BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Sep 10 02:43:28 CEST 2008

Crop Doctor


As a statutory body working on behalf of the Australian grains industry, the
Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supports and facilitates
the adoption of profitable and sustainable farming practices, as well as
improved natural resource management and environmental outcomes.

We know that many Australian growers are already managing their farms to
achieve these outcomes, but how many growers and in what ways?

If we can answer these questions, we can demonstrate environmental
stewardship to communities and markets.

To achieve this and plan for the future, we need information and growers are
urged to contribute information to the National Farming Practices Database
at www.grdc.com.au/farmingpractices or www.farmingpractices.com.au (where
live data entry is available).

The National Farming Practices Database System was developed as part of the
Grains Industry Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, organised, managed and
run by the GRDC, with support from the Grains Council of Australia. The GRDC
continues to support the database as it is key to the monitoring and
evaluation of a number of practice change programs.

Project Coordinator, Alan Umbers, says growers contributing to the database
are rewarded for their 20-40 minute input with a report showing how their
farm compares with others in the district, region, state and nation.

He indicated this would enable growers to understand how their farming
system compares, from both an environmental management and productivity
viewpoint, and determine if improvements were possible.

With rising fuel, fertiliser and other on-farm costs, database information
will assist growers to fine-tune management practices.  Mr Umbers suggested
growers view a sample report on the Farming Practices website.

A useful aspect of the database is that grains industry and catchment
management organisations seeking information from growers can, with grower
permission, access amalgamated database information, saving growers

The GRDC recently released 'A Responsible Lead: An Environmental Plan for
the Australian Grains Industry'. It can be viewed at

According to Dr Martin Blumenthal, GRDC Program Manager, Agronomy, Soil and
Environment, it will help growers manage environmental challenges and the
National Farm Practices Database Survey will assist the process.


The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6166 4500
Further Information: Alan Umbers, Mob 0428 432 557

GRDC REF: CDAugust084.doc/Blumenthal080908
Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122

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