LONG-TERM rainfall trends, strategies for when the season breaks, the value of managing on-farm costs, available financial support and how to talk about debt with your bank manager were some of the key topics covered at the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) ‘Dealing with the Dry’ forum in regional New South Wales this month.
The forums were held at Peak Hill, Condobolin, West Wyalong, Lake Cargelligo, Spring Ridge, Nevertire and Coonamble last week. On the agenda this week are similar forums at Nindigully (Queensland), Garah, Rowena and Come By Chance.
An initiative of the GRDC the forums were organised in response to calls from grain growers requesting practical advice about how to manage dry conditions on-farm.
One of the key presentations was by Delta Agribusiness agronomist Graeme Callaghan, who discussed ‘Management of dry conditions and effective decision making’ and looked at regional long-term rainfall data.
Mr Callaghan’s overview of historic rainfall records from central western NSW showed the current dry period was similar to the drought years experienced in the area during the early 1900s.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often looks very similar and I am cautiously optimistic that is the case in terms of some weather patterns so hopefully we will see a return to better conditions soon,” he said.
GRDC grower relations manager Susan McDonnell said the feedback from those attending the forums had been “very positive”.
‘Dealing with the Dry’ Gallery: