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MFS Autumn Newsletter - April 2021

In this issue 

* Autumn Field Day
* 2021 MFS Membership
* Worms Club
* Project Update: PDS with MLA
* Project Update: MFS Winter Forage Trials
* Project Update: Boco Rock ALG Resistance Testing
* General News & Upcoming Events

* Sponsorship Update and List

Autumn Field Day 2021

The Autumn Field Day was held on Wednesday March 24th, on site at Kenilworth Shearing Shed (hosted by The Rolfe's).
Not only did it provide over 90 members and non-members with a chance to socialise in a different setting, it also gave attendees the chance to view a different farm set up (with our Summer Field Day being held on site at Murdochs - Bibbenluke).
This field day also contained some practical on-site components with Air-Seeder demonstrations (thanks to Haylocks, High Country Hay and Hazeldean for bringing them along) and viewing of the MFS Winter Forage Trials (sown by S&W Seeds at Maffra).

  

Image: Seeders on display

  
Image: Winter Forage Site Inspection

Speakers on the day included:
  • Farming Forecaster - Phil Graham, Graham Advisory Services
  • Seasonal Outlook - Doug Alcock, Grazprophet
  • ALG Resistance Testing - Jo Powells, LLS

Copies of the presentations can be found on our MFS website under the Presentations Tab.

    

Image: Presentation by Phil Graham


Image: The crowd at Kenilworth Shearing Shed
 
MFS Membership - 2021

Thank you to everyone who has paid their MFS membership for 2021. Don't forget your membership benefits include:
  • Access to all MFS events including four seasonal field days
  • $300 credit towards our annual bulk soil sample submission
  • Member login access to Farming Forecaster website
  • 25% discount on annual Mercado membership
This year, we also recognise the contributions towards the group from two MFS members as they become "Honorary Members"
Nancy Spoljaric
Mike Stephens Meridian


         


Worms Club

Message from Phil Graham, MFS Board Director in charge of Worms Club:
"The recent moisture will result in an increase in worm numbers. Look at the graph on the web site for last year, very low numbers in Jan and Feb then a quick raise in Mar and April. Note that in Jan there was no barbers pole present but it increased in autumn. If the rains continue, Barbers pole will increase quickly (moisture and temperature ideal) and cause problems in May. In Yass the majority of losses to barbers pole occur in late April /May.
Sending your worm data to Zoe from other labs to increase the data on the web helps all members."

Image taken from our MFS Website


Project Update: PDS with MLA

We currently have three Producer Demonstration Site Projects with Meat and Livestock Australia:
LPDS.1811 - Steer Finishing (Weaner to Yearling Production Payoffs)
LPDS.1905 - Supplementation with Lambs (The Sense in Supplementation)
LPDS.2019 - Winter Feed Gap (Fodder Systems and Feed Gaps)
All three were postponed last year due to drought conditions, however they are now all up and going again!

LPDS.1811 - Steer Finishing (Weaner to Yearling Production Payoffs)

This project commenced in 2018 and is in it's final year of data collection and reporting. The MFS Board Member overseeing this project is John Murdoch, and the hosts are RTaylor, MShannon and JMurdoch.
The project aim is: "Can high quality forage crop and perennial pasture systems be utilised to meet target weights for finishing steers on The Monaro and increase overall farm profit relative to the traditional base selling enterprise system?"
A comprehensive update will be published in our Winter Newsletter.

LPDS.1905 - Supplementation of Lambs (The Sense in Supplementation)
This project was due to commence in the summer of 2019/20  but was postponed due to drought conditions. Work recommenced in December 2020 and the first years grazing data is currently being collated by Doug Alcock at Grazprophet. The MFS Board Member overseeing this project is John Murdoch. Site hosts are ARolfe, JMurdoch and HCottle.
The project aim is: "Can supplementation of lambs on finishing crop and pasture systems significantly increase liveweight gains and overall net profits and how sensitive is this practice to grain and lamb price fluctuations?"
Full results from our first year will be made available when completed. 


Image: Initial data taken from GrazProphet reporting

LPDS.2019 - Winter Feed Gap (Fodder Systems and Feed Gaps)
This project was due to commence in April 2020  but was postponed (after sites had been mapped and N applied) due to lack of rain necessary and drought conditions. Work is set to recommence over the next few months. The MFS Board Member overseeing this project is Andrew Rolfe. Site hosts are LPlatts, BLitchfield and ARolfe.
The project aim is: "Can foliar pasture application such as Nitrogen and Gibberellic Acid significantly increase DMP on pastures on two soil types on The Monaro over the winter period to optimise stock production and performance relative to untreated winter pastures?"
An update on the project will be published in our Winter Newsletter.

Project Update: MFS Winter Forage Trials

With new board members comes new enthusiasm and new projects.
Andrew Rolfe, in collaboration with S&W Seeds and Upper Murray Seeds has organised a demonstration site showcasing 23 different varieties of forage crop.
Seed was donated by both S&W and Upper Murray, and was kindly sown by Hugh Graham from S&W Seeds. The Maffra site was inspected at our Autumn Field Day and there will be the chance to inspect the Ando site at our Winter Field Day.



Image: Winter Forage Trial Site - Maffra

Project Update: African Lovegrass

We have received funding from SMRC Boco Rock Community Grants to undertake this project. It aims to provide science-based evidence of the status of resistance in ALG populations on the Monaro to chemical (flupropanate) control methods. This will enable land holders and Councils to more effectively and efficiently tailor their chemical control strategies. Andrew Rolfe (MFS Board) and Jo Powells from South East LLS are working on this and will distribute information as they receive it.
We are currently seeking participants :MFS members with ALG on their property: All we need for each sampled site is an envelope full of mature seed heads (panicles) from 1-3 plants in the same location. Ideally take a GPS reference at the same time. Results will be published anonymously.


General News and Upcoming Events

  • A big "Welcome Back" to Rebecca Kading, after her maternity leave for daughter Grace. Bec is your go-to person for anything financial, membership or sponsorship wise within MFS. Her direct email is admin@moanrofs.com.au
  • Robotic Weed Sprayer “Kelpie” - Agent Orientated Software (AOS) Group.
    This project is in it's early phases and will build and test an autonomous mobile robot, “Kelpie”, to identify individual weeds and selectively spray or remove them. Kelpie systems will be trialled on Monaro farms - autonomously navigating pasture or vineyard to economically control weeds where it is currently not possible. Andrew Rolfe and Nancy Spoljaric from the MFS Board are working on this project.
     .
  • We have recently submitted a grant application to The Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal (FRRR) to facilitate some family farm communication workshops in partnership with Anna Rudd from People Mastery.These workshops will include DiSC profiling, as well as communication and resilience building strategies and if successful, will be offered to MFS members for free
  • We have also submitted a grant application to The Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal (FRRR) to run another Crop Tour on the Monaro after our successful inaugural crop tour held in November last year and attended by over 75 local farmers and graziers.

MFS Sponsors

Thank you to all of the local and nationwide businesses who sponsor Monaro Farming Systems, enabling us to continue operating and providing research, development and connection opportunities to our members and the wider farming community.

             

 

   





            
         
      

                  

      



                

      



 


 
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