9 June, 2022
Under blue skies on a warm, sunny afternoon about 150 growers and industry personnel gathered at the Victoria Plains Clean Seed Plot for the MAPS SRA annual field day, postponed until 2 June due to heavy rain and saturated fields in May.
Highlights of the day included a talk on the variety trials by SRA’s Dr George Piperidis, Variety Development Manager Central, together with the release of this year’s Central region variety guide.
Also on the program was Emilie Fillols, SRA’s Weed Scientist, who talked with growers about the control of weed pests such as balsam pear and the spread of navua sedge to Mackay.
SRA Pathologist, Rob Magarey, and UQ Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Dr Sriti Burman, were also on hand to show to growers the prototype of a new detection method for Ratoon Stunting Disease (RSD) which may one day be able to be used directly in the paddock.
SRA Project Officer Water Quality Karanbir Singh Sidhu demonstrated the water quality sampling equipment which is being used in the Mackay Whitsunday Cane to Creek project to build industry knowledge about the interactions between on-farm practice and water quality in the Central Region.
Given recent levels of crop damage, cane grub research was not overlooked at the field day, with a display of Confidor applicators used to specifically target greybacks.
Other exhibitors included the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries which featured a Diuron Use Options display, listing options for application following the prohibition of blanket spraying treatments.