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  • Writer's pictureLiebe Group

Gen Y Participants Tour through the region

Early in September, 14 of Liebe Group’s younger members set off on the second annual Gen Y bus tour, visiting several of the trials they had implemented this year.

The event was initiated in 2020 to build the capacity of Liebe Group members to conduct their own on-farm trials and help cultivate a peer to peer learning network throughout the region.

The afternoon started with a stop at Blair Stone’s property in Marchagee, looking at his trials investigating the amelioration of non-typical soils with the maximum tillage Horsch Tiger machine. Ths demo includes cultivating salt land, gravel duplex and heavy clay soils that would not typically respond well to cultivation. Most of the sites monitored appear to have had some response to the cultivation, and yield results will be interesting to collect.

The next stop was Dylan Hirsch’s property in Latham where he has implemented several demonstration that show the comparison of pre and post-seeding deep ripping. Results varied depending on both time of sowing, and crop stage when deep ripped. At this stage, the results are suggesting that the crop recovers better from the post-seeding deep ripping when it is more developed and has increased energy reserves that can be used to quickly recover from any damage.

Casey Shaw, Maya grower, discussed his trial that was implemented in 2020 and is continuing to monitor for long term results. The trial addressed the application of additional biomatter (in this case in the form of compost) to salt-affected soil to increase its production potential. Results were minimal last year with unfavourable seasonal conditions. However, this year the compost has had time to break down and be more effective in the soil profile. As such, visual effects have been observed this year, and the influence the treatments have had on production should be of interest come harvest.

A short drive later the group arrived at Shaun Fitzsimons property in Buntine. The site of his trial addressed several different depths of deep ripping, ranging from 350 – 650mm. This was a focus to Shaun’s farming enterprise due to recently acquiring a deep ripper that can achieve a much deeper depth (650mm) than their previous machine (400mm). Shaun is investigating if the deeper depth achievable with the new machine is of additional benefit and worth the increased running costs associated with the activity.

The last property visited was Boyd Carter’s in Jibberding to showcase two trials run by the Liebe Group. The first was looking at the efficacy of the new disc-style seeder, and how its faster-running speed may be beneficial in minimising seeding costs. Results will be extended through the R&D Book in January. This demonstration was established thanks to GRDC investment through the Optimising plant establishment, density and spacing to maximise crop yield and profit in the southern and western regions, led by the University of Adelaide and WANTFA in WA.

The second trial was addressing the effects of various stubble height, and how taller stubble may lower wind erosion risks affects crop performance. Current results suggest that there are some performance penalties associated with maintaining the higher stubble load, but its potential benefits are still to be observed. This demonstration is funded through the Future Drough Fund and led by NACC.

The day finished with the group returning to the Dalwallinu pub for a few casual drinks and a meal to continue the discussions and focus moving forward. The Gen Y Paddock Challenge is supported by Smart Farms Small Grants through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

For additional information please or to get involved with next years activities contact the Liebe Group on 08 9661 1907.


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