February 20, 2013
Grain prices, trucks and roadside vegetation were hot topics as grain growers came from all corners of the state for a post-harvest yarn with the VFF Grains Group. Growers flocked to barbeques in Warracknabeal, Swan Hill, St Arnaud and Millewa last week to exchange feedback and review conditions over harvest, while taking a look at the year ahead. VFF president Peter Tuohey, vice president David Jochinke and VFF Grains president Andrew Weidemann chatted with growers and updated them on the VFF’s latest campaigns. “We saw it as a good opportunity after harvest to follow up on a few issues and let growers know what to expect from the VFF this year,” Mr Weidemann said. “We covered issues with storage and shrinkage, chemicals and did a bit of forecasting for the year ahead; most farmers are expecting a positive growing season after such a hot summer.” Mr Weidemann said that VFF members were again concerned with roadside vegetation and the rules that come with clearing your own land. “The VFF have campaigned on the issue for many years now, and we need to ensure farmers are not being penalised for protecting their properties.” Mr Tuohey spoke to attendees about the current rates campaign and some of the policy work the VFF has been doing over the past six months. “We run these events as a chance for others to also come along and see what the VFF is all about, so it’s great to see some of the younger blokes coming to these nights,” Mr Tuohey said. “It’s a constant goal to include young farmers in VFF activities and campaigns, because they are the future of our industry.” The VFF Grains Group appealed to non-members and younger farmers to attend the events, as a way of attracting fresh faces to the group. The events were also a prime opportunity to inform growers of the upcoming annual VFF Grains Conference, to be held in Mildura on March 17-19. “We’re really hoping for a good turnout this year like we’ve had in previous years,” Mr Weidemann said. “The conference will cover everything from fertilizers, chemicals, technology in agriculture, as well as having an overall theme of globalisation for the Australian grains industry.” Registrations are now open for the VFF Grains Conference, which costs $50 for members and $200 for non-members.