Ag research soldiers on

Ag research soldiers on

Coronavirus
John Ferrier, BCG chairman, says his group has taken measures to keep staff safe during the busy trial planting period.

John Ferrier, BCG chairman, says his group has taken measures to keep staff safe during the busy trial planting period.

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Ag research projects will continue to go ahead in spite of coronavirus, with some modifications in terms of work practices.

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THE AGRICULTURAL research sector will be working through upheaval in order to get invaluable trial plots planted this year with organisations coming up with strategies to allow the show to go on.

For instance, leading farmer research organisation Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) is tweaking its plans to allow trials to be planted while limiting face to face exposure.

Staff are working remotely and when travelling they are going solo wherever possible.

The group has also set up three person sub-branches across different sectors to limit cross-team exposure.

The important task of extension and communicating knowledge with members will also be markedly different, with all events switched to a digital format, while the board is also meeting via teleconference rather than in person.

However, it is confident growers will continue to get the information they need, via platforms such as its technical bulletins during the growing season which will go out as normal.

Chairman John Ferrier said it was a matter of making sure the risk of infection for staff and contractors was minimised.

"We're trying to run the 2020 trials program as best as we can but the priority is the health and safety of staff," Mr Ferrier said.

He said while some aspects of farming practices remained normal there was the need to adjust in other areas.

"Shearing and crutching presents a challenge with physical distancing but we are endeavouring with the modification of on-farm operations to keep things going," he said.

The story Ag research soldiers on first appeared on Farm Online.

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