Conservation Agriculture

Author: Centroc User
Date: February 3, 2012
Category: Archives, Industry & Business

The 2012 Conservation Agriculture Field Day will be held at the Parkes Racecourse on Thursday 23rd February.

Farmers are at the front line of conservation. Although some  have differing views from climate change advocates about the “hows” and “whys”, sustainable land management has been treated as an imperative by many farmers for decades.

Executive Officer of the Conservation Agriculture and No Till Farming Association (CANFA), Neville Gould, says farmers are genuinely concerned about their land and how their farming systems impact the land, water, air and the health and prosperity of people and communities.

“The difference between farmers and climate change advocates is generally determined by the manner in which they go about creating, achieving and living with change – farmers do it by practical means whilst many advocates do it by bureaucratic means,” he says.

Neville Gould, executive officer of the Conservation Agriculture and No-till Farming Association

“Farmers have been attempting to manage our land and the planet sustainably for generations now with limited assistance from or recognition by government or advocacy groups and it has taken many years to recognise the benefit that this has created for our general populace and the environment,” says Neville. “Long live our conservation farmers!”

CANFA – originally known as the Central West Conservation Farming Association – was established in Parkes in 1994 with a commitment to inform regional farmers about the latest farming practices through field days, workshops and field trips. In 2008 the association changed its name to include “no-till” in order to better represent the type of farming being practices by its members. Today, CANFA has a membership base of around 300 and is expanding into southern NSW.

Although the term “no-till” now features in the association’s title, Neville is quick to point out it is just one part of the more complex system that is conservation agriculture.

“The four pillars of conservation agriculture cropping systems are; reduced tillage (one pass disturbance at sowing only with less than 20% disturbance of the soil surface); stubble retention (our greatest ally is surface cover and without it no-till systems do not perform); diverse crop rotations (to manage against disease, weed and other risks) and minimal soil compaction and associated energy use,” he explains.  “For CANFA, increasing soil health is our major focus.”

The Conservation Agriculture Field Day is an opportunity to see some of the latest innovations available in conservation agriculture. They day will include speeches, demonstrations and exhibitions of a range of technologies including:

  • Disc and tyne planting machinery
  • Farmer converted machinery
  • Residue management machinery
  • Non-inversion tillage equipment
  • Conservation Agriculture technologies
  • Soil carbon measurement, carbon sequestration and nitrous oxide reduction information

Winner of the 2011 Modified Machine Award at the field day, Mike Carey

“We have been continually enthused by the resilience and inventiveness of both manufacturers and farmers to continue to develop and adopt improved farming systems over the years which seek to overcome the continuing barrage of issues facing them,” says Neville.” It will be hard this year to ignore the impact of the carbon and greenhouse debate and so the emphasis at this year’s Field Day will be perhaps on how our machinery and associated technologies best fit into a “carbon-focused” environment.”

Gates open at 8.30am – demonstrations from 9.30am

Entry  $5 for members, $15 non-members, students free.

For more information go to

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