compared to predictions, and whether growers liked using them.

The systems evaluated were Yield Prophet® and ProductionWise, iPaddockYield, Potential Yield Calculator (PYCAL) and nitrogen (N)-rich strips. It was found that the simpler tools of iPaddockYield, PYCAL and N-rich strips were easier to implement by growers and, in lot of cases, out-performed the more complex tools in yield prediction accuracy.

Details of this project are now available on the Online Farm Trials website. Click here to go to Trial Explorer, and search by "contributor" to find trials uploaded by SEPWA. Here you will find trial details, soil and climate information and the final report attached. 

For more information contact Alice Butler, T: (08) 9083 1111, E: alice@sepwa.org.au.

 

THE SHEEPS BACK BENCHMARK SURVEY

Are you interested in your regions sheep production benchmarks? By taking part in The Sheep’s Back Statewide Benchmarking Survey you can receive individual benchmarking results, and have the chance to share in $300 worth of Myer vouchers.

The Sheep's Back is focusing on 2015/2016 season data and the information gathered will assist them in both planning future activities and generating statewide production benchmarks.

The data you provide will be used by The Sheep’s Back and AWI only and individual data will not be provided to any other group or person. For more information and to participate in the survey click here.

 

SILC TRANSITIONS TO THE SHEEP ALLIANCE OF WA

The transition to the Sheep Alliance of WA formally took pace on Friday 29 July when the SILC board adopted a new constitution including changes to name, membership and accountability structure. All SILC director positions were declared vacant and a call was mounted for new directors with the ability and influence to respond directly to the organisation’s refined sole purpose of addressing the sheep population decline.

The new directors will work to progress a strong industry desire to ensure sheep industry research and extension is well executed, relevant and adopted, with one of the first orders of business being to develop a business case for developing a coordinated suite of sheep research, extension and communication activities. To view the full media release click here. For more information contact Esther Jones, T: 0418 931 938, E: esther@bluesee.com.au.

 
 
POSITIVE STORY FOR AUSTRALIA'S GRAINS INDUSTRY 

Australia’s grain industry is well positioned for ongoing prosperity according to a comprehensive report launched by GrainGrowers at the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) in Melbourne last week.
 
State of the Australian Grains Industry: 2016 provides an independent exploration of the underlying factors driving the competitiveness of the Australia’s grains industry and looks at the changes to the industry since 2011 when GrainGrowers last published the report.

Click here to read the report. 

 

PASE LUPINS AS FOOD PROJECT

With funding from the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), the Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) has launched the ‘PASE’ Lupins as Food Project which aims to support small lupin exporters in WA to evolve their market entry strategy for the Middle East. The project is being managed by Dr Shyamala Vishnumohan, GIWA Pulse Consultant.

For more information and important dates on the Pulse calendar click here or contact Shyamala Vishnumohan, T: 0406 874 569, E: SVishnumohan@giwa.org.au.

 

MLA ANNUAL INVESTMENT PLANS

MLA's Annual Investment Plan 2016-17 has been developed to inform levy payers, peak industry councils, the Australian Government and the wider industry about MLA’s planned work program in 2016-17. To view the 2016-17 plan click here. To read past MLA annual operating plans click here.
 

UNRAVELLING LAMB SURVIVAL

In a project funded by Australian Wool Innovation and Meat Livestock Australia, Murdoch University are investigating the effects of mob size and stocking rate on the survival of twin-born lambs between birth and marking. The research team are seeking producers that have scanned for multiples this year and run single and twin mobs separately to provide data on a per paddock basis.

To download and complete the data form and for more information about the project click here, or contact Serina Hancock, T: 0403 570 823, E: s.hancock@murdoch.edu.au.

 
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS
UPCOMING GROWER GROUP FIELD EVENTS

There are plenty of events on the calendar to keep you busy through August! Some of the grower group field events coming up include: For more information check out the GGA Calendar of Events here.

AGRIBUSINESS SHEEP UPDATES

The 2016 Agribusiness Sheep Updates will be held on Tuesday 30 August at the UWA Club, Crawley. The focus will be on ‘Sharpening the WA Sheep Business’ and will include a range of successful agribusiness managers sharing their experiences that have led to significant business success.

For more information and to register click here.


MURDOCH AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

On Friday 2 September, the Murdoch Agricultural Research Symposium will showcase the latest in cutting edge research covering advances in animal production, pastures, crops, soils, carpon ecomony and disease management. Admission is Free! Click here for more information. To see the full program click here.

2016 AUSTRALIAN FARMER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Nominations are now open for the 7th annual Australian Farmer of the Year Awards.

Have you or someone you know made a difference to the Australian agricultural sector over the past 12 months? As well as nominating for the Australian Farmer of the Year other awards include Young Farmer of the Year or Rural Consultant of the Year.

In addition, this year’s awards will highlight those who contribute to rural communities by focusing on contribution and service with Farming Legend of the Year and Rural Community Leader of the Year awards.

Click here for more information and to submit a nomination. Entries close Friday 26 August.


WACOSS TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES 

WACOSS is presenting a number of seminars and short courses which may be relevant to grower groups in the coming month. Click on the links below for more information.
RCSN OPEN MEETINGS 

The final round of RCSN open meetings will be held in Kwinana West Port Zone during August on the following dates:
  • Moora - 4pm Tuesday 9 August 
  • Northam - 9am Thursday 10 August
  • Wickepin - 4pm Thursday 10 August
For more information click here or contact Julianne Hill T: 0447 261 607, E: regionalcroppingsolutions@gmail.com.

GLOBAL FOOD TRENDS PRESENTATION IN PERTH 

World renowned Professor David Hughes, the “Global Food Professor”, is in Perth for an exclusive afternoon presentation on Monday 8 August at the Pagoda Resort & Spa, Como.

This is a free event run by Perth Markets Limited (Market City), Grain Industry of WA (GIWA) and Vegetables WA.

For more information and to register your attendance click here.

 
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:
SOUTHERN BIOSECURITY GROUP

Southern Biosecurity Group (sub-group of RAIN) is seeking Expressions of Interest for the role of Executive Officer. Click here for more information. Applications close Tuesday 9 August. 

For selection criteria and job description, contact Karyn Tuckett, T: 0458 380 087, E: sbg.execofficer@gmail.com.


2016 GIWA BARLEY SPRING FORUM

The GIWA Barley Spring Forum fields walks and Spring Forum agenda has been released. Taking place in Wickepin and Lake Grace on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 August. Click here for the full agenda and to register.

2016 RIRDC RURAL WOMEN'S AWARD

The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s pre-eminent Award for rural women. The Award identifies and supports emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities. For more information click here or contact RIRDC, T: (02) 6271 4132, E: rwa@rirdc.gov.au.

Nominations are now open and will close on Monday 31 October.




FARM COOPERATIVES AND COLLABORATION PILOT PROGRAM
NATIONAL FORUM


The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program (CCPP) is a national two year program that will provide expert advice and information for up to 2000 farmers and 100 farmer groups across the country. 

As part of the program, three national forums will be held to share knowledge and promote partnerships between farmers, farm advisors, agencies and other stakeholders. The first of these forums will be held on 29-30 August in Kingscliff, NSW.

The Forum is aimed at informing attendees on co-operative farming and how to get involved in the pilot program. The two-day event will include informative sessions on issues varying from governance, collective bargaining, and capital raising. 

For more information click here, and to register click here. Registration is free.

 
FUNDING 
WHEATBELT NRM TRIALS & DEMONSTRATION FUNDING - ROUND 4

Grants of up to $15,000 are available for trial and demonstration projects which aim to encourage the adoption of innovative practices associated with the themes of improved soil management, innovative crop management, sustainable grazing systems and tree crops. For more information click here

Applications close Monday 12 September.

 

REGIONAL GRANTS SCHEME AND COMMUNITY CHEST FUND

The Royalties for Regions Regional Grants Scheme (RGS) and Community Chest Fund (CCF) are now open with the aim of supporting local projects that help to provide improved facilities and services in regional communities. Both funds are administered by each of the nine Regional Development Commissions (RDCs).

The CCF comprises one-off grants of up to $50 ​000 to support small, local demand driven community projects throughout the year. For more information on the CCF click here.

The RGS 
seeks to improve economic and community infrastructure and services in regional Western Australia by helping to help attract investment, increase job opportunities and assist in improving the quality of life in the regions. The RGS is a contestable funding round with grants available from $50 001 to $300 000. For more information on the RGS click here.

To view the media statement click here.

Applications open close Tuesday 20 September.

 

ANZ SEEDS OF RENEWAL PROGRAM

The ANZ Seeds of Renewal Program focuses specifically on supporting education and employment initiatives that support local economies in rural, regional and remote areas, with consideration given to projects that benefit communities with a population of fewer than 15,000 people. Grants of up to $15,000 are available to community organisations for projects focused on these areas. For more information and to apply click here.
 

Applications close Friday 26 August.
 

GRDC GROWER AND ADVISER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The GRDC Grower and Adviser Development Program is specifically targeted at individuals and groups of Australian grain growers and advisers seeking to arrange and undertake study and professional development. The aim is to enable grain producing businesses to be productive, profitable and sustainable by assisting grain growers to gain new knowledge, develop new skills, build relationships, and acquire new information.

For more information click here or contact panels@grdc.com.auApplications close Wednesday 26 October.

WHEATBELT NRM COMMUNITY SUPPORT GRANTS

A number of $500 grants are currently available to encourage groups to increase the knowledge and skills of the Wheatbelt community by participating in and directly contributing to the management of our natural resources and delivery of ecosystem services.

The grants are available for community event support, event attendance and equipment purchase. For more information click here, or contact Leigh Whisson, T: 9670 3100, E: lwhisson@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

 

CBH GRASS ROOTS FUND OPENING IN SEPTEMBER

The CBH Group's Grass Roots Fund provides financial assistance to grain growing communities towards events and projects which contribute to the health and vitality of their community. Up to $5,000 in funding can be made available for your event or project.

The next round of the fund will be open for applications in September. Click here for more information and to prepare for the next round.

 
GROWER GROUP SPOTLIGHT
BIRCHIP CROPPING GROUP FILLING THE GAPP


Photo credit: Linda Walters, Birchip Cropping Group

In a joint project between Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) and the Victorian State Government, the growth, adoption, production and profit (GAPP) initiative is bringing young farmers together to discuss business and agronomic management issues with the goal of increasing productivity and profitability through the adoption of new technologies and practices on-farm.

The GAPP concept was launched by BCG in 2015 when it established groups of young (and young at heart) farmer discussion groups in five different regions, as well as a women’s group based out of Birchip. Members of these groups meet 3-4 times during the year to discuss agronomy and farm business management, and how they influence each other. Each group is supported by BCG staff and local agronomists.

With the total number of groups increasing to eight in 2016, the GAPP program gives members across different regions access to industry specialists and farm business professionals who are invited to take part in the meetings to share their expertise with growers and answer any questions. This system has proven to be a successful forum which delivers relevant information, challenges cultural practices and encourages open discussion.


Photo credit: Linda Walters, Birchip Cropping Group


So far the GAPP initiative has been well received with farmers using the groups as a vehicle to upskill, and appreciating the opportunity to assess their businesses and discuss with their peers. The groups have been particularly valuable for younger and less experienced farmers wanting to get a better understanding of the things that impact their bottom line.

Examples of topics covered by the group include, cost of production, enterprise mix and risk management, interpreting climatic models, support tools such as Yield Prophet® and Farm4Prophet, pre-emergent herbicides and resistance, soil test interpretation and variety selection.

Meetings can also include crop walks to cover things such as identifying critical crop growth stages, early stage weed identification, weed resistance and integrated weed management options, monitoring for pests and disease and visiting grower’s farms where there may be an issue or something of interest that others in the group can learn from.

For more information on the program contact Linda Walters, Research and Extension Officer, T: (03) 5492 2787, E: linda@bcg.org.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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