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TAS Country : November 3rd 2011
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, November 4, 2011 News Come visit, TFGA urges Ag Minister TASMANIA feels neglect- ed by the Federal Agricul- ture Minister Joe Ludwig. Senator Ludwig has been slammed by the rural sector throughout the country for barely setting foot outside a capital city in his 14 months in the job. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said the TFGA had written to Senator Ludwig ''on a number of occasions, but have not had the courtesy of a reply''. ''One would think that a minister would have at some stage made contact with key stakeholders in his portfolio area, es- pecially when they have made representations to him about serious issues,'' Ms Davis said. The association has cal- led for Senator Ludwig to actively engage in the re- gional areas. However, when asked for comment this week, Senator Ludwig refuted the claims. ''I have made 70 visits to rural and regional Aust- ralia since taking the Agri- culture, Fisheries and For- estry portfolio just over one year ago,'' he said. ''These visits are in ad- dition to thousands of face-to-face meetings, tele- phone conversations, let- ters and emails between myself and the many peo- ple speaking up for the interests of regional and rural Australians. ''I continue to liaise with the TFGA on a range of issues related to Tasmania, including the dairy indus- try and forestry issues.'' Old chemicals need clearing BIG JOB: ChemClear's Andrew Haines, left, and helpers collect unused chemicals ROGER HANSON NOW is the time to act in clearing sheds of un- wanted chemicals. Almost 8000 litres of unwanted, obsolete or in- herited agvet chemicals have been registered for disposal in ChemClear's December clean-out. This figure is a signifi- cant increase on the 4863 litres retrieved during ChemClear's collection last December. ''We are currently sit- ting on 7887 litres regis- tered by agvet chemical users from across Tas- mania. This is encourag- ing considering we are sitting around the 13,000 litre mark for the total of chemicals collected al- together in our last four collections in the state,'' national program man- ager Lisa Nixon said. She said the program was a great opportunity for farms and properties to clean up and get rid of potentially dangerous ag- vet chemicals that may be stored in sheds. ''The booking line closes for this collection on November 18, so I encour- age all Tasmanian agvet chemical users to review the chemicals they are storing, take an inventory of these products and regis- ter them with us for the upcoming collection in De- cember,'' Ms Nixon said. Phone 1800 008 707 or visit chemclear.com.au. Weed control resistance warning KAROLIN MacGREGOR FARMERS have been told to be careful when select- ing herbicides for weed control to prevent resist- ance problems. This was one of the key messages at a cereal field day at Crosby Lyne's prop- erty Riccarton at Campbell Town. About 50 farmers attended the field day. Field day participants got to see first-hand some of the treatment results and comparisons in a 20ha barley crop on Riccarton. Growers were told that good preparation, well be- fore planting time, was the key to growing good cereal crops. Having regular soil tests to monitor changes in soil fertility over time is highly recommended. Agronomist Luke Taylor told participants that keep- ing good soil carbon levels would give plants access to free nitrogen. ''You need to consider a paddock's history and what's been grown in there before,'' he said. ''The most crucial time for nitrogen is tilling time and that's not a time when you want the plants to be nitrogen-deficient.'' Mr Taylor said a wet winter, such as the one farmers in many areas of Tasmania experienced, made nitrogen more prone to leaching from the soil. He said farmers also needed to consider phos- phorus levels. Mr Taylor said phos- phorus was vital for early plant root development. ''It's not something you top up, it has to be there from the start,'' he said. Mr Taylor said soils high in iron would lock up more phosphorus than lighter, sandy-type soils. He said potassium was also vital for healthy crops and helped plants deal with the stress of too much or not enough water, and also assisted in fighting disease. Farmers were also told that the use of growth regulator products to con- trol crop height and pre- vent cereal crops falling could be a useful tool. When considering weed- control options for cereal crops, field day partici- pants were told that rye- grass resistance should be a consideration. Trevor Klien from Syngenta said resistance was a problem in many cropping regions. He said in some situ- ations it only took between four and eight applications of a group A herbicide to create resistance. ''It's a challenge in this environment when you do want to return to a pasture phase at some point in the rotation and you actually want ryegrass,'' he said. Mr Klien said one way to tackle the issue was to use pre-emergent herbicides where possible. ''We need to look at pre- emergent more as a man- agement tool to reduce resistance,'' he said. ''To do that, though, you need to have your pre- emergents organised to make sure they go on before the crop goes in.'' Field day participants were told protecting the effectiveness of glyphosate should be a major priority. Roberts technical busi- ness development man- ager Brenden Green de- scribed glyphosate as the ''penicillin of agriculture''. He said it took about 15-20 years for plants to become resistant to glypho- sate, which had been out of patent for about 20 years. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Our Field Staff are the most experienced and qualified to give advice on your poppy crop. 2034334-111007
October 27th 2011
November 10th 2011