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Effective management, monitoring and succession processes within a large family - a family farm case study

This article was originally published here

Take home messages

  • Production is key and productivity enhancement vital.
  • People skill set — striving for continuous improvement.
  • Empowerment of all involved in the operation.
  • Get farm structures right.
  • Risk management.
  • Measure and benchmark.
  • Have an open and trusting relationship with all stakeholders (partners, service providers, etc.).

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Characteristics and habits of Top 20% farm business operators

This article was originally published here

Take home messages

  • Benchmark studies can be useful to compare your farm business to others to highlight areas for potential improvement.
  • The Top 20% sample can reveal drivers of profit.
  • Exploring the characteristics, personality and habits of the Top 20% growers can also reveal important reasons for their success.

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The effects of stubble on nitrogen tie-up and supply

This article was originally published here

Take home messages

  • Cereal stubble should be thought of as a source of carbon (C) for microbes, not as a source of nitrogen (N) for crops. In no-till systems, only approximately 6% of the N requirement of crops is derived from the stubble.
  • Nitrogen tie-up by cereal residue is not just a problem following incorporation — it occurs in surface-retained and standing-stubble systems and can reduce wheat yields by 0.3t/ha to 0.4t/ha.
  • Management is reasonably straightforward — supply more N (5kg N for each t/ha of cereal residue) and supply it early to avoid impacts of N tie-up on crop yield and protein.
  • Deep-banding N can improve the N uptake, yield and protein of crops, especially those in stubble-retained systems.

Read more: The effects of stubble on nitrogen tie-up and supply

Choosing and justifying the right sprayer

Take home messages

  • There are many variables to consider when choosing a sprayer, and each will be weighted differently from business to business depending on the farming model utilised, (enterprise mix, farming system, typical rotation, spread of farming operations, etc.), the need or want to optimise efficiency, and availability of labour and lifestyle decisions. Make sure you get the right horse for your course regardless of what the neighbour has.
  • Before upgrading the sprayer there may be options to increase overall efficiency of the existing sprayer.
  • The capital invested can be similar between a self-propel (SP) and a tow-behind outfit when aiming to match field capacity.
  • Alternative uses for the sprayer, and the likelihood of spraying where higher clearance is required, are key determinants in type of machine and cost-of- ownership.
  • Tank size and boom width can sometimes be a trade-offs against spraying speed.

Read more: Choosing and justifying the right sprayer