All field tours will be held on Wednesday 28 August 2019 departing from The Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga.
The field tours can be booked when registering for the conference, or you can log back into your account at a later time to add a tour.
Tours are included in full conference registrations. Additional tickets can be purchased and are $95 Inc GST.
All tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers.
Take a few moments to watch the following video on Farm Biosecurity.
Help to keep our crops and livestock free from disease, pests and weeds.
Tour 1 – Irrigation
The irrigated agriculture tour travels from Wagga Wagga westerly to Narrandera to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) known as the Food Bowl of NSW starting with a tour of a citrus and hazelnut orchard situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Continuing to the west through irrigated walnut orchards and winter cropping fields to the Yanco Agricultural Institute where we will enjoy morning tea and a tour of the facilities and field station.
Yanco is also the home to the Tocal College for agricultural training programs, cotton research, soybean evaluation, citrus research, nut research and winter cropping programs it also has on site pathology and entomology laboratories. The Australian Rice Breeding & Quality program has been located here since 1920 and has produced 10 varieties of rice for Australian conditions and export markets.
The tour heads towards Griffith for a relaxing lunch at a local winery including a tour of the vineyard and cellar. Next stop is a Cotton Gin owned by local growers where 90% of local Riverina cotton is ginned. Cotton has only been grown in the area for the past five years but has become the largest producing area in Australia. Aquaculture is also becoming a popular diversification on many farms in the MIA with the Narrandera Fisheries centre operated by DPI Fisheries providing support and advice. The Centre has several roles including breeding, conservation, environmental surveys, NSW river management, aquaculture, and community education. The site provides scientific research on the iconic Murray Cod, golden and silver perch, through to the endangered purple spotted gudgeon.
Finally as we head past barley crops and hear about the importance of malting varieties we will head to the Thirsty Crow to sample local beer with a tour of the beer making facilities and information from the maltster.
Tour 2 – Mixed Farming
The tour will head off early making the first stop on the northern outskirts of Wagga at the ROBE Oilseed crushing facility. ROBE crushes and refines approximately 200,000 tonnes of locally sourced oilseeds per year. The tour will then continue further north along the Olympic Highway to Junee with major beef, lamb and grain facilities clearly seen as we travel north. At Junee we will stop in for a coffee break at the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory which is located in the restored Junee flour mill. From Junee we will travel to a local property to hear how growers integrate cropping and livestock together to maximise productivity. The importance of mixed farming will be evident from the bus as we pass by legume based pastures and cereal and oilseed grain crops. From there we will travel west, on the way the paddocks get progressively larger while the elevation and rainfall drops and rolling hills give way to a flatter landscape. We will have a tour of the Coolamon Cheese Factory followed by lunch then make our way to a large corporate farm on the magnificent Murrumbidgee River incorporating winter grains, wool and lamb plus irrigated summer grains. We will complete the day with a visit to the nearby Berrembed Weir, the controlling point of water supplying the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area where we will learn about the history of the irrigation scheme development and how the fish life is preserved in the altered river system.