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Converting change to specific benefit a key to achieving $100B by 2030

Creation date: 14 September 2021

A constant in growing healthy, high yielding crops is keeping up with change and helping to convert that change to benefit individual farmer clients, according to KLR* agronomist Steve Richmond.


“We’re trying to work smarter not harder. We need to constantly look at what innovations we can access to achieve more gains,” said Mr Richmond who is based in Jamestown in South Australia’s Mid North region.


Innovations available to incorporate into a farming system cover a wide range such as the burgeoning space that is digital agriculture, and cropping strategies involving new chemistry such as FMC’s pre-emergent Overwatch® Herbicide, according to Mr Richmond.


“Every client is different, and each will embrace innovation in different ways,” he said.


“In the region I cover, we needed something to use in crop rotation to manage herbicide resistance. Overwatch® gave us the opportunity to bring a new herbicide group into the rotation and so introduce a new strategy.”


Mr Richmond had one of FMC’s many demonstration plots for the new product in his region. The sites were strip sown trials done with full farm equipment, with every second row being a skip row with and without Overwatch® Herbicide for comparison; complete with yield maps.   


“Based on the evidence, we had a reduction in the amount of ryegrass in comparison to the grower standard,” he said. “And that’s where I saw the fit with Overwatch® for my clients.”


The pipeline of products either launched or coming to Australia over the next few years is significant and supports the industry’s desire to use innovation as a step change to achieve significant growth as part of achieving the target for  Australian agriculture to reach  a farmgate value of $100bn by 2030.

So, while the technology and innovation coming to market is getting smarter - and there’s more of it - the challenge for the ag industry’s advisers is to help translate the pipeline to on-farm use by truly assessing the value and deeply understanding the place for new tech and innovation in each farming operation.


“We need these innovations because the challenge isn’t going away,” Mr Richmond said.


“We need to keep abreast of the change and the new products coming through to keep ahead of areas that can stall progress such as resistance.”


*KLR is a Nutrien Ag Solutions/Kerin Agencies partner


Jamestown-based agronomist Steve Richmond with Matt Ashby, Gulnare, in a paddock of barley treated with FMC’s pre-emergent Overwatch® Herbicide

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