2019-02-21: New look Ag Vic stand at Wimmera Machinery Field Days – Department of Ag

Horsham’s Agriculture Victoria team has a new home at this year’s Wimmera Machinery Field Days, joining other local agribusinesses and services in the Field Days Agri Marquee.

Situated just inside the door of the marquee, visitors can come and talk to staff about the latest grains research, plant diseases, animal health, managing dry conditions, the Australian Grains Genebank, how to apply for a Property Identification Code (PIC) and much more.

Grains Innovation Park Site Leader and Agriculture Victoria Research Director, Traci Griffin, said the Wimmera Machinery Field Days provide a great opportunity for Agriculture Victoria to showcase the latest research and new technologies that are relevant to the Wimmera.

“The field days also provide an important opportunity for farmers to talk directly to Agriculture Victoria staff to gain a better understanding of what is happening and how it could apply to this season.”

Agriculture Victoria’s Dry Seasonal Conditions Coordinator for the north west, Rob O’Shannessy, will be on hand with information about support and assistance for farmers navigating dry conditions.

Mr O’Shannessy will be joined by agrihealth professionals from the National Centre for Farmer Health who will conduct free farmer health checks.

Taking just 20 minutes, the farmer health assessments include a lifestyle survey covering health behaviours, farm practices and social and emotional wellbeing. Participants will also have their cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, BMI and diabetes risk measured, and their eyesight tested. They can also discuss cholinesterase testing.
There will be information about workshops coming up in the region addressing stubble management, soils, weed control and other issues, and copies available of the ‘hot-off-the-press’ 2019 cereal and pulse disease guides.

Staff from the Australian Grains Genebank in Horsham will bring the Genebank to life, revealing what goes on inside and presenting some of the genetic material stored there – even some of the ‘wild relatives’ researchers are looking to in a bid to improve diversity in crop varieties.

Adding to the display will be some of the high-tech equipment, such as drones and infra-red sensors, that are being used by Agriculture Victoria researchers to ensure new varieties and farming practices can be adopted by farmers faster.