Ever Better – farmers, land and water
Awapuni Function Centre, Palmerston North. 21-22 May 2014
We were pleased to welcome over 100 people to LandWISE 2014. Our focus was the constant drive to improve performance on and off farm. We chose a case study catchment to consider how we can help ensure our land management minimises our impacts on water ways.
We will achieve greater efficiency by carefully monitoring our inputs and outputs, and applying just enough to get the results we want. And precision tools will help us get there. So we again find ourselves looking at the ever increasing range of smart tools to help farmers optimise production and farm within the many constraints upon them.
Many thanks to our Platinum Sponsors, BASF Crop Protection and John Deere who actively put their support behind the conference. This extends the support they have already given LandWISE for previous events and our MicroFarm initiative. And thanks also to AGMARDT for support bringing overseas speakers to address the conference.
Our Gold Sponsors were Horizons Regional Council, Potatoes New Zealand/Process Vegetables New Zealand and Trimble Ag specialists, GPS Control Systems. They are also long term and positive LandWISE supporters.
And thanks to our many returning sponsors for ongoing support, and to the new sponsors who also see benefit in the work LandWISE does.
Keynote Speaker:Rod Collins, Senior Development Extension Officer
Agri-science Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Rod’s interests are understanding the production issues faced by broadacre industries and innovative ways for dealing with them. His current work includes implementing a voluntary self-assessment and planning process with growers and collaborating with other agencies to accelerate the adoption of farming practices that improve water quality outcomes in whole catchments.
Rod has spent 5 years as a general agronomist, 10 years as a development agronomist integrating farming research on-farm (row spacing, plant populations, zero tillage, controlled traffic, nitrogen management) and 5 years developing and delivering a best management practices programme for grain growers in Queensland.
We asked Rod to open our conference with thoughts on Implementing Best Practice, and his experience with multi-sector efforts to integrate environment and economics.
There was an update on Controlled Traffic in Tasmania, impacts of converting from CTF to RTF, advances in crop sensing at regional scale, and precision ag research and implementation in New Zealand and overseas.
What’s happening with nutrient management, drainage planning, irrigation management, and land shaping? What’s been happening at the LandWISE MicroFarm?
We turned our focus to the Arawhata Catchment near Levin to see what tools are available to help us increase production while reducing sediment and nutrient losses. With farm plans forming the base of future management and regulation, we focused on what is involved, where we might get information and how precision agriculture can help.
Thanks to the folks at the Awapuni Function Centre for making our conference run smoothly – all very helpful and so easy to work with. We’ll certainly be looking to use this facility next time we run events in Palmerston North.