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Farmanco Facts – January / February 2023

Welcome to 2023 and Farmanco Facts. Where we continue the conversation and provide information about such topics as Chat GPT, Up-Front Fungicides in Cereals, and the 22/23 Harvest Review, from a Western Australian and NSW/Vic perspective.

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A taster for this month:

The Future of Agriculture and How Technology Might Help

  • Chatbots have advanced way beyond simple, pre-programmed scripts.

  • OpenAI has developed the latest iteration of their GPT tool (ChatGPT) that draws on the resources of the internet and can have a real-time chat conversation with you.

  • Keith chatted with ChatGPT to ask its thoughts about some of the challenges to agriculture over the next 10 years and how technology and AI systems might help.

We’ve had a few articles in Farmanco Facts over the years about how artificial intelligence and machine learning tools might help agriculture. Keith thought he’d take it a step further and actually use a machine learning system to help write an article for Farmanco Facts.


WA Harvest Review 22/23

Mae Connelly (Grain Marketing Consultant)

  • WA had another record crop.

  • Wheat protein was very low.

  • The new ASW9 grade created a pricing buffer above ASW1.

  • Malt percentage was low, but enough tonnes were delivered to meet demand.

  • Malt spread was assisted by rumours that China would again open up to our malt exports.

This article discusses the size and quality of the 2022/23 WA harvest, along with some pricing and seasonal issues and comparisons to historical deliveries.


Harvest 2022 — NSW and Victoria Update

Adrian Clancy (Grain Marketing Consultant)

  • The east coast of Australia faced many challenges in 2022 due to high rainfall.

  • Total deliveries were down, with NSW being the worst affected.

  • The grain delivered is of higher quality than expected.

Harvest for the east coast of Australia is now pretty much complete across the board, after what has been a challenging harvest for many. Heavy and widespread rain limited seeding in some areas, with some operations indicating that up to 40% of the program was not planted due to the inability to get onto paddocks.


Up-Front Fungicides in Cereals

David Cameron (Agronomy Consultant)

  • Seed dressings are essential for smut or bunt control and useful for some root and foliar diseases.

  • In-furrow application separates the fungicides from the seed, enabling different products and higher rates to be used.

  • Fungicide selection should consider varietal resistance to the disease and the fungicide resistance status of the disease.

  • Victrato® is a new SDHI fungicide coming in 2024 with activity on crown rot and root lesion nematodes.

Fungicides applied either to the seed, fertiliser or banded in the liquid stream can control a wide range of diseases. Seed diseases (smuts and bunts) germinate at the same time as the seed itself, so need to be on the seed to work.




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