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‘What if’ questions addressed at CRT FarmFest

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article image Mel Anderton, Malcolm & Dianne Campbell, and Bill Smith cutting the cake at Wednesday's trial co-operator meet
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CRT FarmFest provided the perfect platform for growers to discuss wide-ranging what-if questions about planting going forward.
 
Growers, agronomists and salespeople made the trip to the Kingsthorpe site 20km west of Toowoomba earlier this month to discuss their outcomes, both positive and negative, and build a plan to move forward with the year.
 
Pacific Seeds central and southern Darling Downs territory manager, Bill Smith said the focus was firmly on wheat plantings as many on the Downs and beyond hold out for 25-30mm of rain.
 
As summer crops come off the land and winter crops go in, discussions were centred on winter planting windows and varieties to fit them. Since winter planting windows vary greatly across regions, the Pacific Seeds team was on hand to reinforce to growers about the right time to plant.
 
For instance, wheat plantings require planning because of varying planting windows. The window has already opened for a variety like Gregory while Spitfire wheat’s window will open soon, and the quicker wheat variety, Dart will be a little further away.
 
FarmFest also presented the opportunity to track forward to the summer, which was equally as challenging. Mr Smith explains that growers have to first determine what to grow based on the demands of the industry. If they are in sheep and horses, they must ask whether they will have enough hay to fill the major feed gaps due to lack of rain. Cattle farmers need to follow the rule of having 1000 tonnes of silage per 100 cows.
 
Once they have worked out the particular scenario related to them, they could seek out advice on what variety to grow. Pacific Seeds offers the complete agronomic package, with the advice going beyond yield to disease ratings, standability and grain size, as well as fertiliser and weed control.
 
Mr Smith also used the FarmFest event to catch up with trial co-operators who do trials for the company. Pacific Seeds has 28 trial sites across the downs each winter and they are imperative in giving that district a look at new and innovative products coming through.

He said a co-operator’s field day becomes the final link in the chain when trying to answer the public’s ‘what if’ questions because it gives them the opportunity to see varieties perform in a paddock near them.

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