Holiday laughs and crafts

Craft, sport, photography, hair spray and food – there was something for everyone at the Central West Family Support (CWFS) and Lachlan Youth Services’ Sports Day last Wednesday.

• A world of colour and fun: ASPIRE volunteer Caoife Power and Youth Activity Officer Nicki Lombard with Condobolin children Olivia Kennie, Holly Hudson, Makayla Kennie, Aleaha Hudson, Janayl Knight, Kyesha Dalton, Hope Milson, Koby Knight and Eileen Weatherall. LP

By Lara Pearce

Craft, sport, photography, hair spray and food – there was something for everyone at the Central West Family Support (CWFS) and Lachlan Youth Services’ Sports Day last Wednesday.

A wide range of community groups banded together to put on a fun day for Condobolin’s youth at the Family Support building on William Street.

Craft, sport, photography, hair spray and food – there was something for everyone at the Central West Family Support (CWFS) and Lachlan Youth Services’ Sports Day last Wednesday.

• Future Socceroos at the Sports Day at Family Support on William Street. LP

Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD)’s Youth Services Manager, Heather Blackley, said that the day was truly a team effort, with Family Support, Youth Services, Storm Co, ASPIRE and CentaCare all getting involved in various ways.

“The ASPIRE team are out here talking to parents and children about tertiary training, […] We’ve bused over kids from Lake Cargelligo in the Family Support bus and Storm Co are here from Castle Hill volunteering in the community,” she explained.

The ASPIRE volunteers set up various craft activities for the children, and also got some of the parents involved. “We’ve brought tablets out here and parents and carers are using them to take photos to make a storyboard of their day, so they can have a piece of art to take home,” explained ASPIRE Project Officer, Vanessa Cali.

The colour and fun was continued at the Benevolent Society’s stand, where Jaromir Sladek was spraying children’s hair with the help of some junior volunteers.

Outside in the sun, over a dozen teenagers and young adults from Storm Co – a Seventh Day Adventist Church in Castle Hill – got the children active with soccer, baseball and other sports for the children on the old bowling greens.

Local link for grain growers to the GRDC

Chris Jones and Neil Fettell of Condobolin have been appointed to the southern region panel of the GRDC.

Condobolin researcher Neil Fettell and grower Chris Jones have been appointed to the southern region panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The panel system is a key strength of the GRDC, with a cross-section of grain growers, scientists and people from industry to feed in regional priorities and assess funding proposals.

Dr Fettell and Mr Jones will serve a two year term providing a direct link for local growers, helping to ensure they can provide input into the organisation and get to learn about the latest research results.

Dr Fettell is recognised as an Australian authority on cropping and tillage systems, stubble and soil management and crop physiology. Currently a part time lecturer at the University of New England, Neil was instrumental in setting up the Central West Farming Systems group and led the Southern Barley Agronomy Project covering three states.

Mr Jones farms dryland wheat and turns off store lambs from up to 2000 Dohne ewes on his 4700 hectare property. He is a committee member and former chairman of Central Western Farming Systems, which promotes and oversees innovation and extension in the region, and a former executive member of Lachlan Valley Water.

Other members of the southern panel are Chairman David Shannon (Kapunda, SA), Bill Long (Ardrossan, SA), Dr Chris Blanchard (Wagga Wagga, NSW), John Minogue (Barmedman, NSW), Keith Pengilley (Conara, TAS), Peter Schwarz (Naringaningalook, VIC), Richard Konzag (Mallala, SA) and Susan Findlay Tickner (Horsham, VIC).

Chairman David Shannon said he was pleased to have Dr Fettell and Mr Jones on the panel.

“We have a good representation of growers, researchers and people from industry on the new panel, each with a fresh perspective on the task and different networks to bring to the organisation,” Mr Shannon said.

“We’re the conduit for growers, so we need to be out there talking directly to them about their issues, so we can make sure future research is directed at making the biggest impact possible for them on-farm.”

The GRDC is a statutory authority established to plan and invest in R&D for the Australian grains industry. Its primary objective is to support effective competition by Australian grain growers in global grain markets, through enhanced profitability and sustainability.

Rural Women’s Farm Business seminar

Central West Farming Systems held a Rural Women’s Farm Business office workshopCentral West Farming Systems (CWFS) held a Rural Women’s Farm Business office workshop at the Condobolin Motor Inn last Thursday May 12.
The workshop was targeted towards women in farming businesses who are seeking to learn new skills in computer based accounting systems to help analyse and gauge their farm business performance.
Those who attended the meeting learnt how to understand accounting statements, the importance of recording documentation and how to set up their own record system.
Presenter, Michelle Todd from Pigot Miller Wilson in Forbes, gave a practical session demonstrating the various computer software programs that are currently commercially available.
Throughout the evening, the women discussed which programs provided the most benefits in terms of versatility, support features and cost effectiveness.
The event was funded through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under the Recognising Women Farmer’s Grant in conjunction with three other workshops.
These included a Manildra flour mill tour and grain marketing seminar, a women’s professional development and fashion gala held in West Wyalong and a rural women’s livestock “Paddock to Plate” seminar held in Eugowra.
Co-ordinator of the rural women’s events, Lisa McFadyen said there was a great response from rural women across the central west area in attending the events.
“It has been an opportunity for the women to learn more in various key areas of their business and lifestyle whilst also having a fun time and meeting new people,” she said.

Barley bolsters sowing options

It’s looking extremely positive for Central West farmers, heading into the winter crop sowing period with a full moisture profile and planting options at their fingertips.Dr Neil Fettell
Dr Neil Fettell from Industry & Investment NSW’s (I & I NSW) Condobolin Agricultural Research and advisory Station said barley continues to play an important role in Central West farming systems.
Barley’s role hinges on the recent release of higher-yielding varieties, concerns about leaf diseases in wheat, the requirement for weed competitive crops in managing herbicide resistance and a desire to reduce risk by crop diversification.
Dr Fettell recently told growers at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Dubbo Update that new research is focussing on the suitability of varieties for no-till farming systems, and the differences between varieties in terms of weed competitiveness, herbicide tolerance and nitrogen and row spacing responses.
“Barley can be valuable as a rotation crop with wheat, particularly in no-till and stubble retention systems, as it is not a host for most wheat foliar diseases,” he said.
“It’s vigorous early growth allows it to compete well with weeds, needing lower herbicide inputs and restricting weed seed set.”
Growers now have access to a number of new feed and malt varieties which have a range of improvements in yield, disease resistance and malting quality over older varieties.
“When choosing a variety, growers need to consider the available markets as well as agronomic performance,” Dr Fettell says.
“Market deregulation and the emergence of the container trade have led to a wider range of variety and marketing options for growers in NSW.”
Schooner and Gairdner have been the preferred malting barley varieties in central NSW, with smaller areas of Baudin and some of Fitzroy in the north.
They now have been joined by Buloke and Commander.
Of the feed varieties, Hindmarsh continues to perform well, particularly under drier conditions, while Fleet is a taller alternative but can lodge under favourable conditions.
Shepherd is the latest addition to this list and may replace Grout in more northern areas.
Buloke is now a fully-accredited malting variety suited to the export market, so the area sown to Buloke is expected to increase.
It continues to perform well in mid-lower rainfall areas and as a later sown option in wetter areas.
Southern Barley Agronomy, a tri-state initiative supported by GRDC and SA Grain Industry Trust (SAGIT), has been established to provide variety specific management advice for newly released barley varieties.
For more information, visit or

© 2010 Condobolin Argus - Design by Upside Down Websites