Wednesday 29 November 2017 heralded the final stubble project plot to be harvested at Northparkes Mine. The other two sites were at Tottenham and Mumbil Creek. These trials have been sown for five years under the GRDC funded initiative “Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in Central West NSW”.
This project has explored the many variables with retaining stubble, particularly in wet seasons like 2016. As well as the trials comparing retained/cultivated/burnt/mulched stubble, many farmers and contractors were interviewed, and specialist speakers presented topics on stubble management at spring field days. Publications are in the process of being finalised and a more complete set of management tools now exist.
The overall quality of grain was down this year due to widespread frosts and a long, dry period through winter and spring. Feral pests also played a role in damaging some sites through spring. Results from the harvest will be made available as soon as possible in 2018.