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Grower Group Alliance Newswire
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JUNE 2016

Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

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ACROSS THE GGA DESK


Just a short overview this month as there are plenty of news stories and opportunities below worth your attention!

June is already looking like an exciting month with grower groups ramping up their events post seeding. Look out for the many field walks, dinners, ladies days, and industry meetings coming up. We would like to wish groups all the best for your events and look forward to seeing you out and about soon.

We have been busy setting the final details for the GGA Annual Forum and are excited about the program of guest speakers and groups who will be presenting. See below for more information and stay tuned for the full program and registrations opening in early July.

Finally, its been very pleasing to see such a positive start to the 2016 growing season, and we wish you all the best for the rest of the year!

- Rebecca

GGA NEWS

The 2016 GGA Annual Forum is a not to be missed event! Join us for an exciting program with guest speakers and grower groups presenting on a huge range of topics, specifically focused on creating value through collaboration for success. 

Featuring guest speakers:
  • Alexandra Gartmann - CEO & Managing Director, Rural Bank
  • Mark Sweetingham - Executive Director, Grains R&D Transformation, DAFWA
  • Nigel Herring - CEO, AMPS Agribuisness Group (NSW)
As well as breakout and plenary sessions covering topics such as:
  • Funding opportunities and challenges
  • Measuring impact and performance - what, why and how?
  • Collaboration for successful R&D - how to work effectively with partners
  • Extension tools and tricks to effectively engage and influence change
Full program and registrations open on Friday 1 July. For more information visit the GGA website here, or contact the office, T: 6180 5759, E: admin@gga.org.au.
 
 
HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE FUTURE OF THE GGA!

As part of the GGA's strategic planning process, GGA staff will be consulting with grower groups over the coming months in an effort to define the role and direction of the Alliance into the future. The consultation period will conclude with a grower group only session during Day 1 of the GGA Annual Forum on Thursday 18 August.

Grower groups will have received an information pack outlining the new strategic plan direction, which also calls for groups to express their ideas, concerns and suggestions for the GGA going forward. We encourage groups to think seriously about the future direction of the GGA and greatly value your input during the consultation period. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

To discuss the GGA Strategic Plan further, contact Rebecca Wallis, T: 6180 5759, E: rwallis@gga.org.au

 

FARM TRIAL DATA ONLINE AND AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Online Farm Trials (OFT), a GRDC funded project, has been successfully working with grower groups across Australia to upload historical trials data onto an online database for the past 12 months. If you haven't checked it out yet, click here to search for trial information and compare results across states, soil types and rainfall zones. 

With all this information now at your fingertips, we want to find out how you are using, or how you would like to use the OFT database for your benefit. Are you a consultant or researcher using the information already? Would you like to know more about how to search and compare data and use this information to make decisions?

If you are interested in how you can benefit from OFT or would like to know more, contact Sarah Houston, T: 08 6180 5759, E: shouston@gga.org.au. The GGA play a coordinator role for this project in WA. 

 

TIME MANAGEMENT & TEAM LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP

Grower groups, researchers and other industry members gathered in Technology Park in May to attend the first GGA training workshop for 2016. Focusing on "Time Management for Effective Team Leadership", Natasha Searle of Rural Directions delivered a full day workshop bringing practical tips, tools and ideas on leadership, personal productivity and effective teams to participants from around WA. To read the full media release click here
 

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT RESOURCES

Ever thought about who can influence the success of your organisation? Through the GGA stakeholder mapping workshops, we came up with a number of important considerations when mapping and prioritising stakeholders. Click here to read more.

The GGA have also prepared a resource on "How to run a stakeholder mapping workshop" within your own organisation, to help groups begin the process of identifying stakeholders to feed into their  stakeholder engagement plan. Click here to view and download the resource now.
GENERAL NEWS
GRASS PATCH FOCUS TRIALS SITE

A number of SEPWA members from the Grass Patch region have offered areas of their farms for a focused R&D site in the lower rainfall region of the Esperance Port Zone. These trials will capture the harsher duplex soil constraints found in the mallee area. The consolidated site will provide a single location for field day extension activities as well as a local, hands-on demonstrations for faster adoption of technologies. 

For more information click here, or contact Niki Curtis, T: 0447 908 311, E: eo@sepwa.org.au

 
 
INTRODUCING THE SHEEP ALLIANCE OF WA

Following industry consultation, the Sheep Industry Leadership Council (SILC) has recently been renamed the Sheep Alliance of WA. Membership of the Sheep Alliance of WA is now open to entities that are key contributors to the sheep supply chain and/or actively working towards improving the profitability of the WA sheep industry. Click here for a membership form.

For more information click here, or contact Esther Jones, T 0418 931 938, E: esther@bluesee.com.au.

 

STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION - AWI STRATEGIC PLAN

In consultation with stakeholders, AWI is developing its Strategic Plan for 2016/17 to 2018/19. The purpose of the Plan is to outline AWI's key investment priorities in research, development and marketing for the three years from 1 July 2016. AWI has now issued a draft Strategic Plan for comment and feedback. 

Click here for further information, or contact AWI, E: consultation@wool.com

 

ANALYSING BIOMASS DATA TO DETERMINE SEASONAL PERFORMANCE

The Muchas Gracias grower group, together with Grain & Graze 3 and Landgate, have been conducting an analysis of biomass data to determine where 2016 sits in comparison to other seasons. Their analysis shows that 2016 is sitting at the analogue year 2005, which was a great year for pasture growth.

To find out more click here, or contact Paul Omodei, T: 08 9881 1422, E: paul@planfarm.com.au
 

NEW CONSORTIUM TO DRIVE GENETIC GAIN

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has announced the establishment of the National Livestock Genetics Consortium, a new model of collaboration in genetics and genomics research, development and adoption (RD&A). The agreement sees representatives from across the beef and sheep value chain committing their time and resources, including breeders, commercial producers, processors, service providers and research agencies. 
For further information click here.
 

PRODUCTIVITY GAINS FROM BIG DATA 

A research report from the Australian Farm Institute (AFI) is suggesting big data and its application in agriculture represents the next frontier of productivity gains for Australian grain growers. The report looks at the opportunities of digital agriculture and ‘big data’ for Australian agriculture, providing an insight to the next wave of agricultural innovation. To read more click here.
 

OATS ADDED TO MYCROP TOOL

Oats have now been added to the popular MyCrop crop diagnosis tool, to assist Western Australian grain growers to optimise their crop potential. The new addition is available via the DAFWA website as well as the full MyCrop suite of apps.

For more information click here. To view the online MyCrop tool click here.
 

CHANGES TO WA BARLEY STANDARDS 2016/2017 HARVEST

GIWA has recently recommended changes to WA barley standards for 2016/2017, with the most significant changes being in the tightening of tolerances for ryegrass, ergot and snails in feed barley, and the introduction of tolerances for pink staining. To view the entirety of recommendations made by the review committee click here. For more information contact Larissa Taylor, T: (08) 6262 2128, E: ltaylor@giwa.org.au
 

NEW BIOSECURITY FUNDING MECHANISMS FEEDBACK

DAFWA are seeking comments and feedback on draft policy which is currently under development regarding various funding mechanisms that may be applied to biosecurity purposes under existing acts. ACIL Allen Consulting has been contracted to undertake consultation on behalf of DAFWA. To view the draft policy click here

In order to submit your comments and feedback regarding this funding, please complete and return the response template by 15 June 2016 to Antonia Hodby, E: a.hodby@acilallen.com.au

For any technical inquiries regarding the draft policy contact I-Lyn Loo, T: 9368 3321 E: I-Lyn.Loo@agric.wa.gov.au
 

CAREFUL VRT COULD LIFT PROFITABILITY

WA research has helped confirm that growers can lift their profitability by varying fertiliser applications within a paddock to more accurately match soil types, yield potential and soil nutritional status. 

Trials from 2015 have suggested that gross margins increased by up to $50 per hectare across a paddock when Variable Rate Technology (VRT) was used to vary fertiliser rates in different ‘production zones’, when compared with margins from a traditional non-VRT approach.

To read more click here, or contact Craig Topham, T: 0428 645 192, E: craig@agrarian.com.au.

 



PESTFAX REPORTER APP 

Grain growers and agronomists can now report crop pests, diseases, weeds or other damage from the paddock with a new smart phone app. The app has been developed by DAFWA as part of the PestFax Map project, jointly funded through DAFWA and GRDC.

Growers are being urged to use the app to help build a comprehensive picture of cropping issues during the season. This will enable growers, industry and DAFWA to react quickly and with appropriate information to manage crop constraints. 

For more information click here, or contact Art Diggle, T: 9368 3563, E: art.diggle@agric.wa.gov.au.
OPPORTUNITIES & EVENTS

Mingenew-Irwin Group are currently seeking an Executive Officer to lead all strategic business aspects of the group in conjunction with the board. The position requires a dynamic and motivated team player with a vision for the future of agriculture and natural resource management. 

For more information on the position and how to apply click here, or contact Sheila Charlesworth, E: sheila@mig.org.au.


GRAIN & GRAZE TECHNICAL FORUM

Grain and Graze will host its 6th annual Technical Forum on Thursday 30 June at Technology Park Function Centre, Bentley.

The day will give the WA mixed farming industry a chance to hear from leading farmers, advisers and researchers on the latest in mixed farming practices and information to make easier decisions when managing both cropping and livestock enterprises together.

For more information click here, or contact Danielle England, T: 0429 676077, E: danielle@aginnovate.com.au.

GROUPS CELEBRATE WOMEN IN AG 

Celebrating the contribution of women in agriculture is the focus of many groups in June/July as they prepare for their Ladies Days across WA. Below is a list of upcoming events to look out for:
RCSN 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.

WALRC FORUM AND MEETING

The WA Livestock Research Council (WALRC) Forum and meeting will be held in Merredin on Tuesday 28 June.

The program includes updates from various livestock projects, as well as an R&D issues workshop to discuss ideas for research areas in the future.

Click here for the full program, or for more information contact Erin Gorter, T: 0429 833 752, E: eringorter@agvivo.com.au


COO-EE COLLECTIVE VIRTUAL MENTORING PROGRAM

Coo-ee Collective has been developed to bring agricultural and professional people together, to share ideas and a vision to support and grow through strategic mentoring groups.

The initiative involves joining a group of eight participants from agriculture and rural communities and a professional Facilitator/Coach, and meeting virtually online up to eleven times per year to share ideas, support each other, build networks and grow skills. 

For more information on the program click here


OUR COMMUNITY TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

The following training opportunities are being offered through OurCommunity in the coming months:
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. 

The next round of COGGO Research Funding will open soon. For more information contact Ian Longson, E: CoggoResearchFund@giwa.org.au. Applications will close Friday 22 July.

 

ROUND 5 NACC FARM DEMONSTRATION SITE GRANTS

NACC Farm Demonstration Site Grants of up to $25,000 are now available to support the promotion and uptake of sustainable and innovative farm practices and management in the Northern Ag Region.

For more information click here, or contact Kym Jefferies, T: 9938 0124, E: kym.jefferies@nacc.com.au. Applications close Tuesday 5 July.
 

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 
GROWER GROUP SPOTLIGHT
CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF FARM IMPROVEMENT AT CORRIGIN

In 2016, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group (CFIG) are celebrating the impressive milestone of 35 years as a grower group!

CFIG is a community based not-for-profit grower group located in Corrigin, servicing a wide region of the central and southern Wheatbelt. Areas covered by CFIG include the Shires of Corrigin, Kulin, Kondinin, Bruce Rock, Narembeen and Quairading.

CFIG pride themselves on their many years of success, and recognise this achievement would not have been possible without the many devoted members who have run the organisation in this time.

Currently, the group has a committee of 14 representatives and a membership of 110 farming business. It group is made up of a diverse collection of driven members and committee who work tirelessly to present range of events that provide a balance between information provision and social interaction for its members.  


 
CFIG's long and proud history dates back to their establishment in April 1981. A group of local farmers had attended a Kondinin Farm Improvement Group seminar at Hyden, and after a few ales thought it would be good for Corrigin farmers to have a group of their own. During their first year, the group held a hugely successful spring crop inspection field day, an event that has continued every year since.

A great deal of time, energy and resources have gone into the running of countless events over the last 35 years, from seminars to field walks, bus trips, field days and more. There were the AgriChem days held in 1991 and 1993, the CFIG Lupin Pod to Bin days, AgriGuidance Sessions and various in-paddock trials. The topics covered by so many events are endless, but have ranged from on-farm productivity and new technologies, through to encouraging and supporting the social wellbeing of farmers in the region.

With another bumper year for trials and projects ahead in 2016, the future of CFIG continues to look bright. Members are engaged and involved in all aspects of the group operations. They are excited for new upcoming ventures such as the eConnected Grainbelt project and investigating cost effective ways to tackle non-wetting soils, 

All the usual CFIG annual events are in store for the coming season, so keep an eye out for their Winter Field Walk in July and Pasture Field Walk in September. Additional events making their way onto the calendar this year include the Risk Management for Farming Businesses Seminar, the Local Women in Agriculture Event, and a members' Bus Tour.

And finally, a special Spring Field Day will help the group celebrate their achievement of 35 years. This will be a fantastic opportunity for past and present members to join in and share memories of the group from their 35 year long history.


For more information on the Corrigin Farm Improvement Group click here or contact Veronika Crouch, T: 0476 046 100, E: cfig@cfig.asn.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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