All field trips will be held on Thursday 28 September departing from Mercure Ballarat at 08:30 and returning to Mercure Ballarat.

The field tour ‘Risk Management through Diversification’ will be routed through Melbourne Airport arriving at 15:00 (3pm) before continuing to Ballarat and arriving at 16:30 (4.30pm). Delegates may elect to choose this tour if they want to attend a field tour and fly out of Melbourne that afternoon.

All other tours will return to Ballarat at 15:30 (3.30pm).

The field trips can be booked when registering for the conference, or you can log back into your account at a later time to add a trip.

Tours cost $90pp. All tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers.

Take a few moments to watch the following video on Farm Biosecurity.

Help to keep our crops and livestock free from disease, pests and weeds.

Field Tours

Tour 1 – Creative Solutions

The High Rainfall Zone in southern Victoria is a region with potential for high yielding crop and pastures.  However, to make use of the high rainfall and long seasons farmers need to overcome the challenges of hostile subsoils, heavy clays, acid soils, pests and diseases.  This field tour will visit cropping field trails and innovative farms that are finding creative and practical ways of overcoming the challenges and to capture the potential.

08:30 Depart Mercure Ballarat
Field Tour
15:30 Arrive Mercure Ballarat
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Tour 2 – Risk Management through diversification

Some of Australia’s youngest volcanic soils and a 700mm winter-dominated rainfall underpin a diverse array of agricultural opportunities in Victoria’s Central Highlands. The region that we will explore on this tour is north of Ballarat and heading into the Great Dividing Range; the area with the longest growing seasons and coolest finishes in Victoria. Explore how agribusinesses in this region are using their natural resources to diversify their businesses, the crops and livestock they produce from wheat, potatoes and sheep to a broader range of crops and are then going the next step by value-adding with a paddock to plate approach and a passion for agri-tourism as they take their place in the gourmet food- sector.

08:30 Depart Mercure Ballarat for Goldacres
Arrive Goldacres for site visit
Depart Goldacres for Haku Baku (Short walk)
Arrive Haku Baku for site visit
Depart Haku Baku for Waubra
Arrive Waubra farm for site visit
Depart Waubra farm for Smeaton
Arrive AGF Seeds for site visit
Depart AGF Seeds for Musk
Arrive Musk for site visit
Depart Musk for Melbourne Airport
15:00 Drop off at Melbourne Airport
16:30 Arrive Mercure Ballarat

Tour 3 – Technology working for mixed farms

The next revolutionary gain for Australian farming is in applying technological advances on-farm to boost productivity. The challenge for this next step is around how we apply technology such as robotics, sensors, drones, satellites, biotechnology and high-tech know-how to agriculture. This tour will head towards Geelong to visit farms with mixed enterprise and other agribusinesses that are at the forefront of applying and trialling new technologies in the field.

The interface between agronomy, on farm technology and innovation is going to be a key profit driver for farmers throughout Australia. Where should agronomists and farmers invest their time building capability and dollars in acquiring the gear and knowledge. Visiting farms, researchers and advisors will enable them to build capability, capacity while acquiring the technology knowledge to increase profitability of a farm in the 21st century.

Running a profitable farm with cropping and livestock requires a whole range of technologies and solutions looking at challenges farmers are facing in trying to run mixed farming systems. Looking at livestock handling systems and cropping systems.

08:30 Depart Mercure Ballarat
Arrive at Andrew Whitlock’s Farm for Precision Agriculture Presentation & farm visit
Depart Rokewood for Murnong Farming
Arrive at Josh Walker Murnong Farming for site visit
Depart Murnong Farming for Narmbool
Arrive Narmbool Sovereign Hill for a site visit and afternoon tea
Depart for Mercure Ballarat
15:45 Arrive Mercure Ballarat
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Tour 4 – Big Data as an Asset

‘Big Data’ is rapidly emerging as the next major technology development that has the potential to result in big productivity gains for farmers. The key limiting factor to realising the potential of ‘big data’ as an asset is the conversion of large data sets into real-time farm decision technology.

This field trip will visit agribusinesses in the Geelong and Ballarat areas who are collecting large datasets and developing mechanisms for analysing and converting this data into information that can be used by the agriculture sector. The tour will also visit key agritech research providers with computational skills and power to allow seamless connectivity between data sets and farm technology for everyday use. We will talk to farmers and researchers about their experiences and their prediction for when this opportunity will become reality and how. (This tour concludes at Ballarat at 3.30pm).

08:30 Depart Mercure Ballarat for Federation University
Arrive CeRDI @ Federation University for site visit & morning tea
Depart Federation University for Marcus Oldham College
Arrive Marcus Oldham College, Waurun Ponds for site visit
Lunch
Depart Marcus Oldham College for Deakin University
Arrive Deakin University for site visit
Depart Deakin University for Mercure Ballarat
15:30 Arrive Mercure Ballarat

Host

The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

Conference Managers

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