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Farmers flock to Seeds Field Day

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Seeds Field Day
Photo: Naracoorte Community News

Gabrielle Duykers, Naracoorte Community News

More than one hundred farmers, researchers, and industry representatives gathered together for the Naracoorte Seeds biannual Field Day to learn about the latest in productive pasture varieties.

Rain showers did not deter enthusiastic growers from attending the event,  held at the Naracoorte Seeds Research Farm on October 28.

Naracoorte Seeds managing director Jamie Tidy said the field day was mutually beneficial for the company and those working in the agricultural sector.

“It’s important for local growers because they’re getting the most relevant information about the newest and most productive pasture varieties on the market, and it’s important for us to test what we think we know,” Mr Tidy said. 

Seeds Field Day
Photo: Naracoorte Community News

Numerous trials and demonstrations gave insight into these new pasture varieties and how they compare in growth and management with the industry’s benchmark varieties. 

Mr Tidy said the interest in pasture management had increased significantly in recent years due to a steady rise in land prices and the consequent desire for growers to maximise production on farm. 

“To try to get a return on your investment you need to be able to grow more kilos of beef or lamb and in order to do that you need to grow more kilogrammes of dry matter,” he said. 

Over 50 varieties of annual and perennial grasses, clovers and pasture legumes including chicory were showcased on the day.

A particular highlight was the trial in chicory-based perennial pasture herbicides. 

Chicory is a drought-tolerant herb, popular for finishing livestock due to its summer grazing properties. 

However, Mr Tidy said the emerging species faced some limitations. 

Seeds Field Day
Photo: Naracoorte Community News

“The herbicides used for chicories will kill the weeds but will also kill or drastically reduce your chicory population,” he said.

Attendees were able to walk through a trial field testing various herbicides at different timings.

Nufarm field development officer David Keech gave a guest speech, explaining the varied chemical tolerances expressed in the field as a result of different herbicide mix options applied to the pasture mix. 

Zara Skeer, Naracoorte Seeds Agronomy and Pasture advisor talked attendees through the forage oats demonstration at the trial site, which resulted in industry-standard variety Wintaroo yielding the highest kilograms of dry matter per hectare. 

At the end of the field day, Naracoorte Seeds also handed over a $12,300 cheque to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, after running a fundraising campaign throughout 2021. 

Naracoorte Community News 10 November 2021

This article appeared in Naracoorte Community News, 10 November 2021.

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