500 attendees hear latest research at BCG Main Field Day

BCG Main Field Day 2023 2000px
BCG Main Field Day 2023 2000px

BCG’s Main Field Day attracted around 500 farmers, agronomists, researchers and secondary school students on 13 September, who heard the latest local agronomic research and information from 20+ speakers.


Birchip Cropping Group is the North-West Broadacre Node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption & Innovation Hub. The Main Field Day is one of its major annual events.


In her opening welcome at Kinnabulla, BCG CEO Fiona Best – who is also the Regional Director of the Vic Hub – encouraged attendees to ask questions and ensure they get the most from the research on display.

“I say it each year, but this day is for you. BCG’s Main Field Day is the culmination of a year’s worth of planning and preparation with the site showcasing over 30 trials for people to inspect.”




More than 20 presenters shared their expertise, including BCG staff and industry experts.

In their presentation ‘Frost and Heat Risk in 2023’, Kenton Porker from CSIRO and Kate Burke from ThinkAgri, encouraged people to be prepared for the upcoming warmer weather by knowing the critical stress periods of their respective crops. They urged growers to be confident to go out and inspect after a frost or heat stress event to manage expectations of the upcoming harvest.

Disease management generated considerable discussion thanks to Hari Dadu, Josh Fanning and Chloe Findlay from Agriculture Victoria, and Nick Poole from the Foundation for Arble Research.

BCG’s Yolanda Plowman shared the objectives of a Farming Systems Trial, situated over the road from the 2023 main site, which will run from 2023 to 2026. She said, “The research will go beyond short-term productivity, and consider profitability and sustainability over the longer term including new systems that are currently uncommon in the southern Mallee.”




Attendees were introduced to on-site trials by the BCG staff who manage them. Brooke Bennett and Kelly Angel discussed wheat and barley varieties, Kate Finger and Angus Butterfield shared the results of a herbicide-efficacy trial, while oaten-hay considerations were all expertly discussed by Alison Frischke.


BCG Main Field Day 2023

To the future


The crowd was also bolstered by 130 secondary students from the North Central Local Learning and Employment Network region, including Birchip, Donald, Wycheproof, Pyramid Hill, Tyrrell College and from as far as Bendigo.

The students participated in a specialised program featuring a careers panel, tour of the main site and a treasure hunt designed to encourage student interaction and exploration.

BCG Chair, John Ferrier, was also pleased with the content delivered and the condition of the research site.

“We had some great trials on show with excellent messages for everyone in attendance” he said.

BCG would like to thank the site hosts, the Lehmann family, the presenters who shared their expertise and the funding bodies for supporting the research.

This event is part funded through the BCG-managed North West Broadacre Node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption & Innovation Hub, which is supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.


This article was first published on the BCG website here.