Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Focus on nitrogen

Forum will drill down

July 2, 2014 3:30am

One of the most pressing agronomic issues facing grain growers in the southern cropping region will be the focus of a first-of-its-kind research and development forum this month.

Nitrogen management will be under the microscope at the July 23 forum in Melbourne where research organisations, farming systems groups, advisers, growers and other grains industry personnel will gather to discuss this key productivity issue.

Facilitated by the Grains Research and Development Corporation on behalf of stakeholders, the forum will appraise past and current investments in research, development and extension related to nitrogen management, leading to identification of existing and likely future gaps in knowledge and adoption.

GRDC regional grower services south manager Andrew Rice said nitrogen management was identified by the GRDC Southern Regional Panel, the Regional Cropping Solutions Network which supports the panel and the broader industry as being of significant concern to growers in the southern region (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and central and southern NSW).

‘‘Considerable research, development and extension work has already been undertaken in the area of nitrogen management, but there are still some important un-met needs that translate into lost income to growers,’’ Mr Rice said.

‘‘Nitrogen is one of those issues for which there remains a degree of uncertainty in terms of what growers should be doing to match nitrogen inputs to ensure water-limited yield potentials are met.

‘‘In addition, there are questions on the longer term nitrogen requirements in farming systems given the limited adoption of pulses and move away from crop-legume pasture rotations.’’

The inaugural Southern Research, Development & Extension Forum: Nitrogen Management in Farming Systems will be on Wednesday, July 23 at AgriBio (La Trobe University) at Bundoora.

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