The AIR EP Lower EP Ag Expo 2021 was held on 2 March 2021, with 59 farmers and advisers attending. Guest presenters spoke on a range of topics of relevance to the area, including herbicide residues, grazing management of crops and pastures, annual ryegrass control, the SAGIT canola project and more.
The event allowed local growers and advisers to learn from experts and ask questions. It was also a good opportunity for locals to network and socialise.
Ag Innovation and Research – Eyre Peninsula (AIR EP) was formed in May 2020 through a merger between the Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation (EPARF) and the Lower Eyre Ag Development Association (LEADA) farming systems groups.
LEADA had held annual Ag Expo days to share its programs and progress with growers and AIR EP would carry on the tradition. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions prevented AIR EP from holding an Ag Expo in 2020, meaning 2021 was the first opportunity to stage the event.
The core objectives of the project were to:
- Present a summary of research projects and findings to local members.
- Provide a forum where members could discuss new knowledge and ask questions.
In The Field
The AIR EP Lower EP Ag Expo was held at the Marble Range Sports Club at Lake Wangary on 2 March 2021.
The event gave locals an in-depth and interactive insight into AIR EP’s projects and plans, and SAGIT-funded research. Attendees included farmers, advisers, agronomists and researchers.
Master of Ceremonies was Bruce Morgan, Chair of the AIR EP Medium Rainfall RD&E Committee. The speakers and topics presented were:
- Lukas van Zwieten (NSW DPI) and David Davenport (Davenport Soil Consulting)
Soil biology and amendments, herbicide residues.
- David Harbison (DR Agriculture)
Grazing management of crops and pastures, dual purpose crops.
- Naomi Scholz (AIR EP)
AIR EP update and social benchmarking, EP survey results.
- Andrew Ware (EPAG Research)
SAGIT canola project update, new SAGIT intern.
- Ben Fleet (University of Adelaide)
Cultural and chemical control of annual ryegrass.
- Amy Gutsche (SARDI)
Intercropping and early sown pulses.
- Stuart Sherriff (Trengove Consulting)
Powdery mildew and soil amelioration.
All attendees received a booklet covering the presentations and a PDF copy has been made available on the AIR EP website. The event was also streamed via Facebook with 100+ views over the subsequent weeks.
The AIR EP Lower EP Ag Expo 2021 attracted 59 attendees, plus more than 100 online views of the event livestream. The in-person audience comprised 29 growers, 19 industry participants and 11 researchers.
Twenty-seven attendees completed a post-event evaluation on their smartphones, via the Slido tool. They overwhelmingly described the day as “informative” and, as a result of the information gained:
- 13 per cent were prompted to make a change on their farm.
- 42 per cent were reassessing a current farm practice.
- 33 per cent were considering an alternative choice or further advice.
- 38 per cent would seek extra information or training.
- 46 per cent planned to discuss possibilities with their consultant, adviser, partner, clients or customers.
Asked to rate the event out of ten, 88 per cent of respondents gave the day a seven or above for topic relevance and for value to them.
Agricultural Innovation & Research Eyre Peninsula (AIR EP): Naomi Scholz, Amy Wright.
Growers and advisers in areas like the lower EP have limited opportunity to interact with experts on locally relevant topics.
The Lower Eyre Peninsula Ag Expo provides a forum for locals to learn and ask questions about various issues.
Ms Naomi Scholz, AIR EP
T: 0428 540 670
E: [email protected]
Value for Growers
The Lower EP is a unique and productive Medium Rainfall Zone cropping environment that has a strong focus on canola and cereals, with legume breaks. Ongoing research projects based in the area provide important insights for local growers and advisers.
Being able to communicate the activities and knowledge gains of these projects at a live forum maximises their impact and potential to drive practice change, especially by enabling participants to hear directly from the researchers and ask questions to clarify understanding.
The event also reinforces the value AIR EP brings to its members and the region, providing a strong platform for ongoing support, engagement and locally relevant research.