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Forum shines light on new soil probes for Rainbow

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Rainbow and district farmers will soon be the beneficiaries of a new local soil moisture probe network.

The establishment of a local soil moisture probe network has been instigated by the Rainbow and district Landcare group, with advice from Agriculture Victoria.

Agriculture Victoria Hopetoun-based extension officer, Heather Drendel, said the Rainbow soil moisture probe network, which is being installed thanks to financial support from the Wimmera and Mallee Catchment Management Authorities, is a new tool for farmers in the district.

Farmers can hear how they can use data from the proposed network to manage risks and increase profitability at free information forum presented by Agriculture Victoria at Rainbow on Monday 17 December 2018.

Ms Drendel said the forum would provide local producers with a great opportunity to meet over breakfast and gain an understanding of the benefits of the new soil moisture probe network.

During the forum Agriculture Victoria’s seasonal risk agronomist, Dale Boyd, will present an example of the data that will be generated by the network and translate the information so that it is relevant to farmers and can be used as a risk management tool.

Birchip Cropping Group technical officer, Chris Cook will explain how farmers can receive the soil moisture data through the ‘blue node’, and how the information can be used.

Ms Drendel said soil moisture data can help grain growers manage inputs, particularly nitrogen, and can also be used to make crop rotation decisions.

“Knowing soil moisture levels helps to better assess the production risk of different crop types and improve estimations of potential yield during the season,” she said.

This free forum will take place at ‘The Oasis’ (the former Rainbow Primary School), 30 Bow Street, Rainbow on 17 December 2018.

The event will start at 7.30am with a bacon and egg breakfast, with the forum to commence from 8.30am.

For more information phone Heather Drendel, Agriculture Victoria, on 0427 868 705.

Source: Agriculture Victoria

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