Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Packed programme for arable’s big day out

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International guests and FAR researchers will speak on topical arable issues.
Cropping farmers’ annual big day out will take on a new look programme at ARIA 2023.
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Arable farming’s big day out is set to host two international speakers in a new look programme for the research and extension event this year.

The Foundation for Arable Research’s (FAR) biggest annual event, Arable Research in Action (ARIA 2023), is set for November 29, promising a wealth of inspiring talks and practical take-home messages for farmers.     

It also provides an opportunity for industry members to get off farm, taking the time to make important social connections as well as looking to the future of their business. 

FAR communications manager Anna Heslop said the programme will be different this year as there will be no concurrent talks to choose between. 

“We had a few comments from people that they wanted to see and listen to everything.” 

FAR researchers will speak on topical arable issues including using crop competition to manage weeds, extending the value of ryegrass seed crops and disease management in wheat.    

“It’s all about delivering information that growers can take home to manage their crops this season,” Heslop said. 

ARIA 2023 will host two international speakers.  

The keynote speaker, British farmer Rob Waterston, will talk about transitioning to more resilient arable farming in the United Kingdom. 

Waterston is in his third year as an arable monitor farmer with the UK Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board. 

He is the farm manager for the Welford Park Estate at Berkshire, managing 864ha of arable land in a rotation of wheat, winter beans and oilseed rape, with spring barley introduced to control black grass. 

Waterston’s ambitions are to develop a no-till farming system that is sustainable, viable and carbon neutral as he strives to improve water efficiency and reduce reliance on agri-chemicals by improving the farm’s rotation and soil health.  

The second international speaker, Primary Sales Australia chief executive Peter Broley, will lead a discussion on setting up combine harvesters for an efficient harvest. 

Across the Tasman, Broley is involved in a project run by the Grains Research and Development Corporation,  which in 2021 identified grain and seed losses in Western Australia worth more than $300 million left in paddocks from front and other machine losses. 

FAR is running a series of field events for growers in the same week as ARIA 2023 in Mid and South Canterbury and Southland, which will examine combine harvesters from the front to the back to ensure as much yield as possible goes into the silo and is not left on the ground.   

As well as exporting seed totalling $221 million to more than 70 countries in 2022, New Zealand arable growers supply grains and seeds to make bread, pasta, beer and culinary oils, while also providing stock feed to the $20 billion NZ livestock industry.

ARIA 2023 will run from 9am to 2.30pm on November 29 at the FAR Chertsey arable research site in Mid Canterbury.   

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