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CRDC Directors on farm with growers (16 August 2016)

Irrigation automation and disease research were the focus of a farm tour for CRDC Directors near Wee Waa today.

The tour, which coincided with the Board meeting at CRDC’s headquarters in Narrabri, involved CRDC’s Directors going on farm with grower Steve Carolan and manager Andrew Greste of “Waverley”, and grower Jono Phelps and manager Quentin Kelly of “North Nowley”.

The tour was designed to showcase some of the CRDC-supported RD&E in action and give Directors an opportunity to discuss issues affecting Namoi growers directly. Topics covered particularly focused on resource efficiencies and crop protection.

At “Waverley”, Steve and Andrew demonstrated their irrigation automation infrastructure (which featured in the Spotlight winter edition). Steve and Andrew first saw the automated configuration at the CRDC-supported CottonInfo Irrigation Technology Tour in 2015 at “Redmill” Moree, where CRDC and the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA) were conducting automation trials.

They were so impressed with the idea of automation they went home and began to work on converting some of their own fields and in turn hosted a field day with CottonInfo, CRDC and NCEA earlier this year to showcase their system.

At “North Nowley”, the focus turned to Verticillium wilt, and the CRDC-supported pathology diagnostic services, biosecurity preparedness and surveillance capacity. CRDC continues to invest in annual disease surveillance to record the presence or absence of diseases; and is working closely with researchers, CottonInfo and growers to better understand, diagnose and manage issues like Verticillium wilt on cotton farms.