Pro­ducer’s crop­ping fo­cus sup­ported by sci­ence

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

A NEWLY es­tab­lished grow­ers al­liance is on a mis­sion to pro­mote crop­ping in Monto and di­ver­sify the district’s agri­cul­tural econ­omy.

The Monto Grow­ers Group has the back­ing of agron­o­mist Ken­dall Muller, who said both the mar­ket and sci­ence sup­ported the new ap­proach.

By pool­ing their ex­per­tise and shar­ing the lat­est farm­ing prac­tices, the grow­ers hope to give their peers the knowl­edge and con­fi­dence they need to put more acres un­der crop.

Mr Muller be­lieves the district’s graz­ing coun­try is not be­ing ex­ploited to its full po­ten­tial and is en­cour­ag­ing more pro­duc­ers to make the switch.

“In years gone by there wasn’t the re­turns in crop­ping that we’re see­ing now,” he said.

“(A lack of) fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives and un­cer­tainty around how to grow crops might have stopped farm­ers.

“Grain prices and com­mod­ity prices are some of the high­est we’ve ever seen.

“The prices seem to be hold­ing for longer now. We’re see­ing more highs than lows.

“There’s a lot more po­ten­tial to make some money now than there used to be.”

On an up­com­ing tour of the re­gion’s crops, the group will dis­cuss the suc­cess of va­ri­eties cur­rently in the ground, re­view plant pop­u­la­tions, the fer­tilis­ers and her­bi­cides farm­ers are us­ing, and sug­gest ro­ta­tions to fol­low the win­ter crops.

Bar­ley, chick­peas and wheat form the bulk of Monto’s win­ter crops, which are due for har­vest in roughly six weeks.

Mr Muller said the grow­ers group pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore new av­enues.

“It’s a chance for peo­ple to see what’s work­ing and what hasn’t worked, and give them an idea of what crops can grow suc­cess­fully in the district,” he said

“It’s about net­work­ing more than any­thing – more heads are bet­ter than one.”

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