Monto Growers’ Group unites
Farmers band together for collaboration with BCCA
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.
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.