Monto Grow­ers’ Group unites

Farm­ers band to­gether for col­lab­o­ra­tion with BCCA

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE | FENCE POST - Jack Lawrie Jack.Lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

CROPPERS and grow­ers in Monto are band­ing to­gether to share ideas, dis­cuss new tech­nolo­gies and is­sues in the field.

The Bur­nett Catch­ment Care As­so­ci­a­tion fa­cil­i­tated the form­ing of a group, dubbed the Monto Grow­ers’ Group.

Us­ing fund­ing from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment Na­tional Land­care Pro­gram and the Bur­nett Mary Re­gional Group Re­gional Land­care Fa­cil­i­ta­tor Pro­gram, the BCCA has al­ready fa­cil­i­tated two meet­ings at the Monto Golf Club.

Th­ese meet­ings were mainly in­tended to in­tro­duce the idea, which had been a topic of dis­cus­sion among farm­ers for years.

BCCA fa­cil­i­ta­tor Naomi Pur­cell said it was a chal­lenge to find a time that suited ev­ery­one be­cause farm­ers had busy sched­ules.

“The dif­fi­culty with get­ting farm­ers to meet­ings like that is the tim­ing’s out for ev­ery­one; some­one might be cut­ting hay, another might be or­gan­is­ing a har­vest,” Ms Pur­cell said.

Top­ics of dis­cus­sion at the first meet­ing in­cluded ed­u­ca­tion on new tech­nolo­gies such as au­to­ma­tion and mar­ket­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions.

Due to the large amount of in­ter­est in mung beans at the first meet­ing, the BCCA ar­ranged for Sue Thomp­son, re­search fel­low at the Cen­tre for Crop Health Re­search at Univer­sity of Queens­land to give a talk about mung bean soil health.

There was also dis­cus­sion on the growing in­ter­est in corn, so BCCA tapped An­drew Dieck­mann, agron­o­mist and area sales man­ager from Pi­o­neer Seeds to pro­vide a mar­ket up­date and agron­omy info.

BCCA will work with the newly ap­pointed steer­ing com­mit­tee mem­bers to sched­ule a third meet­ing and then will let the group progress on its own from there.

“The first meet­ing was a shar­ing of ideas; once the fund­ing runs out, they’ll progress on their own from there,” Ms Pur­cell said.

Larsen’s Lucerne Sup­plies owner Ja­son Larsen, who was ap­pointed one of the ex­ec­u­tives of the group, said farm­ers were still try­ing to gain some di­rec­tion.

“A lot of us are busy with the har­vest, so we’ll be hold­ing off on any­thing se­ri­ous un­til early next year,” Mr Larsen said.

“One of the things we’ll be look­ing at do­ing is do­ing a tour of all the dif­fer­ent farms in dif­fer­ent re­gions.”

The next meet­ing has not been de­cided yet, and will likely wait un­til the end of sum­mer when the har­vest has died down.

PHOTOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

UNITED: Sue Thomp­son, Cen­tre for Crop Health Re­search, USQ, de­liv­ers a pre­sen­ta­tion on mung bean health.

With bail­ing sea­son, many farm­ers are too busy to at­tend.

Sorghum com­ing in.

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