CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

Partnership between the Australian Farm Institute and the Sydney Institute of Agriculture, The University of Sydney – 22 & 23 June 2020

Conservation agriculture has transformed the Australian farming sector over the past 50 years by delivering increases in productivity and profitability alongside improvements in soil condition, water efficiency and other environmental gains. Understanding the risks embedded in current conservation agriculture systems and anticipating impacts such as disruptive technologies and community trust issues is vital to ensuring that conservation agriculture can continue to deliver new transformative outcomes for Australian farmers. At this conference, policy barriers, research gaps and development opportunities will be identified by asking the question 'What might conservation agriculture look like in 2030?’

Session details:

  • Conservation agriculture success stories
  • Emerging threats to current practice
  • Non-chemical weed control
  • Where do animals fit in the system?
  • Pioneering new systems
  • Diversity of cropping options
  • Conservation ag, drought and climate change – policy enablers and barriers
  • The ideal future state



in partnership with AFI & SIA


DAY 1

CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE SUCCESS STORIES

Australian farmers are world leading in conservation agriculture, making the most of a variable climate and often sub-optimal farming environments. The conference will open with stories of success from leading farmers.


EMERGING THREATS TO CURRENT PRACTICE

Threats to the ongoing viability of conservation agriculture practices are emerging on many fronts. They include: weed resistance, disruptive regulatory control of pesticides, soil constraints including stratification of nutrients and lack of diversity in cropping species. Do these threats pose a significant risk to conservation agriculture as we know it?

NON-CHEMICAL WEED CONTROL

With threats to chemical use in agriculture on many fronts, non-chemical weed control is one of the most urgent areas in which new practices are needed. What are the emerging technologies and how quickly will options become available?


WHERE DO ANIMALS FIT IN THE SYSTEM?

As a non-chemical weed control option, grazing animals also potentially provide additional benefits to cropping systems such as nutrient recycling. Mixed farming systems have however declined in popularity as conservation agriculture has expanded. Is it time to revisit the potential for animals in cropping systems?


NETWORKING FUNCTION

Monday 22 June – 5:15 to 7:15pm – Ground Floor, F23 Administration Building, The University of Sydney


DAY 2

PIONEERING NEW SYSTEMS

Day two will open with stories from farmers and researchers who are pushing the boundaries exploring new farming systems that might become part of the future for conservation agriculture.


DIVERSITY OF CROPPING OPTIONS

The definition of conservation agriculture generally includes the need for diversification of crop types yet in the Australian context lack of profitable options generally limits conservation ag cropping systems to two or three options. How much diversity should we be aiming at for a future state of conservation agriculture?

CONSERVATION AG, DROUGHT AND CLIMATE CHANGE – POLICY ENABLERS AND BARRIERS

There is a complex web of policy and market conditions that will potentially impact on the development of conservation agriculture practices in the future. Drought assistance, farm income insurance, ecosystems services payments and impact investment may all be externalities (both positive and negative) that will influence the evolution of farming systems.


THE IDEAL FUTURE STATE

A workshop-style session (TBC) to provide some outcomes from the conference on a desirable future state for conservation agriculture in Australia.


CONFIRMED Speakers

Dr Lindsay Bell, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Agriculture and Food

Richard Dickmann, Head of Public and Government Affairs, ANZ, Bayer Crop Science

Cheryl Kalisch-Gordon, Senior Analyst – Grains and Oilseeds, Rabobank

Stuart McDonald, Nuffield scholar

Dr Angela Pattison, Plant Breeding Institute, School of Life and Environmental Sciences,
Faculty of Science, University of Sydney

Grant Pontifex, Pontifex Farming/ Nuffield Scholar

Professor Stephen Powles, Professor SAgE, University of Western Australia

Professor Jim Pratley, Emeritus Professor, Agriculture, School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University

Professor Timothy Reeves, Professor in Residence, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne

Michael Walsh, Associate Professor and Director of Weed Research, University of Sydney

Brett Whelan, Associate Professor in Precision Agriculture, Sydney Institute of Agriculture,
University of Sydney

Venue information

Eastern Avenue Auditorium & Lecture Theatre Complex – Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia

CLICK HERE FOR GOOGLE MAP


Where to stay

The Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Chippendale, 74–80 Ivy St, Chippendale NSW 2008, ph: 02 9311 8800, is offering a 15% discount to conference delegates. Book here

The Mercure Sydney, 818–820 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, ph: 02 92176797, e: H2073@accor.com, is offering a 20% discount to conference delegates. Please mention the discount code AFI0620 when booking.


Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact AFI Events Officer, Kylie Smith.



Conference Lanyard Sponsor