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Southern NSW Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN)

Rural Management Strategies is contracted by the GRDC to manage the Southern NSW Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN). The RCSN group comprises twelve growers, advisors and researchers from across southern NSW which assist GRDC in identifying and prioritising research issues relevant to the grains industry in southern NSW. The RCSN group meets twice annually.

As part of the RCSN, Chris Minehan has facilitated a series of Local Forum meetings across southern NSW. These meetings, open to grain growers, advisors and other members of the grains industry, are an opportunity to bring forward issues, constraints or opportunities, relevant to grain production in those areas

Forums were held at the following locations in 2018

  • Buraja
  • Griffith
  • Lockhart
  • Finley
  • Culcairn
  • Balranald
  • Greenethorpe
  • Ardlethan
  • Marrar
  • Temora

Some issues, constraints or opportunities arising from the Local Forums included:

  • How to improve plant available water through amelioration of subsoil constraints
  • The importance of groundcover in conserving summer fallow moisture
  • Opportunities for earlier establishment of canola
  • Developing agronomy packages for earlier sowing of barley, with/without grazing
  • Opportunities for Super High Oleic (SHO) safflower production in southern NSW
  • Chemical withholding periods for grazing crops
  • Developing resilient farming systems that better cope with heat, drought and frost
  • Demonstration of pasture management to improve cropping profitability
  • Opportunities and risks of using residual herbicides to control summer fallow weeds
  • Better integration of crop and livestock systems plus research

The GRDC has made several recent investments in southern NSW which relate to the issues raised by the RCSN. Many of these have been shaped by the recommendations of the RCSN, including:

  • Early identification of canola establishment pests
  • Pulse check groups for southern NSW
  • Expansion of acid tolerant rhizobia research
  • Expansion of the Managing Early Sown Wheat project to include southern NSW
  • Review of insect pest thresholds, including the role of beneficial insects